NEMATODES IN SPACE

PHERONYM WINS GRANT FOR ECO -FRIENDLY PEST CONTROL FOR INTERSTELLAR AGRICULTURE

Bio-Remediation Solution Will Improve Agriculture on Earth and Beyond

ALACHUA, Florida and DAVIS, California – June 21, 2018 – Pheronym, a bio-ag-tech pest control company, has received the Florida-Israel Innovation Partnership Award for its nematode focused pest control solution.   The $300,000 award will help the company conduct field tests of its proprietary eco-friendly solution with a variety of produce to determine its efficacy for use by astronauts in the future colonization of the Moon and Mars, as well as for applications here on earth.

“It might seem strange that you might need pest control in outer space – but you can’t 100% eliminate the risk of contamination,” said Dr. Fatma Kaplan, CEO of Pheronym.  “Nematodes, also called roundworms, are present in every ecological niche and infect insects, plants, and humans. Our ability to manage and control them will increase the chance for successful agriculture whether it’s on Mars or here on Earth.”

“Pheronym’s innovative approach to bio-remediation is cost-effective, practical and friendly to the environment and humans,” said Tony Gannon of the Florida-Israel Innovation Partnership Awards.  “We see amazing benefits to improving agriculture here on Earth and are hopeful the solution can be just as effective for agriculture in space as we begin to explore our solar system and beyond.”

About Pheronym

Pheronym is an ag-biotech pest control company which enables pesticide-free farming.  The company’s bio-remediation process uses a new pheromone to control plant-parasitic nematodes (microscopic roundworms) as an eco-friendly way and also to eliminate pest insects.  Learn more at https://www.pheronym.com.

About the Florida-Israel Innovation Partnership Award

The Florida‐Israel Innovation Partnerships program purpose is the promoting of greater R&D in Aerospace and related technologies. Eligible R&D Projects must stimulate generation and development of new or significantly improved products or processes for commercialization in global markets.  Learn more at http://www.spaceflorida.gov/page/call-for-projects.

Group behavior and chemical signaling as drivers for entomopathogenic nematode foraging and infection dynamics

This is a multi-institutional $500K grant which is awarded by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) – National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) – Agriculture Food and Research Initiative (AFRI) Pests and Beneficial Species in Agricultural Production Systems for the next 2.5 years.  It is titled: “Group behavior and chemical signaling as drivers for entomopathogenic nematode foraging and infection dynamics”.

The institutions include Pheronym (Dr. Fatma Kaplan), USDA-ARS in Georgia and Florida (Drs. David Shapiro and Hans Alborn), the University of Georgia (Dr. Paul Schliekelman) and the University of Idaho (Dr. Ed Lewis). We at Pheronym are very excited to be part of this great team to identify the signals to increase entomopathogenic nematode (EPN) market share in biocontrol market for sustainable and eco-friendly food production by increasing their efficacy and reliability of EPNs.

These awards are competitive grants with a funding rate of 5-10% of the applications.

Community outreach to improve nutrition for the homeless

According to USA Today Oct 17, 2017.  The world hunger strikes the first time in the past 15 years. Approximately 800 million in the world do not have enough food to live a healthy life. Pheronym is committed to helping solve world hunger crises. As a company, we develop eco-friendly solutions to control pest so farmers can grow a lot of food to feed the growing world population. Our employees are just as committed to helping solve the hunger crises.

Our lab manager, Abigail, serves GRACE Marketplace (shelter) for food security by working on the community garden in her free time and participating in the collaborative team (University of Florida Community Health, Family Medicine, and Rutgers University, and IFAS) for grant writing and being a community liaison for the GRACE Marketplace.

Her team is presenting at Stetson University’s 2018 Poverty and Homelessness Conference on March 9th on behalf of GRACE Grows Garden.

Farm-to-Table Garden Project Study: Assessment of Nutritional Needs Among the Homeless Population and Building a Farm-to-Table Garden to Address Negative Health Outcomes of Poverty

 

Global outreach

Florida Congressman Yoho and Vietnamese Ambassador visit start-ups at the Sid Martin Biotech Incubator in Alachua, FL.

Pheronym lab manager Abigail provided a tour of Pheronym lab at the Sid Martin.  She explained how biocontrol works for agricultural pest control.

Pheronym uses pheromones of microscopic roundworms, called nematodes. We are first to bring nematode pheromones from lab bench to the market to improve the efficacy of commercial beneficial nematodes for insect control.