Berkeley Lights Inc. and Aanika Biosciences have announced a strategic partnership that will allow faster identification of outbreak sources, reduce incidents of fresh produce contamination, and minimize the impact for foodborne illness-released recalls.

Aanika will use Berkeley Lights' high-throughput, functional screening service to quickly identify and optimize functional, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) that are capable of killing bacteria, including those that cause foodborne illness outbreaks. Additionally, the Beacon Optofluidic Platform will be used to find peptides that are toxic to bacteria to create a new antibacterial tag, which will then be applied to its bacterial spore-based barcoding technology to protect the food supply chain.

AMPs are becoming more popular as antibacterial agents across a large range of applications, since microbes are becoming more resistant to antibiotics, and are a growing focus for both companies.

Additionally, Berkeley Lights will receive a royalty agreement as part of the partnership.