In a field of possibilities
To control the massive use of chemical pesticides in France, a team of researchers believes they have found an alternative in micro-algae. As a result of samples taken from the French coast, several strains of micro-algae showed surprising capacities. Based on a defence mechanism common to many living beings, RNA silencing, researchers have demonstrated the ability of plants to ramp up their immune system.
Extract D, a micro-algae discovered in Brittany, has revealed its ability to directly kill plant pathogens. Following this discovery, Lionel Navarro and the agronomist Laurent de Castro founded the start-up Immunrise to market this product. If they proved harmless to humans and the environment, microalgae could reduce France's dependence on pesticides and thus help meet the requirements of France's Ecophyto 2 programme.