Biome Makers have developed a patented technology, integrating DNA Sequencing and ecological computing technologies using one of the more complex biomarkers: the soil microbiome.
Today, Biome Makers have two headquarters - one in the US and one in Spain, 700 farmers, 60 Ag manufacturers and 100 research institutions and labs in more than 35 countries benefitting from Biome Makers’ analytical tools - BeCrop® and Gheom®.
What makes a healthy soil?
"For us", Adrian says, "there are two main factors or elements that have to be there to have a healthy soil. First is biodiversity. And the second is functionality. You have to have a community, an ecosystem, in this case, of microbes, that really play and work in harmony all together. So they are able to deliver different personalities, different bioactivity in the soil."
Adrian advises that farmers should focus on the way microbes are working together as a community rather than trying to examine the specific microbes they have in the soil.
Do soil microbes survive in drought or flood?
According to Adrian, if there's a flood, "anaerobic microbes are going to grow and there's going to be an impact on the nutrient mobilisation". Soil microbes adapt to new conditions and can bounce back, however microbe adaptability is not necessarily linked to higher productivity.
Biome Makers have looked at crops grown in hot regions such as Northern Africa and Latin America. Understanding how microbial communities are living and adapting there could help other regions adapt their approach to changing climates and keep soils healthier.
Microbes are crucial parts for carbon sequestration. The content of organic matter in the soil is crucial to the amount of carbon that the soil is able to sequester.
"The soil is capturing carbon, but at the same time because of the biological processes coming in, it's also releasing carbon. So those soils that have a lack of organic matter are going to be essentially carbon suckers, because the soil biology is going to demand these nutrients for their internal processes.
While when you have a soil that is very rich in organic matter, what is going to happen is there is going to be a release of carbon, but at the same time, there's going to be a sequestration of carbon. So understanding the balance on the carbon pathway is the first step at determining how much carbon we are sinking in the soil overall", Adrian explains.