Davis, Callif.-based Marrone Organic Innovations Inc. introduced Regalia SC, a biological pesticide that controls both fungal and bacterial diseases on a host of crops.

Among the diseases it targets are late blight, bacterial spot and speck of tomatoes, target spot and powdery mildew.

Regalia prevents these diseases by switching on the plant's own natural defense mechanisms so plants produce and accumulate higher levels of natural proteins and other compounds that inhibit disease development, according to a news release.

This unique mode of action provides the same level of control expected from conventional fungicides, according to the news release.

The product, which the Environmental Protection Agency registered, is an extract of giant knotweed, Reynoutria sachalinensis..

Compounds extracted from the knotweed have been proven to stimulate the crops' natural defense system against plant pathogens. More than 100 field trials have demonstrated the product's performance.

The product was originally developed by North Carolina-based KHH Biosci Inc. from technology discovered at BASF and spun out into KHH. Marrone purchased the assets of KHH in early 2008, including patents, trademarks, EPA registrations, formulation and manufacturing technology, and field trial data.

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