Innovative processes against harmful fungus

Feared worldwide, soybean rust can destroy as much as 80 percent of a soybean harvest. Once infected, the fungus transforms healthy soybean plants into red, burnt-looking stalks within a week. The fungicide Flint, developed by Bayer CropScience, successfully fights soybean rust. It works by combining two active substances, the first of which disrupts the metabolism of the fungus and thus its energy balance, while the second prevents new cell membranes forming, inhibiting its growth.

Bayer Technology Services has now used its expertise to make the production of one of these active substances even more efficient. This optimized process is currently being implemented at the Swiss production site in Muttenz. The wide-ranging fungicide is used today in around 100 crops – alongside soybeans, also in the cultivation of vegetables, vines, berries, pomes, and hops, for example.

Magnified 4,500 times, scanning electron microscopy reveals here a rust fungus spore poking its germ tube through a gap in a soybean leaf.

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