[Source: PRNewswire] – SenesTech, Inc. has initiatedfield trials of its platform technology on the Indonesian island of Java incontinuing research collaboration with international partners.
After meeting with Dr. Grant Singleton of the International RiceResearch Institute in Manila, Philippines, Drs. Loretta Mayer and CherylDyer of SenesTech, Inc. will join Dr. Lyn Hinds of the AustralianCommonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) andDr. Sudarmaji of the Indonesian Rice Research Council (IRRC) at the fieldtesting site of the IRRC in Sukamundi, Java. The group will initiate thefirst field trials of the active ingredient in ContraPest(R). This 21stcentury alternative to rat poison will be used to cause permanentreproductive failure in female rice field rats (Rattus argentiventer).
The environmentally neutral active ingredient in ContraPest(R) targetsthe ovaries of female rats, and selectively destroys early-stage egg cells.When these cells become inactive after exposure to ContraPest(R), theycannot mature, the animal can no longer ovulate, and the effect on rodentpest populations can be dramatic. These rodent pests can eat or damage upto 50% of a rice crop in Southeast Asia. Just a 10% increase in crop yielddue to less rodent damage will result in feeding up to 380 million morepeople per year.
“Field testing in the agricultural environment where ContraPest(R) willbe applied is a significant step forward in our product developmentprocess,” said Everett Hale, CEO of SenesTech, Inc. “Collecting data fromthe rice fields on our first target species gives us the right informationto design the best product possible.”
Field trials with the rice fields on Java coincide with the annual riceplanting and harvesting cycles. SenesTech, Inc. and its partners areplanning more field testing in March and April 2009.