In the pipeline: Botrytis

Botrytis cinerea, which causes grey mold and bunch rot, is an ever-present global threat for fresh fruit and vegetables. It is a major pathogen and causes disease in more than 1,400 cultivated species, affects 80% of crops grown, and can result in up to 30% yield loss. 

Even greater losses can occur when Botrytis develops en route to the consumer. Given how frequently crops such as grapes, berries, and onions need to be sprayed, resistance to existing chemical fungicides can build quickly and produce can carry residues of multiple products. 

Botrytis has long been a target for new biological fungicides, but excessive rain or humidity can affect conventional solutions.

GreenLight Bio’s technology can help. Field trials using our dsRNA design sequences in 2021 in the US and Europe show that our first potential fungicide product reduced Botrytis levels on strawberries. Trials at two sites show reduction in disease severity compared to untreated check.

We anticipate two to three more years of product development with the goal of launching our first in-season product in 2027, subject to regulatory approval.