A New Kind Of Pheromone To Control Agricultural Pests

Karl Cameron Schiller is the co-founder of Pheronym, a Davis-based agriculture biotech start-up using a new kind of pheromone from microscopic roundworms called nematodes to control agricultural pests. We asked him about his work.

How can nematode pheromones be used in agriculture?

The first use case, which is the closest to market, is called NemaStim for stimulating nematodes to disperse and kill insects. Treating beneficial nematodes with pheromones improves their effectiveness to control insect pests.  Keep Reading

Karl Cameron Schiller, Chief Operating Officer, Pheronym, will be speaking on biocontrol with nematode pheromones at the 4th Partnerships in Biocontrol, Biostimulants & Microbiome Congress: USA.

Fresh Takes on the Farm of the Future

By Foodbytes

If you missed Karl’s pitch last year, you have a second chance.

 Biotech: pheromone pest control, animal health innovation and more

Ag Biotechnology is a hot topic in the investment world, according to a report by Finistere Ventures, attracting more dollars than most other agtech segments. The category includes new breeding technologies, which Rabobank’s food and agribusiness research team reported on last year. According to the RaboResearch report, emerging techniques include CRISPR technology, which “allows for faster and more precise breeding.” Upcoming FoodBytes! Chicago pitch company, Spira, has modified the technology to enhance the flavor profile of spirulina as an ingredient, allowing food companies to incorporate the superfood into their products without sacrificing taste. Biotech alum, Pheronym, is utilizing pheromones from microscopic worms….. Keep Reading

Woodland-based incubator aids ag-tech startups

By Kevin Hecteman
Issue Date: August 28, 2019
Ag Alert
There’s a bumper crop of ideas growing in Woodland—from measuring a plant’s water needs to fighting nefarious pests to streamlining markets.
He’s not the only one who made a transcontinental move. Pheronym, launched in Florida, settled in Yolo County to perfect its idea of using nematode pheromones as a means of pest control.”It was the right ag location, the right talent pool from UC Davis, and they had internships,” Fatma Kaplan, Pheronym chief executive and the technology’s developer, told the attendees, noting that AgStart has been a big help as well.“Two years ago, we had an idea,” Kaplan said. “Now, we have a proven technology.Keep Reading


If you missed Dr. Kaplan’ s talk about Pheronym’s technology, you have a second chance. See below link to listen.


Farming in Space

Future of Agriculture Podcast Host Tim Hammerich interviewed Dr. Ray Wheeler who is a NASA’s Plant Physiologist and the lead for Advanced Life Support Research activities in the Exploration Research and Technology Program at Kennedy Space Center.

An artist concept depicts a greenhouse on the surface of Mars.

Listen to Future of Agriculture, interview with Dr. Wheeler “Farming in Space“.
Here are some of Dr. Wheeler’s research which he talks about in this podcast.

You can also listen to the podcast at PlayerFM, Applepodcasts

        • The research he’s conducted that has made it in today’s agriculture industry.
        • How NASA helped in terrestrial applications of space farming.
        • His recent projects that could be applied commercially in the future.
        • Solving the ever-increasing CO2 emissions with space farming tech.
        • Recent progress on the experimental planting chambers in space.
        • Deciding which crops show promise for space production.
        • The water content of Mars and the prospect of someday growing food there.
        • The critical benefits of being able to grow plants in space.
        • Recovering as much water as possible in space.
        • The effects of low gravity environments on plant growth.
        • His advice for people interested in space farming technology.

Read more

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