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SBIR Phase II: Advanced Biopesticides from Yeast Produced Sophorolipids and…

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Phase II
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
SyntheZyme LLC
D203, 11 University Place Rensselaer, NY 12144-0000
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: SBIR Phase II: Advanced Biopesticides from Yeast Produced Sophorolipids and Modified Analogs
Agency: NSF
Contract: 1058511
Award Amount: $475,766.00


Intellectual Merits: This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will address further development of findings from the Phase I Project addressing development of advanced biopesticides by simple and scalable modification of sophorolipids. The yeast Candida bombicola produces sophorolipids (SLs) in volumetric yields of ~ 300 g/L. The Phase I program demonstrated that by simple chemical modification of unrefined natural SLs, a series of five highly active lead compounds were identified which possess broad spectrum activity against all three major fungal groups that cause serious diseases in commercially important plants. By amidation of the SL fatty acid carboxyl group (e.g. - NH2CH2CH2N(CH3)2), or by reduction of the SL-fatty acid double bond, derivative activity against pathogens greatly increased. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of amide SL-derivatives were generally on a par with tested commercial fungicides. Broader Impacts/Commercial Potential: The broader impacts of this research address the market pull for green agricultural products by developing a bio-pesticide produced via an efficient microbial fermentation followed by simple chemical modification to improve the performance of nature?s molecules. The goal is to create a superior bio-pesticide product that does not harm the environment, is safe for farmers that regularly handle these materials, and to provide safe food for consumers. SyntheZyme bio-pesticides will contribute to the on-going green food-production revolution. Their introduction into the market is expected to replace an increasing fraction of synthetic chemical pesticides during season-long disease control programs. Furthermore, new safe bio-pesticides are needed to replace chemical pesticides now banned due to tightened regulations and increased concerns about their pollution and health hazards.

Principal Investigator:

Thavasi Renga Thavasi

Business Contact:

Thavasi Renga Thavasi
Small Business Information at Submission:

SyntheZyme LLC
6 Metrotech Center Brooklyn, NY 11201-3840

EIN/Tax ID: 264532412
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: Yes