Crops don’t have it easy: hungry insects feast on their leaves and roots, weeds compete with them for important nutrients, sunlight and space, and fungal diseases damage their leaves and stems. That makes a farmer’s life hard as well: for small-holders in India, for example, growing cauliflower on just a few hectares of land, every cauliflower head they harvest is vital to ensure that they can feed their families. Scientists at Bayer CropScience are therefore developing innovative crop protection agents to protect their plants and help farmers safeguard their harvest yields.
Their work involves testing thousands of substances. Dietmar Kleist and Romy Peters (photo below, left to right), for example, prepare a new culture medium with fungal spores that are then tested on new active substance candidates in automated screening systems.