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IALR Announces Licensing Deal with Indigo Ag, Inc.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018  
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The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) recently licensed a collection of agriculturally important, beneficial bacteria (called endophytes) to Indigo Ag, Inc. (Boston, Massachusetts). The bacteria, isolated and characterized by IALR scientists, show promise for commercialization as natural plant bio-stimulants. IALR scientists focus on developing and implementing next-generation agricultural products and technologies to improve farming diversification and productivity.

“Licensing these beneficial bacteria to a company as respected and innovative as Indigo is very positive news for IALR and the endophyte library program our scientists are developing, which now contains more than 1200 characterized strains,” said Executive Director, Mark Gignac.

Indigo is a company dedicated to harnessing nature to help farmers sustainably feed the planet. In 2017, the company was named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum. The Forum highlights early-stage companies involved in the design, development, and deployment of new technologies and innovations that are poised to have a significant impact on business and society.

“At Indigo, we are developing solutions based on plant endophytes, and exploring the ways in which these can influence agricultural practices,” said Director of Collaborations, Virginia Ursin, PhD. “Partnering with leading research institutions such as IALR is key to delivering on our commitments to farmer profitability and environmental sustainability.”

What are Endophytes? Beneficial bacterial endophytes live inside plants and represent a largely unexplored resource for enhancing sustainable agriculture. They are an untapped reservoir of novel natural products, optimized for biological relevance. In the agricultural sector, IALR scientists are exploring growth enhancement and disease resistance of crops important to Southern Virginia. In the biotechnology sector, IALR scientists are searching for unique natural products, such as antibiotics and antivirals, with wide-ranging applications.

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