03 March 2021, Canada: MustGrow Biologics Corp. is pleased to announce that it has isolated and concentrated an additional molecule, thiocyanate, from mustard seed. Thiocyanate, which is responsible for the systemic activity behind the mustard plant’s natural herbicidal (weed-killer) properties, is the third molecule from mustard seed that MustGrow has isolated, extracted, and concentrated. MustGrow had previously reported herbicidal proof-of-concept success without isolating thiocyanate and now expects to build on those studies with this additional herbicidal mode-of-action now identified.
Thiocyanate extract has the potential to be a natural organic non-selective bioherbicide that is soil active with systemic translocated properties. Systemic activity, or the ability of the active ingredient to move from soil, to roots, and then to stem and leaves, is particularly significant given that the leading synthetic herbicide glyphosate is not soil active, and only acts on the above ground parts of the weed it contacts. MustGrow believes a tremendous opportunity exists to potentially replace or complement glyphosate in certain systems, by providing a natural organic solution. Globally, glyphosate is being phased out, including recent announcements by Germany and Mexico by 2024. France recently announced glyphosate restrictions but stopped short of a full ban because of a lack of non-chemical alternatives.
Greenhouse testing of MustGrow’s new thiocyanatebioherbicide extract has commenced, and also in combination with MustGrow’s mustard-based biopesticide TerraMG (active ingredient Allyl isothiocyanate (AITC)). MustGrow now has two distinct mustard-based natural organic approaches with individual applications, or potentially in combination:
Biopesticide: TerraMG, a natural form of AITC, to control diseases and pests.
Non-Selective Bioherbicide: Thiocyanate extract to kill weeds.
MustGrow had previously reported successful proof-of concept studies with trial observations demonstrating 100% kill of small seeded weeds and weed seeds. The length of control (ie – time where the soil remains weed-free) was also recorded, which potentially evidenced control of the weed seeds themselves. Patents have been filed for method-of-use and composition-of-matter claims. MustGrow’s intellectual property suite is a platform for several crop protection categories, aiming to disrupt global agriculture markets that have traditionally been dominated by synthetic-based products. MustGrow now expects to build on these previous weed treatment studies with its new bioherbicidal mode-of-action now identified.
Global Herbicide Market
According to industry intelligence groups IHS Markit and Phillips McDougall, the global herbicides market remained the dominant crop protection category in 2019, accounting for US$26.2 billion – 43.8% of crop protection sales. Glyphosate, the most commonly-used herbicide, is forecasted to reach a global market size of US$13.3 billion by 2027, according to a report by Reports and Data.
The dangers associated with synthetic chemical overuse is pushing farmers, consumers and regulators to seek naturally-sourced biological products, which are known for safe, environmentally-sustainable and consumer-friendly profile characteristics. For instance, MustGrow recently announced the active ingredient in its mustard-based biopesticide technology (AITC) has a positive ecological impact on soil health:
Application of AITC as a biopesticide returns organic plant material to the soil.
AITC dissipates from the soil quickly, avoiding long-term toxicity to beneficial micro-organisms.
AITC creates a healthy microbial ecological environment for soil, increasing beneficial bacteria.