Pivot Bio, US
Richard Broglie, leads Pivot Bio’s research and development program, creating a vibrant and innovative R&D culture by championing strong, interdisciplinary connections between scientific specialties. In addition to leading the in-house research teams and managing partnerships with external collaborators, Rich focuses on the acquisition of new technologies, building strong intellectual property portfolios, bringing products to market, working with the leadership team to develop long-term technology strategies, and mentoring young scientists.
Prior to joining Pivot Bio, Rich spent 30 years in research and global leadership positions at DuPont and DuPont Pioneer and brings extensive experience managing public-private sector partnerships and overseeing global, multi-crop R&D programs. During his tenure, Rich led several discovery programs that resulted in soybean and canola crops with healthier and more stable seed oil compositions. He also developed traits for disease and pest resistance in soybean, corn, wheat, rice, and sugarcane.
Day 2 – Session 4: Phytobiome Engineering
Optimizing nitrogen production in root-associated, diazotrophic bacteria
While synthetic fertilizers have accelerated crop yields worldwide, most synthetic nitrogen farmers apply is never absorbed by the crops they produce; instead, the nitrogen evaporates into the atmosphere and is washed into nearby waterways that become polluted or become the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide.
Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) by plant-associated bacteria has the potential to provide a sustainable and efficient source of nitrogen for non-legume crops. However, the abundance of fertilizer and residual nitrogen in agricultural soils has repressed BNF in most rhizosphere microbes. By rewiring the regulatory circuits that control nitrogen fixation and ammonium assimilation, we have developed and commercialized diazotrophic strains that can replace up to 40 pounds of synthetic nitrogen in agricultural corn production.