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Mologic Ltd.. (6/13/18). "Press Release: Mologic and Newcastle University Launch BReD Diagnostic for Blackgrass Resistance at Cereals". Bedfordshire & Newcastle.

Organisations Organisation Mologic Ltd.
  Group Mologic (Group)
  Organisation 2 Institute for Agri-Food Research and Innovation (IAFRI) (GB)
  Group University of Newcastle (Newcastle University)
Products Product BReD real-time lateral flow test (for blackgrass resistance at cereals)
  Product 2 herbicide
Person Person Brooker, Mitch (Mologic Ltd 201806 General Manager)

Rapid, one-step, lateral flow test for real-time detection of herbicide resistance in blackgrass

Mologic Ltd, a developer of personalised diagnostics, and Newcastle University, today announced they have developed an on-farm blackgrass resistance diagnostic (BReD). The one-step, rapid lateral flow product for detecting glutathione transferase (AmGSTF1) concentrations in blackgrass has been developed by Mologic based on pioneering work on the chemical control of this weed carried out by Prof Rob Edwards’ research group at Newcastle University. Obtaining clear information on herbicide resistance via a quick and simple test empowers the farm to make informed decisions to save time and costs.

Blackgrass (Alopecurus myosuroides) is a major agronomic problem in weed control for UK growers, with multiple herbicide resistance leading to losses in national wheat production estimated at £0.5 billion a year. Current testing methods require seeds or plants to be sent off site for herbicide screening, resulting in delays in making informed decisions about control options. BReD allows farmers and agronomists to map non-target site herbicide resistance in blackgrass populations across the farm, providing information for growers to make immediate adjustments to blackgrass control and giving rapid feedback on the effectiveness of weed control measures.

BReD uses Mologic’s lateral flow technology to detect levels of AmGSTF1, a quantitative functional biomarker of non-target site resistance (NTSR), found in high concentrations in populations of blackgrass that have evolved resistance to multiple classes of herbicides. If the AmGSTF1 protein is present, an intense red band appears in a small window on the hand-held device within 5 minutes.

Mitch Brooker, General Manager at Mologic said: “Mologic has a proud history in forming lasting partnerships with both academic and commercial organisations. We are excited to bring BReD to the field as this is the first non-IVD product to be taken from development through to manufacture and commercialisation by our team. Mologic plans to advance towards extending its portfolio of innovative agricultural diagnostic devices.”

“Working with Prof Edwards and his colleagues at Newcastle University has provided access to pioneering research, which when combined with our innovative lateral flow technology has enabled us to deliver BReD, a world first in on-farm technologies, giving agronomists and farmers a real measure of the degree of non-target site herbicide resistance in their blackgrass populations and enabling the farm to make informed decisions.”

BReD is founded on 20 years of research into the chemical control of this weed carried out by Rob Edwards’ research group.

Prof Rob Edwards, Professor of Agriculture and Director of the Institute for Agri-Food Research and Innovation (IAFRI) at Newcastle University said:

“Early-indication diagnostic tests are common place in medicine, such as for pregnancy or diabetes, and are used to help people make decisions much earlier on with the aim of improving the long-term outcome. It should be no different in agriculture.”

“This new diagnostic tool marks an important step in our fight against resistance, using the latest research to deliver solutions in crop protection.”

“It is an approach we have termed ‘personalised agriculture’ and BReD represents the first in a series of diagnostics we are working on to counteract resistance and emerging disease in the agricultural setting.”

Prof Edwards’ research was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), as part of the Black-Grass Resistance Initiative (BGRI;, a partnership with Rothamsted Research, Sheffield and York Universities and the Institute of Zoology.

BReD will be on display at Cereals (13-14 June in Duxford, Cambridgeshire) on the CHAP stand, next to the Fera marquee (booth #401) and Newcastle University’s booth #215.

To find out more about Mologic visit:


Notes to Editors

Mologic blackgrass resistant diagnostic (BReD) test

Mologic’s BReD lateral flow technology

For a high-resolution image please contact

Media contacts


Sarah Jeffery, Zyme Communications
+44 (0)7771 730919

Newcastle University

Professor Rob Edwards, Institute Director, IAFRI
+44 (0)191 208 6869

Louella Houldcroft, Senior Communications Manager, Newcastle University
+44 (0)191 208 5108/+44 (0)7989 850511

About Mologic

Mologic Ltd develops powerful, personalised diagnostics to improve the lives of patients. With a scientific team expert in translating science into practical solutions, the Company delivers technology where it is needed, to improve patient care and quality of life, breaking new ground in exciting fields of research. Mologic is focused on collaboration, partnerships and diversity and its innovative approach has generated an advanced portfolio of accurate and reliable point-of-care diagnostic tools for a variety of conditions, including COPD, diabetes, sepsis, UTIs, malignancies, inflammatory and respiratory conditions, and renal disease.

Led by co-founders Paul Davis, CSO, and Mark Davis, CEO, the Company’s broad range of skills and experience covers services from innovation to manufacture, including molecular engineering, assay and reagent development, clinical evaluation, antibodies, research and IP. Mologic’s low-volume manufacturing facility (ISO13485 certified) enables the business to take on almost any project challenge, irrespective of size, complexity or stage. Through professional partnerships, products have achieved high-volume manufacturing, distribution and regulatory support globally.

Mologic’s interests extend beyond human healthcare, with active programs in agricultural diagnostics, large animal studies and vaccine innovation, successfully translating their advances in patient technology to other sectors.

About Institute for Agri-Food Research and Innovation

Institute for Agri-Food Research and Innovation (IAFRI) is a joint venture between Newcastle University and Fera Science Ltd (Fera). IAFRI represents a new model for how universities can work with research organisations. It operates under a private-public ownership to deliver both innovation and wealth creation in strategically important industrial sectors in the UK. It does this while operating for the benefit of society.

IAFRI operates out of two main locations. Fera’s main site, based at the National Agri-Food Innovation Campus (Sand Hutton, North Yorkshire), and the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (AFRD). In particular, the research is based at Newcastle University’s city campus and on the two research farms (Nafferton and Cockle Park) in Northumberland.

About blackgrass

> Blackgrass occurs throughout much of Europe but is a particular problem in the more western countries of England, France, Germany and parts of Belgium and the Netherlands.

> Blackgrass is an annual grass-weed propagated solely by seeds. The number of heads per plant varies between 2-20 heads/plant and each head contains about 100 seeds. With populations of 500 heads/m2 seed return can easily exceed 50,000/m2.

> Blackgrass germinates at the same time as winter wheat in October and can seriously reduce crop yields through competition for nutrients, especially nitrogen.

> Blackgrass arrived in the UK with wheat and barley during the Bronze Age but was not considered to be a major weed until the late 1980s.

> Herbicide-resistant populations of blackgrass have been confirmed in many countries and are now widespread in England and increasing in France and Germany.

> Herbicide resistance is inherited and occurs through selection of plants that survive herbicide treatment. With repeated selection, resistant plants multiply until they dominate the population.

Record changed: 2018-06-20


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