PlantResponse™ was interviewed by El Mundo for the newspaper´s Innovation Division section covering the economy and innovative companies.
PlantResponse improves vegetable production up to 30%
All living organisms, including vegetables, try to adapt to the environment in which they live. In some areas, however, climate change and massive industrialization have changed the conditions to which they were accustomed. For this reason, scientists and farmers pursue advances that improve the efficiency of crops with better productivity ratios. For example, PlantResponse has develop a vaccine that activates plant´s self-defense mechanism naturally without any chemical synthesis.
“We use approximations to detect certain molecules that plants produce and that modify their physiognomy. In this way, we study how these molecules are recognized and which routes are activated,” explains Antonio Molina, cofounder of PlantResponse and Professor of Biotechnology at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.
PlantResponse has developed a product derived from chitin, found in the cell wall of fungi, with a recognition mechanism applicable to a crop. Thus, plants have a receptor that activates its defense mechanism.
“It is as if they were vaccinated on alert. Thanks to this advance, crops improve their productivity between 10% and 30% in produces such as tomato, garlic or onion”, added Molina.
The company thus achieved what is known as activation of metabolites. Hence, plants react to certain circumstances, such as cold, drought, or excess heat, and behave better under those environmental stress conditions.
“We have managed to grow plants with significant reductions in water supply”, explains Eduardo Quemada, CEO and shareholder of PlantResponse.
Like any agricultural product, this product can be applied in different ways depending on the type of crop to which it is targeted.
“Thanks to our Fast-Track platform we are able to develop products much faster. Unlike other companies, we do not use synthetic chemical products, but work with molecules that already exist in nature,” says Molina.
Quemada concludes “The company has a strong scientific approach. We look for causes and modes of action, and this way we have approached the market to science because the farmer sees that their harvests improve.”