Interesting that you’re inoculating with yeast. I imagine it’s a very particular strain? Seems like yeast would be everywhere and in the soils already, but I guess maybe not in the required amount?
How are you profiling the microbial ecosystem anyway? E.g. how do you know that 2+ species actually work synergistically with one another? I suspect a lot of trial and error based on what your profiling data suggests?
Sry for the many questions, it’s a fascinating topic.
Yes, it's an uncommon yeast - not Saccharomyces. And, yes, the product is meant to 'bring forward' the effects from these members of the soil microbiome, from minor players to treatments at higher concentration.
The microbial ecology work comes from Adam's lab at LBNL. His tech (that Boost has licensed) experimentally determines interactions (ie, causative relationships, not correlations).
The microbes we're using as products come from the soil. The tech to identify them uses understanding the interaction between microbes, so that we can thoughtfully determine which microbes are best suited for a product - we can exclude candidates with any known toxicity issues or negative externalities.
Biological pesticides have a much lower threshold for regulatory approval specifically because they are deemed safer than chemical pesticides.
Customers like replacing their chemical pesticides with our product to lower residual levels of chemicals on their produce. Other countries have more restrictive MRLs (maximum residue levels) permitted on imports than the US does, so products like these are valuable.
Interesting question! We're not currently granting licenses, but may be interested in research collaborations in the future. We did find one very interesting mystery, three morphotypes of a single bacteria (as determined by 16S sequence), that could grow together and influence each others' frequency in the population.
Best of luck. Something like 25% of food that’s grown won’t be eaten because of, among other things, spoilage. Keeping food fresh for longer would mean not using as much land or as much fertilizer for agriculture.
There are a number of meat-replacement startup companies, developing replacements for fish, chicken, beef, etc., either by formulating products with protein or animal cells, or with vegetable protein that is formulated to taste and mouthfeel of actual meat.