Mosquitoes, ticks, and other bugs have become resistant to pesticides. Pyrone Systems has engineered yeast to produce triacetic acid lactone (TAL), a versatile molecule that can be converted into many different products.
Their first product is pogostone, a natural insectide, normally found in the patchouli plant. This substance is non-toxic to birds and bees but it will kill mosquitoes. Yeast provide a great option for producing the building block for pogostone. According to the video, it would take fields four times the size of Texas to grow enough patchouli to meet the need for this biological insecticide. Imagine an area four times the size of Texas that smells like a Grateful Dead concert.
Learn about other companies working on biopesticides.