Startup of the Month: Pheronym (Comstock's)

Startup of the Month: Pheronym

Pheronym has incubated at both UF Innovate incubators, The Hub and Sid Martin Biotech, but also has a presence in California.

Nematodes pose a conundrum to farmers. The worm-like microscopic creatures are everywhere. Some are parasitic, infecting plants and destroying crops — but others actually attack insect pests. The ability to target the “bad” while leaving the “good” unharmed would be a boon for agricultural production.

That’s the mission at Pheronym, a Davis-based agriculture biotech startup cofounded by Fatma Kaplan, who has a Ph.D. in plant molecular and cellular biology, and postdoctoral training in natural product chemistry with a focus on isolating biologically active compounds. Pheronym has created two nontoxic solutions that use pheromones — chemical substances produced by animals — to control nematode behavior.

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