Case study

How Syngenta digitally transformed detection of active compounds using AI

Scaling up accurate high-throughput screening is often a challenge. Learn how Syngenta managed to automate their assay by combining state-of-the-art AI and analytics with high-resolution, scalable time-lapse imaging.

400% increase in throughput


80% reduction in false negatives


30% reduction in time-to-result


“The Reshape Biology Platform has revolutionized our screening assay workflow. It has enabled a level of precision and efficiency we could not achieve before, significantly enhancing the efficacy of our assay. With the help of Reshape, we have moved further in improving the workflow in 6 months than in the 3 years before with other solutions we tried.”

Stuart Harrison
Head of Seeds R&D Partnerships and Open Innovation

Digital Transformation Using AI for Enhancing Detection of Active Compounds with Reshape

Syngenta is one of the world's largest developers and producers of high-quality seeds and traits for farmers and retailers. A key element of developing the next generation of innovative seed technology relies on the early detection and characterization of potential leads for sustainable agricultural traits. The challenge of scaling up accurate high throughput screening is met with the Reshape Biology Platform, combining state-of-the-art AI and analytics with high-resolution, scalable time-lapse imaging.

By integrating an automated visual assessment solution, Syngenta has achieved:

  • Complete automation of assay assessment
  • 400% increase in throughput by removing manual scoring, documentation, and data analysis
  • 80% reduction in false negatives
  • 30% reduction in time-to-result
  • 25% reduction in the number of required replicates
  • High degree of detail in phenotype assessment with measurements of objective features
  • An automated quality assurance solution, ensuring long-term assay stability
  • Overall increase in insights gained through the same assays

The Challenge: Enhancing Screening Efficiency and Accuracy

An early step in the development of novel seeds products relies on upstream identification of candidate trait leads. The early detection and characterization need to happen at a very large scale to be efficient and increase the pipeline of candidates, while still being accurate to avoid false negatives which could potentially represent a huge opportunity cost. The need to scale up assay throughput and improve accuracy, resolution, and objectivity was met with the integration of the Reshape platform. Manual, subjective methods such as endpoint scoring on subjective scales limited scalability and introduced noise in the data, necessitating a more robust and automated solution. At the same time, the assays were a crucial source of leads and information, so being able to automate them in their current format was necessary.

The Solution: Digital Transformation with Reshape

In a matter of months, Syngenta implemented the Reshape Biology Platform to fully automate several assays and was able to achieve:

  • Enhanced lead quality by reducing false negatives and minimizing potential errors with automated quality assurance reports.
  • Higher data resolution with the application of AI models for granular, objective measurements at high-throughput such as the specimen size over time and time of appearance.
  • Completely automated the assay, removing manual bottlenecks, and allowing for the desired level of throughput without being reliant on highly skilled scientists spending critical time on manual assessments
  • Reduced time-to-result by 30% and decreased the number of replicates required by 25%, allowing much faster turn-around time and lower cost per sample.
  • A validated pipeline with an elevated level of documentation and digitalization, ensuring a fully automated and objective scoring system that doesn’t drift over time.

Impact of pioneering approach to R&D using AI: Throughput, Accuracy, Resolution, and Objectivity

The collaboration between Syngenta and Reshape has shown how state-of-the-art AI can quickly be deployed for high throughput phenotyping in agricultural R&D. The implementation of the Reshape Biology Platform resulted in significant advancements across four key dimensions: throughput, accuracy, resolution, and objectivity.

Learn more about Syngenta's commitment to sustainable agriculture through innovation and collaboration with focused research and development in seeds:

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