Startup Indigo Aims to Give Rise to Magic Seeds
Indigo, a Cambridge-Massachusetts based startup is claiming that the communities of bacteria living in healthy plants might be the solution to heighten crop yields. Indigo, which was initially known by the name Symbiota has announced that it is currently focusing on developing microbe-based treatments of plants which involves the study of good bacteria and fungi. These microorganisms are collectively known by the term ‘microbiome’ and are naturally found in and around plant habitats.
Indigo’s latest announcement carries the good news that it would be releasing its first two pilot products- microbe based seed coating for two crops. The names of the crops remain undisclosed.
The move by Indigo is not entirely a new one. Many giant seed companies have tried their hand at this feat before too. Firms like Monsanto and Syngenta have launched seed treatments which contain similar microorganism and are even funding research on the same. But Indigo stands out mainly because it focus is on microbes which thrive on the plant tissue, instead of on all bacteria and fungi that are found in and around plants. It seems that it hasn’t been long since the scientists have realized the extent of the benefits of such microbes.
As of now, Indigo has tested these organisms on a myriad of crops, which include cotton, wheat, soy, barley, canola, several types of beans, chickpeas and sorghum. David Perry, the CEO of Indigo pointed out that as a result of these tests, the crop yield could be increased by 10 percent or even more.