German chemical giant Bayer has entered into an agreement with Canadian agriculture biotech company MustGrow to commercialise bio-pesticides from mustard seed, according to Biomarket Insights.

As part of the agreement, Bayer will test MustGrow’s products and the will also have the option of acquiring exclusive rights to MustGrow technologies for pre-plant soil fumigation, bio-herbicide applications, and post-harvest potato preservation in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

In return, Bayer would fund MustGrow’s laboratory work, field development, regulatory work and market development for commercialisation, the report said.

MustGrow’s patented TerraMG is a pre-plant soil bio-fumigant for pests that is derived from food-grade mustard seed, which harbour natural defence mechanisms against diseases and pests. The compounds within the TerraMG liquid react to produce allyl isothiocyanate (AITC), which disrupts cell function in target pests. The product has weed-killing properties by using a molecule called ionic thiocyanate (SCN-) which, when absorbed, starves a plant of iron, an essential nutrient.

MustGrow said it had conducted field trials in North and South America showing its products were effective against pests in multiple crops.

“Working with a leading global agricultural company like Bayer, which is focused on sustainable agriculture, is a tremendous opportunity for our organisation to see our technologies develop globally,” MustGrow CEO Corey Giasson said.