We are happy to welcome Tara Baele to our growing KYTOS team! Tara is an expert in targeted single-cell molecular methods and nitrogen cycle management. She holds a degree in Industrial Engineering from Ghent University.
Tara will be working on next-gen functional health metrics for both shrimp, RAS and hydroponic systems and will be running the day-to-day laboratory operations for our clients.
Tin vui – chúng tôi đưa các báo cáo vi sinh kỹ thuật số đến điện thoại di động thông qua KytoApp.
☁️ Nhận thông tin chi tiết về sức khỏe vi sinh nhanh chóng nhờ bảng điều khiển. 📈 Phân tích chi tiết xu hướng phát triển vi sinh của hệ thống nuôi. 👨💻 Hỗ trợ kỹ thuật và yêu cầu dịch vụ ngay trong ứng dụng.
Bạn có thể tìm thấy đoạn giới thiệu về các chức năng cơ bản của ứng dụng trong video bên dưới. Hãy theo dõi các bản cập nhật trong tương lai.
Một bước tiến quan trọng được thực hiện để quản lý hệ vi sinh vật 📈 Thông minh hơn, 🏠 Dễ dàng hơn và 🧪 Tiếp cận được với các đối tác trên khắp thế giới.
Truyền is a recently graduated Bachelor of Science in Aquaculture from Nha Trang University. She will be working closely with Ngoc Minh Ngan Bui to perform all kinds of microbiome analyses for our clients.
We are happy to welcome Peter Rubbens to our growing KYTOS team! Peter is an expert on single-cell data analytics and has > 5 years of experience in the field.
With this valuable addition to the team KYTOS will be able to booster its machine learning workflows and data reporting capabilities to make microbiome management 📈 Smarter, 🏠 Easier, and 🧪 Accessible.
After having been unable to satisfy the above question numerous times, we’re excited to take a big step forward on our march to bring our microbiome management services to Asia. As mentioned in a previous post our strategic partnership with I&V Bio enables us to set up local data factories. KYTOS data factories are local sample processing spots where samples are routed, processed and all the data is fed to our proprietary algorithms. In a nutshell, this means we can improve our turnaround drastically and build local relationships with our customers.
Over the past weeks the team has been extremely busy implementing and benchmarking our hardware, software, and service components in our first Vietnam Data Factory (Lot 53, Hoa Thanh Village, An Hai Commune, Ninh Phuoc District, Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam). Bottom-line:It’s been a blast and commercial activities will ensue in August!
Managing our Data Factory
We’re happy to announce that Ngânwill be the manager of our Vietnam data factory, together with her team she’ll be responsible for handling sample logistics & analysis and technical support to our customers. We couldn’t be more pleased to have her be part of our growing team!
One of the core tenets at KYTOS is the freedom to pursue continuous and deep professional development along any (non-)technical axis. Without further ado, Ngân will also be pursuing a parallel PhD track at Ghent University and the Center for Microbial Ecology and Technology under supervision of renowned professors Nico Boon and Tom Defoirdt. Her research will bring forth radical innovation in the microbiome management of Carp and Barramundi aquaculture, both new and important markets for KYTOS. She’s also been one of the drivers of our collaboration with Worldfish and will be able to continue this fruitful collaboration during her research.
Proper microbiome management occurs at the intersection of technology and domain knowledge (i.e. industry experience). At KYTOS we work closely alongside industry leaders to ensure that we fine-tune our technology to meet the industries’ expectations and needs.
Visits such as this one to Australis, one of the leading Barramundi farmers, couldn’t have been more fruitful as we laid the groundwork for future research interests and needs of Barramundi production.
Over the summer, KYTOS is hosting two interns: Ms. Thị Bao Châu Võ and Mr. Kevin Waweru Mwangi. Kevin and Chau are both enrolled in the Master of Science in Aquaculture at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering at Ghent University. Our two interns will be working independently on research projects to help aquaculture farmers use agrobiological and biocontrol products, such as pro- and prebiotics, more effectively. Chau will be working on product applications in freshwater recirculating aquaculture systems. Kevin will be researching product applications for open salt water cultivation systems.
➡️ Meet Châu and Kevin!
Kevin Waweru Mwangi
Please tell us something more about your background (education, interests, …)?
I studied BSc in animal health and production which propelled me to be interested in the world of animal health, and specifically microbiology and antimicrobial resistance. In 2020, I got an industrial internship at the international livestock research institute (ILRI) working on antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic bacteria. Currently, I am doing a 2-year Master of Science in Aquaculture at Ghent University under the VLIR-UOS scholarship.
Why did an internship at KYTOS appeal to you?
Kytos is a powerhouse in matters of using novel and cutting-edge technology to analyze the microbiomes in the aquatic environment, thus playing a huge role in improving aquatic health and contributing to One Health. Kytos´s primary goal is to use scientific research to help aquaculture farmers to have healthy production systems. This is in line with my goal of using scientific research to make the world a better place.
What are you looking to learn from the internship?
I am looking forward to gaining knowledge and skills in microbiome analysis from aquaculture production systems. This includes gaining experience in single-cell and molecular analysis of the microbiomes in aquaculture production systems and improving on designing and planning experiments. Moreover, being able to evaluate the outcome of the use of biocontrol products, analyze and interpret microbiome data in the context of the farmers’ objectives. Am also looking forward to being under the umbrella of the mentorship of the Kytos team.
Any achievement you want to reach?
Get more insights about the microbiome in aquaculture and seek to understand ”what makes them tick”. Help Kytos achieve its goal of safeguarding and improving microbiome health. After the internship, I would like to be competent in the analysis of data which includes making figures, statistics and most importantly result reporting.
Farmers have been waiting for decades on microbiome management technologies, where do you see yourself having the biggest impact?
With this internship, I seek to understand how biocontrol products affect the microbiomes in the aquatic environment and I will contribute to helping farmers have well-performing aquaculture systems. The well-detailed research that I will be conducting at Kytos will contribute to the knowledge of the production of open salt water cultivation systems.
Thị Bao Châu Võ
Can you tell us something more about your background?
I come from Vietnam; the country is on the list of the top largest aquaculture product producers in the world. I have a solid aquaculture background with a bachelor’s degree in Aquatic Resources Management from the International University – Vietnam National University; and I am pursuing a master’s degree in Aquaculture at Ghent University thanks to the support from The Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR-OUS) ‘scholarship. I am interested in researching aquatic diseases, microbiology, pathogenic mechanisms and the relationship between microbial pathogens and hosts. I believe this understanding allows the disease to be prevented and better aquatic’s animal health management.
Why did the internship appeal to you?
I have some experience working in the academic workplaces; however, all these experiences are for basic research. With the prospect that I can apply my studies to real life, this internship is the chance for me to learn how the research turns out to be successful applications in practice. I am really fascinated by KYTOS’s idea that assessing microbial data to predict the aquaculture systems’ health in order to assist farming. The internship also brings me knowledge about how advanced technology is used in the aquaculture industry.
What are you looking to learn from the internship?
The internship provides me with the chance to boarder my understanding of microbial community monitoring. I also want to improve my data interpretation skills and discover the variety of advantageous techniques applied in aquatic research. Moreover, all experts have their own stories to tell, so I am looking forward to listening and learning from KYTOS’s experts.
Any particular achievement you want to reach?
My goal is to develop environmental-friendly treatments in order to manage the good health of the animals and control the overuse of antibiotics in aquaculture. I believe the more experiences I gain today, the higher chances of success I get in the future.
Farmers have been waiting for decades on microbiome management technologies, where do you see yourself have the biggest impact?
After this internship and my study, I will have gotten experience working as a researcher and know more about the microbiome management overall. It is undeniable that there are several studies and technologies invented and developed every year, however, there are gaps such as academic knowledge, species diversity and feasibility still exist between the research and reality. I see myself not only as the one who works in the research field but also as the one who supports the farmers understanding.
Aquaculture disease management and dynamic dosing expert Aqua Pharma are joining forces with microbial fingerprinting experts KYTOS to develop SEATRU™ – a unique new service platform offering shrimp farmers worldwide effective microbial control through precise dosing recommendations. The initiative is set to start later this month (June 2022) with a two-year research project based in Indonesia with local partner eFishery, the world’s largest aquaculture tech start-up.
Our priority at Aqua Pharma is to provide disease prevention and control systems to the aquaculture industry with fish and shrimp welfare at the forefront. We are delighted to have teamed up with KYTOS to further develop SEATRU™ – a tool which will use the power of KYTOS technology to read the aquaculture microbiome of farms, anticipating and reducing disease thanks to individually tailored and precise dosing of eco-friendly health management solutions.
Markus Wu, Head of Office Indonesia for Solvay and Aqua Pharma at Aqua Pharma Group
Shrimp farmers are currently hampered by a lack of reliable data on water quality and animal health, resulting in frequent unpredictable disease outbreaks. SEATRU™ will allow farmers to adopt a preventative management approach, using best-in-class products like Aqualisan® to increase production, sustainability and profitability.
KYTOS specializes in analysing data of individual microbial cells and leverages that big data to create a holistic view of the health situation of aquaculture systems. Our expertise in microbial fingerprinting technology is a perfect fit with our joint vision of unlocking sustainable aquaculture through precision farming. Together our work on the SEATRU™ concept is transforming aquaculture by researching and developing advanced technologies in microbial monitoring, animal gut health, disinfectant treatments and artificial intelligence to create stable water conditions and ensure increased performance.
Ruben Props, co-founder and CEO at KYTOS
According to WWF*, over 55% of the shrimp consumed worldwide is farmed, with a market growth of 8% over the past decade. The annual loss to the shrimp industry as a result of disease is estimated at $6 billion per year. The research project is due to run from June 2022 until mid-2024, after which commercial scaling will follow.
Our main objective is to provide shrimp farmers in Indonesia with peace of mind and the tools to produce a stable performance and improved harvests throughout the year. The SEATRU™ concept brings that stability and potential for growth to farmers. Disease prevention is the number one challenge facing shrimp aquaculture today. With disease able to completely wipe out a pond in five days the sector urgently needs effective preventative methods. Innovative new pond reading technologies combined with eco-friendly products like Aqualisan® for shrimp pond management have huge potential to improve the welfare of the shrimp and the profitability of the sector.
Gibran Huzaifah, CEO of eFishery
ABOUT AQUA PHARMA GROUP
Backed by parent companies Solvay, the 10B EUR global leader in sustainable materials and solutions, and Aquatiq, a Norwegian leader in food safety, Aqua Pharma Group develops and delivers disease prevention and control systems for the aquaculture industry. Its concepts and innovations ensure minimal environmental impact and maximum animal welfare and contribute to the successful scaling of sustainably managed fish and shrimp to meet the global growing demand for healthy proteins
KYTOS is a microbiome technology company developing microbiome management solutions at the frontier of technological innovation. Originating at the Center for Microbial Ecology and Technology (CMET) at Ghent University, it builds on decades of world-leading expertise in the management of microbial communities. KYTOS transforms its partners into expert microbiome health stewards by empowering them with a unique blend of data science, technology, and microbial ecology insights.
eFishery believes that aquaculture is the future. Using technological advancements it is constructing an end-to-end value chain for fish and shrimp farming businesses, resulting in an integrated, sustainable ecosystem resilient enough to strengthen global food security for the future. eFishery aims to ensure aquaculture provides the world with its main source of animal protein, one not only rich in nutrients but accessible to everyone.
With crop losses of billions of dollars annually, microbial diseases pose a large threat for the hydroponics sector. As most farmers know, the recirculation water in a hydroponics installation is one of the main sources responsible for the introduction and spread (so-called “vector”) of phytopathogens. Hydroponics systems therefore require almost constant water management to control microbial disease pressures on the crops. To be able to manage these systems KYTOS helps farmers and other stakeholders:
Identify the water sources where there is a low microbial health situations
Connect the health deviations with climate and other operational factors
Assess the risk for a disease outbreak
Take action via the right treatments
Unfortunately, information regarding the microbiome health within hydroponics greenhouses is incredibly scarce. This makes it difficult for farmers, but also solution providers to know what’s really happening in their greenhouse(s). KYTOS partnered with Tomato Masters to finally shed a first light on the microbial health status within tomato greenhouses. We are proud to share our results with the world.
Our Sampling Approach for Three Greenhouses
Each greenhouse is unique and we thus had to optimize our sampling scheme for each one of them. The first two sampled greenhouses consisted of four tap sections (“kraanvakken“) with individual irrigation systems. The samples were taken from the main tap of the greenhouse (“hoofdkraan“) and from the distribution line at each of the four tap sections (“druppelleiding“). The third greenhouse had a different tap section layout and there we sampled the 204 individual drains (“goten“) that are used to collect drainwater from the plant substrate.
Sampling with our KytoVials is so easy and quick, the team was able to collect over 220 biosecure samples in < 1 hour!
Tap Sections House Different Microbiomes
Our supervised learning toolbox KytoFlow was able to pick up some important observations (Figure 1). The average bacterial load in the main tap and irrigation water of the tap sections were almost identical with only a maximum difference of 3x between the tap sections.
Our recently developed algorithm for the detection of common water molds such as oomycetes spores (e.g. Pythium, Phytophthora) revealed that the lowest load was observed at the main tap while larger differences in oomycete load were found across the tap sections (up to 100x).
In simple terms: the microbial water quality strongly deteriorated over the tap sections specifically due to the accumulation of water mold spores. Tap sections 3 and 4 were found to be of higher risk for greenhouse #1, and sections 2 and 3 for greenhouse #2.
Fun fact: A big advantage of our Oomycetes algorithm is that it is able to identify the zoospores, which are the motile phenotypes of these water molds, and pose the highest risk for disease migration.
Drain Microbiomes Differ Across Tap Sections
Greenhouses are known to have hotspots for microbe-related problems as well as differences in crop performances between production rows. The drains in a greenhouse carry the microbiome from the input water to the plant and substrate microbiomes. The microbiome can thus change considerably due to differences in plant exudates, climate, or farm management. For Tomato Masters, we completely screened the microbial water quality of all production rows (Figure 2).
Bacterial and Water Mold Pressures Can Differ Strongly Between Drains
10 % of all drains could be classified as hotspots (based on IQR of 1.5).
Every tap section has hotspots for water molds and bacterial growth.
Tap sections #1 (orange) and #2 (red) were the cleanest for water molds, but there were many drains with over 1000-fold higher spore loads.
Tap sections #2 (blue) and #4 (teal) had elevated spore loads for nearly all drains.
Diversity and Microbiome Types are Dependent on Tap Section
The microbial diversity, which is a proxy for a healthy and resilient microbiome, showed a wavy pattern throughout the greenhouse.
Drains with the highest diversity were located at the beginning and end of the tap sections.
We identified four different types of microbiome in the drains. Tap sections 3 and 4 were strongly enriched in other microbiome types than the clean drains (1 and 2). More than 50 % of all drains had a type 3 or type 4 microbiome.
Microbial hotspots exist in greenhouses and they can be found both within individual tap sections, as well as concentrated within specific tap sections.
There are gradual gradients in microbiome characteristics found across the drains, suggesting climate and design related impacts (ongoing work – part 2).
Both incoming and irrigation water can be highly variable in quality despite originating from the same input water.
Different drains house different microbiome types, bacterial load and diversity and oomycetes load. Targeted and precise management of these hotpots will be the key.
We hope these data have showcased that the routine analysis of microbiomes is crucial and and that it is the key to improved microbiome management. We believe that farmers can now use these data feeds to create more stable microbial water quality conditions for the benefit of their crops via the targeted use of biostimulants, disinfectants, and other products.
Stay tuned for the launch of our horticulture services which will include the following benefits:
Weekly analysis and next business day reporting
Logistics arranged for you
Flexible sampling schemes
Fixed monthly cost
So What’s Next?
In part 2 of this work we’ll discuss more in-depth technical results on how we can relate these microbiome health characteristics to farm KPIs such as row-based production numbers and climate measurements.
About Tomato Masters
Tomato Masters is an innovative Flemish family business that is specialized in the hydroponic farming of tomatoes. The company owns 21 hectares of horticulture, spread across over four greenhouses. Sustainability is one of the key company values and therefore there is a strong effortto use water as efficiently as possible.
Curious about the microbiome health status of your greenhouses?