It all started 15 years ago with an apricot.
Dr Phil Elmer, from Plant and Food Research, spotted an unusual micro-organism on the fruit and thought it might just be worth saving for another day.
He was right.
Less than a millilitre was kept in a freezer at minus 80 degress and now that micro-organism is helping protect kiwifruit vines from the vine killing disease PSA.
It has been developed into an environmentally-friendly spray that, if it is applied a week before a vine is exposed to the PSA bacteria, can reduce the signs of the disease by 30 to 50 percent.