‘Highly Virulent’ Strain Sets BioCeres WP Apart from Other Mycoinsecticides

Eric Smith,
National Horticulture Sales Manager, BioSafe Systems

BioCeres WP biological mycoinsecticide continues to differentiate itself from similar products in the marketplace. OMRI-listed BioCeres WP, which BioSafe Systems debuted in 2016, is unique for a few reasons but the biggest factor that sets it apart is ANT-03, the proprietary strain of Beauveria bassiana it uses as its active ingredient.

“It’s a highly virulent strain that was researched by the USDA and found to be more virulent than many of the other common commercial species of mycoinsecticides,” says Eric Smith, BioSafe Systems’ National Horticulture Sales Manager.

BioCeres WP controls whiteflies, aphids, thrips, and plant bugs as well as hibiscus bud weevil in tropical areas like Florida and Texas. BioCeres WP isn’t a knockdown product and is best used as a maintenance tool, Smith says, noting it can be sprayed preventively every 5-7 days.

BioCeres WP is effective on all insect life stages. It targets foliar-feeding or soil-borne pests. It has no harmful residues and no known resistance. BioCeres WP fits well in integrated pest management (IPM) programs, whether conventional or organic, and helps prevent or slow insecticide resistance. It also has minimal impact on beneficial insects.

Smith explains that Beauveria bassiana is a fungus species native to the soil in many parts of the world. When insects encounter or consume Beauveria bassiana ANT-03, the spores in the fungus attach to insects, Smith adds.

The spores, which are physically larger than other Beauveria bassiana strains, then germinate into the pest’s cuticle by piercing its outer shell, and grow in and outside the insect. “The spores create a toxin,” Smith says. “As the fungus continues to grow in and on the insect, it creates even more toxin and poisons the insect, leading to its eventual death [typically within 7-14 days].”

But BioCeres WP isn’t done yet. It also provides a secondary infection. “The Beauveria bassiana fungus creates new spores on the dead insect. And then those spores can travel and affect another insect of the same colony or of a different colony,” Smith says.

ANT-03, which comprises 20% of the BioCeres WP formulation, isn’t the only ingredient that sets the product apart. Smith says that when the AI is exposed to intense UV light such as in a greenhouse, the light can damage the fungus’ spores and degrade their efficiency. “Knowing that and knowing that we wanted to prolong the efficacy and life of the spores on the leaf surface, we addressed the issue with the carrier of the AI,” Smith adds. “The rest of the formulation is made to prolong the life of the spores in the UV environment. For a carrier, we use what basically equates to sunscreen.”

When insects encounter or consume Beauveria bassiana ANT-03, the spores in the fungus attach to insects and create a toxin.

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The calcium-based carrier acts like an SPF 100 sunscreen that will protect the spores from the degradation of the sun or other supplemental light, Smith says, noting that there’s no petroleum or alcohol used in the carrier. “We have a more vigorous and active spore on the leaf surface for a longer time,” he adds. “We are elongating the efficacy window, which means a more successful spray or drench application.”

BioCeres WP can also be tank mixed with other sustainable products such as BioSafe Systems’ AzaGuard, an insecticide/nematicide, which prevents molting between larval, pupal, and nymphal stages. “Because the two products are compatible, several parts of the insect life cycle can be treated,” Smith says.

BioSafe Systems, as part of its 25th anniversary this year, is excited to bring BioCeres EC, an emulsifiable concentrate version of the product, to the market. When added to the spray tank, an oil-in-water emulsion results.

BioCeres EC uses vegetable-based oils as opposed to petroleum-or mineral-based oils, which helps to alleviate phytotoxicity issues, Smith notes.

Questions about BioCeres WP or our other products?

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About BioSafe Systems

BioSafe Systems, LLC is a company leading innovations since 1998 for environmentally sustainable practices and products that protect crops, water, and people. Our success hinges on a commitment to customer service, quality research, regulatory compliance, and the willingness to adapt. BioSafe Systems is a family-owned and operated company certified by NQA to ISO 9001:2015, 14001:2015, and 45001:2018, and our products are manufactured proudly in the United States. More about BioSafe Systems

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