Opennatur is a Spain-based company, commercialising, among other products, synthetic pheromones that attract pest insects in fruits, vegetables and also in forestry. ‘Within the BIOCOMES-consortium, we’re one of the relatively smaller companies’, CEO Victor Perdrix says. ‘That makes the collaboration within this consortium extra valuable for us.’
At it’s foundation in 2000, Opennatur already had a strong collaboration with Wageningen University and Research Centre. ‘They produced and possessed one of the biggest international banks of synthetic insect pheromones. Together with the colleagues in Wageningen, we were able to select a number of very specific pheromones that attract selected species of pest insects.’
Monitor, disrupt and trap
The pheromones are used in traps as a monitoring tool, as a means to disrupt the reproduction of pest insects, and also to mass trap insects like the Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata. The company also distributes pheromones that specifically attract pest insects in forestry, such as the pine shoot beetle Tomicus piniperda.
Part in a chain of products
Perdrix stresses that pheromones are a valuable addition in a longer chain of products in Integrated Pest Management against pest insects. ‘We are constantly looking for cooperation with other companies in the consortium that address different stages in the life cycle of insects. For example, in the BIOCOMES consortium we are working together with the Catalonian Institute for Food and Agricultural Research and Technology, to develop a strategy based on Penicillium frequentans and Bacillus subtilis to control Monilinia, the brown rot, in sto