Field testing proved very successful and in the year 2000 AgResearch released the world's first novel endophyte, AR1.
This little invention was the result of twenty years of research by a team of mycologists, chemists, agronomists, entomologists and horticulturalists. The improvements to New Zealand's pasture and animal health are probably worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year to the country. And stock growth isn't the only potential for endophytes. What about bird strike at airports - a $1.2 billion problem? AgResearch scientist Chris Pennell was flying into London when his plane was hit by bird strike. He began to think about the problem.
Using two new endophytes, AR601 and AR95, Pennell's team made a special seed to controls birds at airports around the world. The grass is resistant to insects and repugnant to birds - so the birds stay away. PGG Wrightson are selling this remarkable invention under the name Avanex all over the world.