Advanced Biological Marketing (ABM) announced that the research and development department of ABM has filed a patent on Focused Microbial Diversity. Focused Microbial Diversity (FMD) is the technique employed by ABM to research and develop microbials that will be used in ABM products.

“The Focused Microbial Diversity “platform” allows ABM to screen a wide array of microbial strains in the lab for specific traits and characteristics that benefit the plant without engaging in massive field trials,” states Dan Custis, CEO of ABM.

ABM uses genomic technologies and high throughput phenotyping to identify elite strains for its Focused Microbial Diversity platform. Genes and gene sequences are identified that are predictive of exceptional performance in the field and used to assemble strain consortia providing broad spectrum benefits such as crop yield increases and stress resistances. Using these techniques, ABM filters the wheat from the chaff, thus eliminating the need for field trials on no- or low-potential biologicals. “Over the last 14 years, every strain or strain combination that was brought to the field trial stage was released as a successful agricultural product”, states Custis. “These efficiencies allow ABM the flexibility to address growers’ needs without investing large amounts of time and money on large field trials of products with little chance for success.The superior strain characterization and genetics of Focused Microbial Diversity are what drive ABM’s biological products”.

Smart Selection is the method underlying the FMD platform that lets ABM select specific strains of microbes that benefit a specific crop. This technique employs genome sequencing strategies and rapid DNA-based screening that gets results in a fraction of the time normally needed. The key is the association of genes with plant performance. Only strains with promising genetics get taken to the field. In layman’s terms, Smart Selection is used by ABM to identify the best strains. “There is no correlation between biological species and field performance”, states Dr. Molly Cadle Davidson, Associate Science Officer with ABM. “Strain selection is of critical importance, not species”.

ABM’s research and development are key to its portfolio of biological seed treatments. The R&D team is headed up by Dr. Gary Harman and is located in Geneva NY. Dr. Harman is considered to be one of the foremost researchers and developers of microbial technologies that naturally enhance plant growth and productivity. He is best known for his research of Trichoderma.