Bayer and Ginkgo Bioworks announce Joyn Bio, a synthetic biology for agriculture venture

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In Germany and Massachusetts, Bayer and Ginkgo Bioworks announced the official name of its joint venture, Joyn Bio. Joyn Bio was founded with the goal of bringing advanced techniques in synthetic biology to agriculture to support the industry’s sustainability efforts, starting with reducing the environmental impact of nitrogen fertilizer.

The plant microbiome living in roots and soil is vital to global farming practices, as it provides nutrients to plants, protects them from pests, and aids them in difficult environmental conditions. Joyn Bio’s first effort is focused on improving microbes’ ability to provide cereal crops their nitrogen requirements, offering major benefits for sustainable agriculture by reducing the need for additional chemical fertilizers.

Bayer and Ginkgo founded Joyn Bio in September 2017 and have established research operations in Boston, Massachusetts and opened additional facilities in West Sacramento, California. Joyn Bio is exploring other disruptive applications of synthetic biology in the agriculture industry.