Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBII) (MBI), a leading provider of bio-based pest management and plant health products for the agriculture, turf and ornamental and water treatment markets, announced that it has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Solenis, a global expert in water treatment and process chemistries, to provide Zequanox® molluscicide treatment programs for enclosed and semi-enclosed water systems in North America.
Zequanox molluscicide is a patented, naturally derived aquatic biopesticide that effectively controls all life stages of invasive zebra and quagga mussels. The molluscicide is manufactured by MBI, at the company’s plant in Michigan and, now supplied exclusively by Solenis in the North America for industrial water applications, including hydroelectric facilities.
The active ingredient in Zequanox molluscicide is derived from the dead cells of a specific strain of the naturally occurring bacteria Pseudomonas fluorescens (Pf). Pf is one of the most common bacteria in the world and is present naturally in soil, in water and on plants. Strains of Pf bacteria are regularly used in production of medicines, enzymes and food. Zequanox is not genetically modified.
Extensive studies with Zequanox molluscicide have been conducted on numerous aquatic and terrestrial species, with no indication of any harmful effects when used as instructed. The molluscicide is food tolerance exempt and deemed safe for use on food crops and in drinking water in the United States.
Unlike other molluscicides, EPA has determined that Zequanox is of negligible risk to humans, with minimal re-entry intervals and PPE requirements. Zequanox is non-corrosive to pipes and has no detrimental effects to water quality.
Currently, Zequanox is registered in 37 states for both enclosed system and open water uses where zebra and/or quagga mussels are present, or where the threat of future infestation exists. The product is also registered in California for enclosed and semi-enclosed systems. Moreover, the product is approved throughout Canada for use in hydroelectric power facilities.
Facts About Zequanox
- Zequanox is composed of dead cells from a naturally occurring strain of the bacteria Pseudomonas fluorescens (Pf). Zebra and quagga mussels perceive Zequanox as a non-threatening food source and consume it readily, along with their normal diet. Once ingested, Zequanox causes their digestive lining to deteriorate, resulting in death.
- Mussel mortality begins within a couple of days after treatment and continues for several weeks following exposure to the product.
- Pf as a species have a long history of use in the production of food and pharmaceuticals. It is a species commonly used in the production of fermented food products, such as yogurt.
- The particular Pf strain used to make Zequanox was isolated from river mud in New York state on a body of water that had notably lower zebra and quagga mussel populations when compared to surrounding bodies of water.
- Funding for the initial research to discover Zequanox was supported by the State of New York, the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, with the goal of finding dreissenid mussel controls that were of lower risk to humans, the environment and water quality than products currently in use.
- Extensive research, both in the laboratory and the field, have demonstrated Zequanox’s efficacy against invasive mussels, little risk to non-target species—including native unionid mussels and important game fish—and no lasting impacts to water quality.
- In collaboration with MBI, these studies have been completed by a number of institutions including the U.S. Geological Survey, the New York State Museum, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Missouri State University and Southern Illinois University, as well as a variety of independent laboratories, among others.