Press Release
October 2, 2018

St. Louis Based Pluton Biosciences Signs Research and License Agreement with Terramera to Test Novel Discoveries using Bacteria for Insect Control

St. Louis Based Pluton Biosciences Signs Research and License Agreement with Terramera to Test Novel Discoveries using Bacteria for Insect Control  

St. Louis, MO (October 2, 2018) - Pluton Biosciences, a biotechnology company in St. Louis, Mo., has used its Micromining™ research platform to discover two new bacteria with novel insecticidal properties. In April, the company formalized its discovery by filing a U.S. Provisional Patent Application on the insect inhibitory microbial composition of bacteria “PLU1” and “PLU2”. Pluton has now entered into an agreement with Terramera, the global leader in Technology for Clean Food, to test these and other Pluton discoveries.

Terramera will combine Pluton’s discoveries with Terramera’s Actigate™ Targeted Performance technology, and test them for commercial viability as a natural control against three key classes of agricultural pests.

Pluton utilized Micromining™ to find, isolate and identify PLU1 and PLU2 by testing selected populations of microbes against larvae of the mosquito Aedes aegypti. Aedes has made news in recent years as the primary carrier of the Zika virus.  Additionally, Aedes is a vector for transmitting yellow and dengue fevers and the viral disease Chikungunya.

Micromining is an industry-disrupting platform that allows Pluton’s team to discover new microbial solutions rapidly and inexpensively by “mining” microbes from the soil. It took Pluton’s team just three months to discover the new bacteria and their insecticidal properties. For comparison, over the past thirty years, only two bacteria have been used worldwide as insecticides against mosquitoes.  

“I am thrilled that the Pluton and Terramera teams are partnering together. Our core competency is discovery of new and useful bioactives while Terramera excels at targeting improved performance of bioactives to create environmentally sound products with superior efficacy. I couldn’t ask for a better match for our first collaboration,” said Charlie Walch, CEO of Pluton Biosciences.

As Terramera finds combinations of Pluton’s and Terramera’s technologies that are commercially viable, Terramera will exercise an exclusive commercial license with Pluton to continue to develop those leads into new biopesticides for use in agriculture.  

“We are excited about this opportunity”, said Joe Sobek, GM for Ag Innovation at Terramera. “Both companies are committed to delivering sustainable new tools that significantly improve how we can protect people and crops against a wide variety of pests and diseases. We are confident that bringing these two technology platforms together will result in exceptional, sustainable new products.”

Terramera is Pluton’s partner in agriculture; however, Pluton intends to develop their discovery into a mosquito larvicide.

“Mosquitoes kill over 725,000 people a year worldwide, making them the number one killer of humans in the animal kingdom,” said Walch. “Pluton has identified additional partners to help turn our discovery into a larvicide that can safely improve mosquito control efforts both at home and abroad.”

To learn more about Terramera and its commitment to growing clean food and increasing global agricultural yields with natural materials and technology, visit: or call 1-800-597-9509. You can also connect with them on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

For more information about Pluton Biosciences and its dedication to making new microbial discoveries to ensure a sustainable future for our world, visit: or call 314-575-8355. You can also connect with them on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

About Pluton Biosciences

Founded in 2017, Pluton is a targeted discovery company dedicated to finding and licensing novel next-generation microbial leads to established makers of innovative bioproducts in the pesticide, agriculture, pharmaceutical, and bioremediation industries. By Micromining Nature’s Solutions™ the Pluton Biosciences team aspires to be a global leader in biosolution discovery.

For more information about Pluton Biosciences, contact:

Jaci Rothe

Cork Tree Creative, Inc.


About Terramera®  

Terramera is a global leader in technology for clean food with a mission to increase global yields while decreasing synthetic chemical loads, so we can grow affordable clean food for everyone. Terramera develops high-performance natural alternatives to synthetic chemical pesticides and fertilizers. We are committed to cultivating safe, healthy homes and environments, and developing highly-effective natural products for consumers and farmers. Terramera uses technology to unlock the power in nature, so we can live healthier, make clean food affordable and feed the world.

For information about Terramera, contact:

Jessica Wolford

Director of Corporate Priorities | Terramera


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