Ginkgo Microbe Services for Agriculture

Ginkgo Ferment 2023, Platform Presentation:

Ginkgo’s Head of Agricultural Biologicals, Magalie Guilhabert, PhD covers how innovators can address the challenges growers face in today’s world, leveraging Ginkgo’s platform to discover new biological products and traits and optimize for performance and consistency.

Watch the full presentation here or read below for a summary.


Growers face unprecedented challenges. As climate change introduces new stressors, consumer preferences shift, and government regulations change accordingly, growers need to serve larger populations without increasing land under cultivation.

Agricultural technology companies have long looked to biology to develop solutions for growers: from novel plant traits to microbes and microbially-produced active ingredients that deliver crop nutrition and crop protection. These innovators are under pressure to deliver high-performing, consistent, and safe biological products. Their path to commercialization is rife with technical, regulatory, and adoption risk.

Our microbial services can de-risk innovation in three ways:

  • Better starting points with wild-type biology

With a microbial library of >200,000 strains, a metagenomic database spanning 5B+ genes and the computational pipeline to screen this data for new active ingredients and traits, Ginkgo aims to provide innovators with better starting points for new products. We believe our discovery services increase the likelihood of finding lead candidates quickly.

  • Higher performance with optimization and engineering services

With ultra-high throughput screening capabilities, Ginkgo can unlock the full potential of mutagenesis-led strain optimization. Our rapid strain optimization services can test millions of strains in one campaign for a variety of phenotypes: increased small molecule and protein secretion, enzyme specificity, binding affinity, and growth characteristics under defined conditions. Screening at this scale can help innovators find the needle in the haystack fast, delivering higher performing candidates in less than a year.

Through 15 years of partner-driven and highly automated R&D, Ginkgo has amassed functional data across many protein and pathway designs. We believe this proprietary data enables Ginkgo to intelligently engineer strains and proteins for higher performance. We use machine learning-led protein engineering to curate the set of protein and pathway designs that are most likely to achieve the target outcome. We test these designs in our automated labs, iterating to push the boundaries of performance.

  • Improved consistency with formulation and scale-up services

Growers value products that stay stable on the shelf and unleash potent active ingredients once they’re in the field. Confirming consistent performance often requires testing products in the field. To serve this need, Ginkgo’s formulation and scale-up services combine in planta testing, shelf stability studies, and formulation prototyping across a range of product concepts.

Once we’ve validated product performance and stability in growth chambers, micro plots, or greenhouses, we iterate on fermentation process conditions to help achieve cost-effective production. By using our pilot scale facilities, we believe growers will benefit from our fermentation process translating into industrial scale production.

With Ginkgo’s formulation and scale-up services, innovators can mitigate the risk of products failing in the field, during manufacturing, or on the shelf after performing well in the lab.

Find out more about our biologicals services today!

What will you grow with Ginkgo?

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