Personalized Microbial Diagnostics in Agriculture

Personalized microbial diagnostics in agriculture have been applied to provide scientific diagnostic results to resolve plant health issues and to prevent disease development in plants. At DNATraccia, with our experienced scientists, we have designed and developed DNA tracers that can be used as an affordable, accurate, and rapid test for the detection of beneficial and pathogenic microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, and virus) for personalized microbial diagnostics in agriculture. We currently have more than 100 DNA tracers to track the presence of plant growth promoting microbes, biocontrols, and plant pathogenic microbes. We also offer custom-made DNA tracers to capture and tackle specific challenges in the agro industry.

The quality of crops can be affected by various factors such as soil fertility, and plant diseases, where composition of beneficial and pathogenic microbial communities play essential roles. There are many ways to use personalized microbial diagnostics in agriculture, below are two examples: 

1. The presence and absence of beneficial microbes (probiotics) in soil.

Treating infertile soil by adding soil probiotics has been done to improve soil fertility. Monitoring the treatment can be done by the detection of probiotics using our specific DNA tracers, e.g.: Bacillus subtilis DNA tracer (NR-1153). If this probiotic is depleted or undetectable, then we know that probiotic re-treatment is necessary.

Vice versa, farmers can take advantage of beneficial microbes from fertile soil that have proven themselves to have high crop yields. Predominant beneficial microbes can be cultured, purified, identified and mass produced. DNA tracers are used against these microbes, and are made and applied as personalized microbial diagnostics.

2. The presence and absence of biocontrols and plant pathogens in soil.

Often crops that are unhealthy are in such condition because of an infection by pathogens. Typically, these crops must be discarded and its soil treated to eliminate the pathogens present in the soil. A viable treatment is to utilize biocontrols that can suppress the growth of, or kill, those pathogens. Personalized microbial diagnostics are used to tightly monitor the presence of biocontrols or, if they’re depleted, re-treatment of the soil is necessary. Additionally, personalized microbial diagnostics can also be used to observe the presence or absence of pathogens after treatment with biocontrols.