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Crop plants of the future will fix nitrogen using synthetic biology

In 2018 we used an estimated 117 million tons of nitrogen in the form of fertilizers. The main source of this fertilizer is the Haber process, an industrial chemical reaction that takes place under high pressure and temperature, and requires the consumption of natural gas. Given that 78% of atmospheric air is molecular nitrogen, this seems like a terrible misuse of resources. The problem is that plants cannot use nitrogen directly from the atmosphere, but extract it from the soil in the form of nitrates or ammonia.

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Forbes

5 Innovations Changing the Future of Food

Microbes play a crucial role in farming—good bacteria can help plant growth, while bad fungi can decimate crops. Some companies are engineering microbes to both protect plants and enhance growth. “We’re really at a renaissance time for microbial products,” said Brynne Stanton, co-founder of Joyn Bio, at a panel about microbes at the summit.

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Xconomy

Joyn Bio Reaches Deal to Tap Into NewLeaf’s Plant Microbe Library

Joyn Bio, a biotech company developing microbes engineered for agricultural applications, is adding microbes from NewLeaf Symbiotics to its toolbox in an effort to get to market faster and expand the scope of its research.

The partnership announced Monday gives Joyn access to NewLeaf’s library of plant-colonizing microbes. Joyn, which is based in Boston and also has operations in Woodland, CA, will engineer these microbes to make disease and pest control products intended to help farmers reduce their reliance on crop chemicals. In the nearer term, the deal is expected to bolster Joyn’s research and development of nitrogen-fixing microbes. The companies estimate the alliance could reduce the time to market for these new microbes by two to three years.

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Chemical & Engineering News

Ginkgo, Bayer venture taps NewLeaf for plant microbes

Joyn Bio, a joint venture of Ginkgo Bioworks and agriculture giant Bayer, has brought on another partner in its quest to develop microbes that fix nitrogen for crops. It has turned to NewLeaf Symbiotics for its database of pink, methanol-munching, plant-colonizing organisms.

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Medium

The Uncertain Future of Food

For the 55% of humans who live in cities, it can be easy to forget just how much of our planet is dedicated to agriculture. More than one-third of all the land on Earth is used to raise the food we eat, and of that, an area nearly the size of Australia is dedicated to growing cereal crops alone. As a species, we are nearly completely dependent on plants for our survival, which are in turn at the mercy of their environment — too much rain, too little sun, too many insects, or the arrival of a new virus can wipe out an entire harvest.

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Chemical & Engineering News

The newest food trend is in the ground

Farmers in the US Midwest, faced with a wet spring, saw their to-do lists lengthen and their time to get everything done shorten. The first week of May should have been the height of planting season. But at that point in Indiana, just a tiny fraction of farm fields had been planted.

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AgWired

Joyn Bio Joins Bayer Facility and Adds Reiter to Board

Ag-biotech company Joyn Bio has signed a long-term lease to locate its plant sciences team within Bayer’s Vegetable Seed Facility in Woodland, California to accelerate ongoing research. In addition, the company has appointed Bayer Head of Research and Development for Crop Science, Dr. Robert Reiter, to its board of directors.

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Sacramento Business Journal

Joyn Bio lands research lab space at Bayer campus near Woodland

The well-funded ag-tech startup Joyn Bio is expanding into research lab and office space owned by Bayer Group near Woodland.

At the end of June, Boston-based Joyn will move into 12,500 square feet of lab, office and greenhouse space on Bayer’s former Monsanto seeds research lab near Woodland, allowing Joyn’s West Coast team to expand.

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Press Kit Materials

Bayer and Ginkgo Bioworks unveil joint venture, Joyn Bio, and establish operations in Boston and West Sacramento

Bayer and Ginkgo Bioworks join forces for sustainable agriculture, forming new company with USD 100 million Series A

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