Genetic Testing for Soil with Dr. Poornima Parameswaran of Trace Genomics – Future of Agriculture


Dr. Poornima Parameswaran is the President and Co-Founder of Trace Genomics. Trace Genomics is a company that based its business around mapping living soil, analyzing its microbial content, and helping growers maximize yield potential without sacrificing sustainability. Poornima’s goal is to build the world’s most massive actionable body of soil intelligence, allowing even ordinary farmers to have access to expert information on what’s underground. Poornima earned her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University School of Medicine, her entrepreneurial skills at Stanford University Graduate School of Business, and her Bachelor’s degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology at The University of Texas at Austin.

Poornima joins me today to discuss how Trace Genomics seeks to improve farm yield and sustainability through genetic testing for soil. She shares the benefits of knowing which microbes are dominant in a particular farmland. She also explains how their analytics engine works, their process, and what a typical scenario using their technology would be like. 

“There are two sides of the coin when you’re looking at what is causing production losses above ground.” – Dr. Poornima Parameswaran

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

  • The questions farmers have before submitting soil samples.
  • Diseases that can be prevented by genetic testing for soil
  • Knowing when it is a soil health issue instead of a disease problem.
  • Developing food in the perspective of sustainability and not just increased yields.
  • How they know which microbes are important for the soil.
  • The challenges that are top of mind to growers regarding soil health.
  • The action steps they can take based on the data they gathered from growers.
  • Variability of microbe samples in similar soil samples.
  • How they reconcile the difference between gene presence and gene expression.
  • Why they don’t have that many companies as competition.

Connect with Dr. Poornima Parameswaran:

This episode is sponsored by Indigo Ag 

What if surviving a drought began with just a microbe? What could accessing 10,000 buyers do for your agriculture business? Indigo Ag helps farmers improve profitability, environmental sustainability, and consumer health by working with growers to reimagine every aspect of the agriculture industry – from soil to sale.

To learn more about Indigo Ag and their mission to improve the environment and agriculture industry, visit

Indigo. From questions… we grow.

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Tim Hammerich

Tim is a strategic communications consultant, founder of AgGrad, and the host of the "Future of Agriculture" podcast. Originally from California, he is now based out of Boise, Idaho.