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New partnership to advance global potato genomics

 

July 30, 2015, Beijing, China – The International Potato Center (CIP) is partnering with Novogene Bioinformatics Technology Co., Ltd. to advance potato genome research.


July 31, 2015
By International Potato Center

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The partnership, which was announced this week during the 9th World Potato Congress in Beijing, aims to facilitate production of improved varieties that will meet future challenges such as increased yield, disease resistance and drought tolerance in response to global population growth and the effects of climate change on crops.

Under the partnership, Novogene will sequence the genomes of samples provided by CIP from nine different taxa of cultivated potato and one closely related wild species. Novogene’s scientists will then apply their cutting edge bioinformatics technologies and expertise to assemble the millions of sequences and align them to the publicly available reference potato genome.
 
“Our partnership with Novogene has the potential to significantly advance potato genomics and benefit current and future research to improve potato cultivation,” said Dr. Barbara H. Wells, director general of CIP. “At its core, it will enable the sequencing of 10 new potato genomes, while currently only two are known. Five years ago, even attempting such a project would not have been feasible. While still no trivial task, the combined knowledge of CIP plant scientists and Novogene scientists, along with advances in technology, now makes this type of discovery a possibility.”

“The work being undertaken represents a large first step to enable us to start to understand the complex genomes of potato,” added Dr. David Ellis, director of CIP’s Genebank. “Novogene brings great technological know-how to this project that will help us to unravel hidden genetic treasures in the potato genome and the CIP Genebank. Uncovering and unraveling these treasures – including the possibility of identifying genes that are responsible for important traits such as disease resistance, insect resistance, drought, frost and salinity tolerance, early tuber formation, enhanced yield and more – all becomes possible via the use of genomics technology.”

“We welcome this opportunity to partner with the International Potato Center to advance this important genomic research,” said Dr. Ruiqiang Li, founder and chief executive officer of Novogene. “By applying our sequencing and bioinformatics expertise to CIP’s extensive gene bank, we hope to have a positive impact on future global crop production.”