Agriculture and Plant Genetics

Biocontrol Enhancers to Promote Root Colonization by Beneficial Bacteria (No. T4-1723)

Lead Researcher: Ilana Kolodkin-Gal


Available chemically based pesticides cause a large number of negative health and environmental effects including the outcome of residual contamination of land, water, and crops. Subsequently there is a need for improved methods of crop protection, preferably the use of environmental friendly alternatives of biologically based pesticides, which will provide a broad-spectrum protection to different crops and blocks an array of pathogens. The described invention uses natural substances as a biocontrol, to promote biofilm formation by B. subtilis. B. subtilis acts as a protective layer, outcompeting and stopping pathogenic bacterial and fungal colonization in plants roots. Furthermore, B. subtilis, which is commonly found in the top-layer of soils and in the human gut, is already in use in the agricultural industry.

  • Dynamically protecting crops against bacterial and fungal.      
  • Feasible as a mechanism to inhibit biofilm formation of certain pathogens.
  • Possibly assisting in plant growth by increasing nutrient and water absorption, and the release of growth inducing hormones.
  •  Broad spectrum and straightforward application
  •  Non-toxic natural materials
  •  Reduction in regulatory challenges
  •  Non GMO application
  •  Limited capacity of pathogens to develop immunity
Technology's Essence

Use of natural substances to promote the formation of B. subtilis biofilms for the protection of plant roots. The biofilms act as a protective barrier, inhibiting the growth of different pathogens, by ensuring that B. subtilis outcompetes other bacterial and fungal populations. The technology is straightforward, simplifies regulatory issues by using natural compounds, does not require genetic modification, and uses B. subtilis, which is ubiquitously found. Consequently, this technology acts as a safe-to-use pesticide by using natural compounds to control bacterial biofilm formation.