Agri-Bio Technology Section

About Agri-Bio Technology Section

As a part of our approach toward global food issues, we have set up a research base in our Group company, Tsukuba Research & Technology Center, SDS Biotech K.K. to conduct joint research and development of pesticides that protect crops from pests and weeds and contribute to stable food production. Among them, the Agri-Bio Technology Section is working on the development of biological pesticides containing useful microorganisms as active ingredients, based on research on microbial applications that we have been conducting since the late 1960s. At the same time, we are also conducting research on the use of useful microorganisms as functional feed materials for livestock. In order to realize "contributions to safe and secure food" from both the agricultural and livestock sectors, we are promoting the development of products that can compete globally, while actively incorporating advanced technologies through open innovation.

External View of the Laboratories Building

Main Activities / Research Contents - 01 Development of Biological Pesticides

We conduct research to select useful bacteria and natural products that can be applied to biological pesticides, utilizing a library of microorganisms and plant-derived natural products that exist in the natural world, and high-throughput screening technologies such as confrontation culture with pathogenic bacteria and reporter genes. In addition to evaluating the efficacy of selected microorganisms and natural products through disease control tests on crops and pest control tests on insects and nematodes, we are also actively incorporating metabolomics analysis and biosynthetic gene cluster analysis technologies for candidate microorganisms through joint research with universities and other research institutions. In this way, we are aiming at the development of biological pesticides with higher technological capabilities. In addition, we are developing technologies for spreading and energy saving so that existing biological pesticides can be more effective at production sites, as well as improving the formulations of existing products.

Development of Biological Agrochemicals

Main Activities / Research Contents - 02 Development of Functional Feed Materials for Livestock

We are conducting research on functional feed materials for livestock using microorganisms and natural products, with our own proprietary Bacillus subtilis strain DB9011 and cashew nut shell extracts as the core technology for improving the microbiome* of livestock. We are using a variety of technologies, including co-culture tests with harmful bacteria in the microbiome, comprehensive analysis of the microbiome using next-generation sequencers, cutting-edge bioinformatics analysis through joint research with universities, and model test systems that mimic the intestinal tract and ruminant stomach of livestock, to elucidate the full impact of our products on livestock and to promote the development of materials that contribute to the breeding of livestock that do not rely on antibiotics. In addition to collecting samples from farms and verifying the knowledge gained from these activities, we are also working to make more effective use of our products by providing feedback of data to customers.
* Microbiome: A collection of microorganisms that coexist with the host. The microbiome is known to have a wide range of effects on the health of the host.

Development of Functional Feed Materials

Main Activities / Research Contents - 03 Development of High Efficiency Microbial Production Technology

In order to implement in society useful microorganisms discovered through basic research, we are developing cultivation technologies to increase the productivity (proliferation) and stability of microorganisms, and formulation technologies to increase their efficacy and ease of use. Our research is characterized by the handling of a wide range of species, and we have accumulated know-how on the liquid and solid cultivation of common rods such as Bacillus subtilis, as well as actinomycetes and filamentous bacteria. For actual production on a scale of thousands to tens of thousands of liters, we collaborate with partner companies and jointly conduct scale-up studies to the actual equipment level based on our know-how.

Development of High-efficiency Production Technology

Main Activities / Research Contents - 04 Improvement of Quality Control Technology

In addition to developing products based on the discovery of the utility of natural products, we are also working to improve our inspection techniques as well as quality control by skilled inspectors in order to ensure that the benefits of our products are delivered to our customers. For products such as biological pesticides, the number of microorganisms present in the product is critical to its effectiveness. We are developing stable quantitative testing methods by optimizing the dispersion, dilution, and cultivation of various microorganisms used in our products. We are working to improve the skills of our inspectors by continuously training them in the inspection methods we have developed in this way.

Quality Management

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2-1 Midorigahara, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki, 300-2646, Japan
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