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Ginkgo Bioworks Acquires AgBiome Platform Assets to Enhance Agricultural Biological Services

Courtesy Ginko Bioworks
Courtesy Ginko Bioworks

Ginkgo Bioworks has announced the acquisition of significant platform assets from AgBiome, a move poised to enhance its capabilities in the agricultural biologicals sector. This acquisition includes an extensive array of over 115,000 fully sequenced and isolated microbial strains, more than 500 million unique gene sequences, and accompanying functional data and metadata. These components will be integrated into Ginkgo Ag Biologicals Services, which was established following the acquisition of a Bayer agricultural biologicals R&D facility in 2022.

The integration of these assets aims to expand Ginkgo’s proprietary unified metagenomics database, positioning the company as a leader in the ag biological discovery and development arena. This will also provide a valuable resource for the development of artificial intelligence models geared towards biological research and development.

AgBiome, founded in 2012, has developed a substantial microbial strain library sourced from over 8,000 geographically diverse environmental samples. This has yielded a comprehensive collection of over 500 million unique gene sequences. AgBiome has also developed a robust pipeline of product concepts, including a dozen product candidates that have undergone greenhouse or field validation. While AgBiome’s Howler and Theia product lines are not included in the acquisition, the validated product concepts and extensive metagenomic data contribute to a solid foundation for future partnered programs and genomic mining.

Michael Miille, a Ginkgo Fellow, expressed enthusiasm about the acquisition, stating, "This is a world-class asset that will significantly expand our capabilities and can directly benefit Ginkgo’s customers in the ag biologicals space." He highlighted the potential of the validated product concepts pipeline to accelerate customer product development efforts.

Laura Potter, Chief Scientific Officer at AgBiome, remarked on the significance of the acquisition, noting, "These assets represent a massive, groundbreaking investment into exploring and characterizing microbial diversity for human benefit."

The acquisition marks a significant enhancement to Ginkgo Bioworks' service offerings in the agricultural sector, promising to advance research and development in ag biologicals through innovative use of extensive genetic and metagenomic resources.


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