BASF announced that it will invest a high double-digit million euro amount in a new fermentation plant for biological and biotech crop protection products at its Ludwigshafen site. The plant will produce biological fungicides and seed treatment products. Start-up is planned for the second half of 2025. The plant will employ 30 people in production, logistics, engineering, and maintenance.
The company also plans to use the fermentation plant to produce afidopyropene, the active ingredient in the novel insecticide Inscalis®. BASF developed this insecticide together with the Kitasato Institute, Tokyo, Japan, and Meiji Seika Pharma, Tokyo, Japan. This was triggered by the discovery of the natural product pyripyropene A, which is produced by some soil fungi. It was modified to yield afidopyropene, a semi-synthetic derivative of pyripyropene A. Afidopyropene blocks the activity of transient receptor potential vanilloid (TRPV) ion channels found in insect chordotonal organs, leading to disruptions in their coordination and feeding. Chordotonal organs are stretch receptors found only in insects and crustaceans.
The insecticide controls stinging-sucking pests in a range of row and specialty crops, including soybeans, cotton, and citrus. It works through the leaf to control pests that live on the underside of leaves. The rapid action of Inscalis promptly halts insect feeding, minimizing damage spread and the transmission of viral pathogens. Furthermore, this insecticide has an environmentally friendly profile with low toxicity to beneficial insects, including pollinators
- BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany
- Craig Kleppe, BASF Corporation, Inscalis™ Insecticide: A New Insecticide for Piercing-Sucking Pest Management, Presentation at IR-4 Food Use Workshop September 2018. (accessed October 13, 2023)
- Thomas C. Sparks, Robert J. Bryant, Innovation in insecticide discovery: Approaches to the discovery of new classes of insecticides, Pest Management Sci. 2022. https://doi.org/10.1002/ps.6942
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