Mycorrhiza Culturing Co-op

Please Submit applications by 6am on Tuesday, October 15th, 2019.

Indigo is a company dedicated to harnessing nature to help farmers sustainably feed the planet. With a vision of creating a world where farming is an economically desirable and accessible profession, Indigo works alongside its growers to apply natural approaches, conserve resources for future generations, and grow healthy food for all. Utilizing beneficial plant microbes to improve crop health and productivity, Indigo’s portfolio is focused on cotton, wheat, barley, corn, soybeans, and rice. The company, founded by Flagship Pioneering, is headquartered in Boston, MA, with additional offices in Memphis, TN, Research Triangle Park, NC, Sydney, Australia, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and São Paulo, Brazil.

The mycorrhiza culturing co-op will help us establish Indigo's own collection of mycorrhizae. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are obligate root symbionts of most crops, providing nutrients and many other benefits to plants in exchange for carbon resources. At Indigo, we are interested in developing products that partner well with this important component of the plant microbiome. The co-op will be establishing the axenic hairy root system for in vitro cultivation of mycorrhiza and initiate cultures from samples obtained through our focused sampling efforts. Lab experience with training in sterile technique is required and an interest in microbiology and ecology is desired. As a member of the Research and Scientific Insights team, the co-op will have multiple opportunities to interact with other members of the team and participate in collaborative efforts in related projects.


  • Establish the hairy root system by transforming carrots with Agrobacterium rhizogenes in plant tissue culture medium
  • Maintain a stock of plant tissue culture medium and plates for replication of cultures 3
  • Establish and replicate axenic mycorrhiza reference cultures obtained from curated collections in the hairy root system
  • Develop, write and incorporate into Indigo's archival system standard operation procedures (SOPs) for:
    • the development and maintenance of the hairy root system
    • microbiological and molecular (DNA based) verification of axenic nature (single isolate with no contamination with bacteria or other microbes) of cultures
  • Isolate and sterilize spores of mycorrhizae from the rhizosphere of plants collected in focused sourcing efforts
  • Establish and replicate axenic mycorrhiza cultures obtained from single spores from focused sourcing
  • Collaborate in the design and implementation of grow room experiments that use the mycorrhiza cultures to determine the effect of Indigo's product candidates on mycorrhiza colonization
  • Collaborate in the design and implementation of grow room experiments that use the mycorrhiza cultures to determine the effect of regenerative agricultural practices on mycorrhiza colonization
  • Understand and embody our purpose & core values
    • Excited by Indigo’s mission; believes that Indigo can fundamentally change the agriculture industry; can clearly articulate passion for our mission and values
    • Optimistic and innovative; solution-oriented; shows no signs of cynicism
    • Will be widely viewed as someone who personifies our core values, is committed to them, and leans on them when making decisions. Specifically:
      • Demonstrates a track record of high integrity - doing the right thing, owning mistakes, conducting oneself honestly
      • Values, communicates and interacts with others with high levels of transparency and respect
    • Collaborates well across functions; creates an inspiring and collegial work environment


  • Currently enrolled in a university program in ecology, plant pathology, microbiology, molecular biology applied to plants or a related field
  • Experience designing and conducting biological experiments
  • Sterile technique and experience working with microorganisms desirable 4
  • Data management and analysis using basic statistical tests needed. R programming skills and knowledge of specialized statistical software, desirable.
  • Proven track record of completing tasks and projects. Knowledge of and experience with project management, desirable
  • Strong technical, organizational, and communication skills both written and verbal – demonstrated experience in scientific writing and scientific methodology in particular is desirable
  • Proven record of meeting deadlines and accomplishing results
  • Ability to maintain detailed records of procedures and results
  • Ability to collaborate productively with other team members on experimental or analytical efforts


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