Background:

Fungicide sales are projected to overtake the sales of herbicides by 2022. Fungi damage crops which can lead to consequential losses of both yield and quality, resulting in low net profits. With both the global volumes and the global market for synthetic pesticides increasing, there is a continuous need for comparable, yet safer alternatives for fungicide seed treatments. 

Technology Overview:

Researchers at Montana State University (MSU) screened 38 commercial essential oils and identified 7 as effective natural fungicides in pulse crops. Dilutions of these 7 essential oils were found to be fungicidal across 10 important pulse crop pathogens including those causing root rot, damping–off, Ascochyta blight, Stemphylium blight, white and grey molds. 5 of these oils also inhibited spore germination of the fungi responsible for fusarium wilt (Fusarium oxysporum), grey mold (Botrytis cinerea) and Ascochyta blight (Didymella pisi). When treated with essential oils, seeds with 100% fungal infection had reduced seed-borne fungal inoculum by up to 100%. Additionally, volatiles from these essential oils were also found to be fungicidal. 

Benefits:

  • Comparable efficacy to common synthetic fungicides
  • Cost-effective compared to traditional synthetic fungicides
  • Safer alternative to common synthetic fungicides
  • Inhibit up to 100% of mycelial growth of pathogen and conidial germination
  • Volatiles from the essential oils are fungicidal
  • Direct path to scaleup 

Opportunity:

  • Available for license
  • Potential to collaborate in ongoing research

Intellectual Property Status:

  • Available for collaborative development partnerships to develop products and support Section 25(b) registration efforts

Supporting Publication:

Contact:

Darin D. Oelkers, CLP
(406) 994-7780
darin@montana.edu