Sri BioAesthetics developed a translational technology platform called MyAgriBiome.
MyAgriBiome is an innovative platform which allows, to efficiently capture and screen the most diverse and unique microbial collection and develop products for agriculturally relevant applications. The idea is to restructure/reengineer the crop microbiome (microbiome engineering) for improving and sustaining the nutrient supply in the soils and enhancing the health and yield of crops through sustainable practices based on microbial technologies.
Understanding the role of microbiome in improvement of crop productivity is the first step in microbiome engineering. Microbes interact with the plant in different regions, they either live inside the root, outside the root or on the plant. These ecological niches facilitate the communication or interaction between the microbes and plant. Host mediated selection, bioengineering of endophytes, inoculation into soil and rhizosphere, seed priming and seed dipping and direct injection into tissues are considered effective strategies to engineer microorganisms and increase crop productivity. The plant microbiome has the ability to alter the physiology of the plant and help in growth and development alongside providing resistance against diseases and improving tolerance to various harsh environmental conditions like drought, salinity and chemical contamination.
However, not every microbe present in the microbiome holds the capability to do so. Only few microbial species can be exploited for their plant growth promoting abilities. Consequently, 200 microbiome samples from all the major crops were collected and 800 microbial strains were using isolated and characterized using high-throughput screening methods like culturomic, phenomic, genomic, metabolomic, proteomic analysis methods to explore the roles and functions like nitrogen fixing, carbon sequestration, biofortification, phytohormone production, plant disease suppression, insect pest management, abiotic stress mitigation, phytoremediation of the various microbes and substances released by the microbes, to understand microbe-microbe interactions, microbe-environment interactions and microbe-plant interactions to establish a functional microbial bank.
Like we all know, different crops in varied environmental conditions have different microbial communities which show diverse functions and capabilities. The idea is to transfer these valuable functions and traits to the crops which lack them to improve their health and productivity. It is possible to enhance yields of a specific crop without altering its genetic constituency, if a functional microbial bank (FMB) for that specific crop is established with well characterized microbiota from a varied agro-ecological habitat. FMB should have mixed and wide range of functional characteristics like nutrient absorption and assimilation, abiotic and biotic stresses management characteristics to make up a wholesome microbiome.
The delivery systems of the engineered microbiomes are designed to apply as per the package and practices of a specific crop and the site of application. Delivery systems can be a wettable powder, water soluble concentrate, granular formulation, a liquid, tablet, capsule or injectable comprising of single or consortia of plant growth promoting microbes, biocontrol agents and biopesticides.