Breakthrough Discovery

In 1995 Professor Mark Holland of Salisbury University (University of Maryland system) developed a theory about PPFMs. Conventional wisdom held that these common bacteria were plant contaminants. Professor Holland is a plant biologist. He recognized that bacteria as prevalent as PPFMs must serve an important function.

To test his hypothesis, Holland "cured" seeds by stripping away the PPFM bacteria. He discovered that in the absence of PPFMs, these seeds would not germinate. When the PPFMs were added back to the seeds, he observed that normal germination occurred. When additional PPFMs were added above the baseline population, Holland observed better seed germination, and he noted many other benefits. The findings were patented, and these patents are now part of the NewLeaf Symbiotics portfolio.

How It Works

Rendering of PPFMs

How It Works

PPFM bacteria are found on virtually all plants throughout the world. They are symbiotic with the host plants. PPFMs live off methanol, a natural waste product of plant metabolism. In return they secrete essential nutrients to the plant. Professor Holland's discoveries and subsequent findings demonstrated unequivocally to the scientific community the fundamental importance of PPFMs to the growth of plants.