Innovation That Matters

Soil microbiomes | Photo source Pixabay

Biotech company can diagnose health of vineyard soil using AI


An AgTech company has developed an algorithm to identify the health diagnostics of vineyard soil by genetically sequencing the microbes and applying AI algorithm analysis.

Spotted: The wine market is steeped in tradition, both in terms of how it is sold and how it is drunk. However, at Springwise we have seen the industry disrupted by innovations such as the AR wine tasting lab in Canada, and a scanner that measures the drinkability of wine. Now, with a focus on the soil in vineyards, Biome Makers is taking disruption one step further by offering technologies to help winemakers understand the importance of their microbiome.

The company emphasises the importance of soil in wine production. The value of wine is arguably dependent on its regional identity, and soil plays a key role in this. Additionally, soil is home to a microbiome — a dynamic, living community of bacteria, fungi and other small creatures. Each organism can influence the health of that particular soil and, therefore, the plants and insects within it. This is a crucial factor in maintaining the health of the agricultural industry.

Biome Makers have developed a range of DNA sequencing tests for analysing soil and plant quality specifically for the wine industry, called WineSeq. It has also developed proprietary algorithms that can produce a diagnosis of soil health in a single test for €89. These smart algorithms are being fed by soil data from across the globe. WineSeq users and members can share and access this information on the ‘WikiBiome’ platform. The WineSeq data was recently used to produce a list of the top ten terroirs in the US.

Biome Makers hope the sequencing analysis will help lower the use of pesticides within the wine industry. With a greater understanding of their soil health, producers won’t necessarily have to apply environmentally damaging chemicals. They can instead use the sequencing analysis to manage their soil in a proactive and sustainable way.




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