his Small Business Phase Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase I project will investigate microencapsulation technology, including microencapsulated phase change materials (microPCMs), to improve biological control of soilborne plant diseases. Success in this program would enhance the potential of using this technology in a broad range of biocontrol arenas. Previous research has demonstrated that microPCM(s) can significantly improve bioherbicide efficacy through microclimate regulation. Biocontrol organisms for plant diseases have environmental constraints (moisture and temperature) to practical application. Additionally, many of these organisms also lack a suitable carrier or delivery system. The technology proposed in this program will address these constraints by providing supplemental moisture, supplemental nutrients and temperature regulation to a viable biocontrol bacterium that is encapsulated inside a protective capsule. Innovative microencapsulation techniques will combine water, microPCMs and nutrients in a form that can be delivered to seeds or vegetative cuttings. The key objectives of the Phase I project are as follows : (1) to evaluate compatibility of microencapsulated materials, (2) to design and to fabricate water microcapsules and microPCMs, (3) to encapsulate a test biocontrol bacterium, and 4) to evaluate these formulations individually or in combination with the test bacterium to control soilborne diseases in selected crops.
The commercial applications of this project will be in the huge, multibillion dollar market for materials needed to control soilborne diseases in flowers and in crops such as corn, soybeans, cotton, grain sorghum and rice.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Agricultural Research Initiatives Inc.
10052 Hwy 206 West Harrison, AR 72601
Number of Employees: