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Photosynthetic Harvest Inc. Harnesses The Power Of Nature's Chemical Factories,,By "Milking" Green Plants For Valuable Natural Products

defense mechanism: chemistry. Over their evolutionary history, plants have developed extremely effective "biological warfare" capabilities for protection against stresses. Plants are most vulnerable in the "root zone", the area of the most intensive biological competition, where they are continually exposed to a plethora of potential invaders such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, insects, and other plant roots, as well as physical and environmental stresses. Each unique species of plant produces a wide range of novel compounds in response to different stimuli from each unique stress. With more than 250,000 plant species in the world, and with untold numbers of different stresses, or "elicitors", one can begin to appreciate the extent of the biological diversity within PHI's grasp.

This stimulation, or "elicitation" process, is a key component of PHI's proprietary technology. "It's biological mimicry at its finest," says Ira Pastor, PHI Director of Marketing. "For example, when we expose a series of plant species to a unique bacterial elicitor, the plants secrete a set of compounds that contain novel antibiotics, potentially effective against the drug-resistant bacterial strains that are currently emerging. When we expose a similar set of plants to a unique insect elicitor, the plants secrete a set of compounds containing novel biopesticides. Most importantly, these elicitors also evoke the secretion of a wide range of compounds with novel, unexpected activity, such as anti-cancer."

Several pharmaceutical and agribusiness firms have taken notice of PHI's technology, and have begun partnering with PHI to test its growing RhizEx compound library for a variety of applications.

"Companies understand the clear advantages of our process over older practices of natural product discovery," says Pastor. "Conventional methods of harvesting, drying and shipping plant parts from around the globe, followed by extensive chemical extraction, have major deficiencie
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Contact: Ira S. Pastor
ipastor@phiroots.com
609-835-1600
Photosynthetic Harvest Inc.
19-Jun-1998


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