Edition 23, 2011
Using white biotechnology to develop new crop protection products

The bacterial workshop

  • Optimization team: analyst Dr. Uwe Döller and process researcher Dr. Mark Ford (left to right) have been working hard on the production procedure for the new active ingredient at Bayer CropScience.
  • After examining countless bacteria cultures, two suitable genetically modified variants were discovered and optimized. It is thanks to these micro-organisms that a new crop protection substance can now be manufactured.
zoom
Optimization team: analyst Dr. Uwe Döller and process researcher Dr. Mark Ford (left to right) have been working hard on the production procedure for the new active ingredient at Bayer CropScience.

They start reactions, juggle with groups of atoms and put them together to form larger chemical compounds: molecular tools, which experts also call enzymes or biocatalysts, manage metabolism in cells and work with the precision of a machine. Even though they are just a few thousandths of a millimeter in size, bacteria cells can control hundreds of chemical processes in a very small area. Bayer’s research scientists are using biotechnologically improved bacteria cells to produce substances for crop protection products. These chemical factories of the future are tiny.

Nature’s box of magic tricks
Nature provides countless models for new technologies and has made many micro-organisms into desirable chemical factories in miniature. Bayer’s research scientists are increasingly opening the box of biotechnology magic tricks and tweaking their talented helpers to boost their performance. For example, the new herbicide Alion™ might have failed at the development stage without these efficient tiny beings.

Read this article to find out how they finally managed to optimize the manufacturing process:

Last updated: December 12, 2013  Copyright © Bayer AG
http://research.bayer-genuine.com