Healthycrop.world ApS is a plant biotechnological spin-out from Aarhus University, specialized in developing economically important agricultural crops that are naturally resistant to fungal infections, particularly to Fusarium and Aspergillus. The resistance enables a reduction in the pre-harvest use of fungicides, and crops are not contaminated, pre- or post-harvest, with fungal toxins, which are hazardous to animals and humans.
The crops obtain fungal resistance by enhanced Nepenthesin Expression (ENE). Nepenthesin is a naturally occurring protease first identified in the pitcher secretions of plants of the Nepenthes genus, a group of carnivorous plants. The resistance mechanism is non-cytotoxic, it works through inhibition of fungal activity of phytase, an enzyme essential for releasing phosphate required for fungal growth. The result is starvation of the fungus and therefore reduced growth and toxin production. As the inhibition mechanism involves multiple interactions between the inhibitor and the enzyme, the risk of rapid development of fungal resistance is therefore considered very low.
Established in 2018.