Watch conversation with Britt Koskella, Deepak Chopra, Poonacha Machaiah and Rajnish Khanna

Current uses of nitrogenous fertilizers in crop production have been linked to deleterious effects to the local ecosystems. The problem is further compounded by degradation of soil health leading to reduced crop yields. There is a need for natural and sustainable agricultural inputs to support the growing demands on food production without harming local habitats and water systems. The majority of biofertilizers currently available in the market lack consistency in microbial composition and are used blindly without knowing if they survive in the field. Our approach is to harness plantassociated microbes from the phyllosphere to create novel selective communities, PhylloStart that represent natural bacterial diversity with known taxonomic composition.

Working with PhylloStart inventor, Dr. Britt Koskella, UC Berkeley, we have found that foliar application of PhylloStart at plant start is sufficient to provide season long benefits to increase tomato production in the greenhouse. Furthermore, PhylloStart synergistically enhanced the effects of a naturally sourced soil mineral nutrient (volcanic ash) input, suggesting a role in soil-toplant nutrient dynamics. PhylloStart is the biological alternative for plant production and protection, reducing both pesticide and fertilization needs.

Britt Koskella, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Integrative Biology
University of California, Berkeley

Koskella Lab at UC Berkeley

Elijah Mehlferber, Ph.D.

Ph.D. Candidate, Koskella lab
Co-Invebtor, PhylloStart
Department of Integrative Biology
University of California, Berkeley

UC Berkeley, Patent Pending.
Inventors: Dr. Britt Koskella and Elijah Mehlferber
Licensed Technology, i-Cultiver, Inc.

To learn more about PhylloStart, contact