Genetic modification to improve crop yields is a good idea, but it’s far from the only good idea in that field. A Boston area firm called Indigo Agriculture just got $100 million in funding for its efforts to improve yields in sort of the same way people try to improve health by changing their guy bacteria. The Globe has a good story (right here):
Indigo creates different blends of naturally occurring microbes to influence how plants grow, which the company hopes will set it apart from crop improvements based on genetic engineering or chemical treatments.
Indigo coats seeds with special combinations of microbes, which then grow along with the plant to become part of its microbiome, an array of living organisms that infuse the cells and organs of animals and plants and can influence how they grow and behave.
But, the Globe notes, as a private company Indigo hasn’t submitted most of its results to outside scrutiny, so its claims need to be taken with a grain of salt.