Biologicals

Supporting business in screening, understanding, and designing biologicals. With its 30-year track record, KeyGene is in an excellent position to support companies with their toughest R&D challenges in the fields of biostimulants and biocontrol.

Would you like to learn more about the successes R&D can bring to biologicals businesses?

View the recordings of the KeyGene webinar “R&D as a success factor for the biologicals industry” of October 2021.

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Our workflow
KeyGene has the expertise and capabilities to support your R&D at every possible step during product development and to increase your knowledge about your already existing product portfolio. It is our ambition to reinforce your R&D in a successful and cost-efficient way, from developing new products to strengthening your marketing and sales. For this, we use our ‘screen, understand, and design’ approach.
01
SCREEN
Selecting candidate-products in a robust and scientific manner is a key step in product development. When done successfully, it allows minimal downstream efforts and costs. KeyGene can screen the efficacy of your products using our unique combination of digital phenotyping and genomics capabilities. Different plant phenotyping platforms and a variety of genome sequencing capabilities are available. We have experience working in a wide variety of crops.
  • Independent proof
    Evaluate the crop’s response to your product in a scientific and statistically sound manner by using digital imaging of both root and shoots.
  • Include environmental aspects
    Include abiotic or biotic stresses in your efficacy studies.
  • Classify your strains
    Determine and compare the taxonomy and functionality of all microorganisms in your strain collection.

Screen: root & shoot imaging

Digital phenotyping in our state-of-the-art greenhouses allows monitoring crop responses after product application, providing objective and robust data in a
high throughput manner. We have different plant phenotyping platforms that allow testing high numbers of products, or evaluate root and shoot growth over a long period non-destructively. Our trials can include abiotic stresses as well as several soil-borne pathogens.

Screen: microbial characterization

When your products are microbial-based, characterizing your core collection with our genomic toolbox allows you to classify strains and remove redundancy. Accurate taxonomical classification and identification of potential functionalities can be achieved using a variety of genome sequencing capabilities.

Screen: biocidal efficacy assays

At KeyGene we can specifically design your biocidal screening assay on different scales. We can accommodate in vitro assays, grow plants in growing chambers, or use our greenhouse facilities. We have experience with a variety of relevant crop pathogens.

02
UNDERSTAND
Thorough understanding of your products is of key importance from both a research and commercial point of view. KeyGene uses multidisciplinary approaches to understand your product’s mode-of-action at the crop, pathogen, and rhizosphere level.
  • Plant responses made tangible
    Understand the effects of your product at the plant level, using gene activity analysis (transcriptomics).
  • Reveal microbiome responses
    Monitor how product application affects the composition of the rhizosphere (metagenomics).
  • Measure antagonistic value
    Determine the effects of your product on the pathogen(s) of interest.
  • Add marketing value
    Enabling you to explain your clients how your product works.

Understand: determine the mode of action

Elucidation of your product’s mode of action may require different perspectives. Looking at the plant response via transcriptomics, or evaluating the changing composition of the rhizosphere via metagenomics can reveal how exactly the crop benefits from your product.
When zooming in on a biocontrol product, the focus will be on the pathogen and how it is affected by the product.

Understand: to support marketing & registration

Being able to understand at all levels how your product functions matters to your R&D team, enabling them to transmit all that knowledge to your technical and sales team, and hence to your customers. Using a scientific approach is the best way to support product claims, also when preparing for the product’s registration phase when claims need to be justified in a scientific manner.

Understand: for continued development

Thorough understanding of existing products will set the basis for developing the next generation of biologicals products. A holistic view of the interactions between plant, product, and their surroundings will be key for the industry's continued development.

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Mireia Ibanez

Expert R&D Biologicals

03
Design
Design ‘next generation’ biologicals using a thorough understanding of existing products and scientific knowledge.
  • Widen possibilities
    Using KeyPoint®, KeyGene’s powerful non-GMO approach to induce genetic variation.
  • Improve performance
    Induce novel gene alleles in microorganisms to improve strain performance.
  • Optimize production
    Find and induced novel gene alleles in plants to improve plant extract production.

Design: improve your favorite strains

KeyGene's KeyPoint platform for random mutagenesis is being used to induce genetic variation in one or multiple pre-defined microbial genes. With that, your favorite strains can be further improved without the disadvantages of a long EU gm-trajectory.

Design novel product combinations

Once you understand the mode of action of different active ingredients, intelligent product combinations can be made and tested for complementary or synergistic effects.

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