STTR Phase II: Termite-derived enzymatic tree bio-herbicides

Period of Performance: 09/15/2017 - 08/31/2019

$600K

Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Ento Bio LLC
4230 Lander Road Array
Chagrin Falls, OH 44022
Firm POC, Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Purdue University
Young Hall
West Lafayette, IN 47907
Institution POC

Abstract

The broader impact and commercial potential of this Small Business Technology Transfer and Research (STTR) project is a method to control invasive or otherwise unwanted trees and shrubs in an ecologically friendly manner with a biodegradable product. This will reduce the quantity of synthetic herbicides and/or synthetic herbicide adjuvants currently applied to control woody plants. This is especially needed near waterways where vegetation managers must choose between expensive mechanical removal or potential harm to sensitive ecosystems. Homeowners, landscapers, farmers, conservationists, utilities, and other customers will have a new product to control invasive trees and shrubs consistent with a mission to be good stewards of the environment. This STTR Phase II project proposes to follow initial successful Phase I demonstrations of an enzymatic bio-herbicide or herbicide adjuvant following the principles of termite biomimicry. The objectives of this Phase II project are to identify the mode-of-action, develop high- and medium-throughput bioassays in vitro and in planta, optimize the product formulation, and demonstrate efficacy on various invasive species in the field such as bush honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii), tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima), glossy buckthorn (Frangula alnus), bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea), and potentially others.