Microbiomes are communities of microbes — microscopic organisms so tiny that millions of them can fit onto the head of a pin.
They are the oldest form of life on earth and found in, on, and around every living thing — from humans and humpback whales, to molds and maple trees.
Microbes help sustain life in all its forms. In fact, without these invisible companions, life as we know it wouldn’t exist.
Human microbiomes can be thought of as a community of nonhuman cells that assist in maintaining processes for a healthy body.
Microbiomes can be impacted by different environments and everyday factors including age, health, diet, medicine, and more.
Plants also have microbiomes, which are found on leaves, soil and inside the plant itself.
Like human microbes, plant microbes can be impacted by their environment including heat and drought, chemicals such as pesticides, and even soil conditions.
The microbes found inside plants work together in harmony with the host to fight diseases, increase nutrient intake and improve water use efficiency. At Indigo, we identify which of these microbes are most vital to a plant’s health.
Plants rely on a vast array of natural, beneficial microbes to support their health and productivity. The community of microbes living in and around a plant—its microbiome—works in harmony with the plant to provide life-sustaining benefits throughout the plant’s lifecycle. They help the plant absorb nutrients in the soil and bolster its resilience to environmental stresses.
Inspired by insights from the human microbiome, Indigo started with the hypothesis that microbes living inside the plant (endosymbionts) are vital to their health. But we found that some of these important microbes were being reduced by modern agricultural practices. By using sophisticated genomic sequencing and computational bioinformatics, Indigo has assembled what we believe is the world’s largest database of genomic information from these microbes.
We apply algorithms and machine learning to this database to predict which microbes are most beneficial to the plant’s health. The resulting products complement a plant’s natural processes to improve health and development across each phase of life, while boosting crop yields.