Jun. 5, 2019
The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) has launched the nation’s first Plant Endophyte Research Center to champion sustainable solutions for enhanced agricultural production around the globe.
The Center leverages private and public partnerships and funding, an elite team of scientists dedicated to the field of biostimulant research, and exclusive equipment and testing services to further their work.
"I am excited to announce IALR’s Plant Endophyte Research Center, which accumulates years of research and expertise and positions IALR as a world leader in this critical research field," said Mark Gignac, Executive Director of IALR. "Helping to protect the environment while satisfying the consumer demand for healthier food is a truly inspiring motivator."
By first isolating and characterizing endophytes, or beneficial bacteria, from regional plants, IALR scientists then use these endophytes as a toolbox to fight common crop diseases and to increase overall plant growth and health.
Additionally, technology, such as next-generation DNA sequencing, robotic and drone imaging, and data analytics, is used to find precisely what formulations work best in a crop-specific and environmental situation.
With a library of 2,000 endophyte strains already identified, IALR is well on its way to demonstrating the potential rewards of these natural microorganisms. Such benefits could include the reduction of chemical fertilizer use, the improvement of soil quality, the preservation of the environment and sustainable agricultural solutions—all while helping increase crop yields and plant health. IALR is already working with well-known industry players on licensing agreements and continues to actively seek other collaborators and research partners.