Strain Improvement for Sustainable Agriculture

Overview

What if agriculture could be redesigned from the ground up? Joyn Bio, a joint venture between Ginkgo Bioworks and Leaps by Bayer, is engineering plant microbes to solve growers’ greatest challenges.

JOYN'S MISSION Image

JOYN'S MISSION

Joyn Bio was founded to create sustainable and cost effective solutions for growers—using microbes. Owned jointly by Leaps by Bayer and Ginkgo Bioworks, Joyn leverages Bayer’s expertise in plant biologics and Ginkgo’s automated foundry to revolutionize agriculture. Joyn capitalizes on the power of the plant microbiome to improve strains, from pest control to enhanced nutrient acquisition and resistance to crop disease.

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POWERED BY GINKGO

The plant microbiome is essential for global farming practices, but much of the power of microbes has not yet been tapped into. Primarily housed in Ginkgo’s lab space and backed by Ginkgo’s Foundry, Joyn’s team of microbiologists and engineers can test thousands of samples at a time thanks to high throughput automation. This enables systems-level analysis of thousands of strains isolated from soil and rapid prototyping of engineered strains, which are then tested in greenhouse and field conditions at Joyn’s 12,500 square foot testing facility in Woodland, CA.

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REDUCING NITROGEN FERTILIZER

Joyn’s first challenge is reducing the amount of industrial nitrogen fertilizer used to grow crops like corn, wheat, or rice. The industrial production and application of nitrogen fertilizer uses an estimated 3% of total worldwide natural gas and contributes to 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions. By enabling microbes to produce nitrogen in the roots of non-legume crops that can’t fix nitrogen themselves, Joyn could dramatically decrease agriculture’s environmental and energy footprint. Currently, Joyn is putting their engineered, nitrogen-fixing microbes to the test in field trials throughout the US.

Ginkgo’s foundries enable Joyn Bio to engineer plant microbes for sustainable agriculture at a scale beyond traditional genetic engineering. For more information, visit joynbio.com.