BBSRC funded scientists are helping to unravel the genetic code of different rice varieties. Following the successful genome sequencing of 36 lines of native Vietnamese rice, the second phase of a joint Vietnam-United Kingdom project to characterise the genetic diversity of these 36 varieties of rice was launched on 28 August in Hanoi.
Dr Mario Caccamo, Acting Director of The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC) joined representatives from the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology, the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Agricultural Genetics Institute, the Vietnam National Seed Cooperation, the Southern Seed Joint Stock Company, Thai Binh Seed Company, representatives of rice research and breeding communities and Mr Anthony Stokes the British Ambassador to Vietnam at a workshop that introduced findings from the first phase of the project along with the potential applications of genomic tools in rice breeding.
The information gained from sequencing rice in the first phase of the project will be used to identify variation that provides plants with tolerance to flooding, drought, pests and disease - environmental factors that may become more challenging to control due to effects of climate change. As rice is a staple food for many people across the world this research will help ensure a sustainable food supply in the face of changing climate and a growing human population.
This second phase of the project will focus on exploitation of created data to develop molecular markers and use them for breeding purpose at AGI. In parallel 600 rice varieties with important traits like good quality, high productivity and resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses will be sequenced. Manpower for genomic and bioinformatics research will be developed to ensure future national capacity in development and application of genomic tools for crop research and breeding.
During the workshop that launched the second phase of the project, commemorative medals and certificates of merit were presented to those who have already contributed significantly to the project. Dr Mario Caccamo and Dr. Sarah Ayling were also presented with an award as TGAC had an important role in the collaboration of researchers from the UK and Vietnam who sequenced the 36 varieties of rice.
The Genome Analysis Centre is pleased to be part of this collaboration and looks forward to contributing its knowledge to this exciting and important project that will help the international efforts to secure food in a changing world.
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About The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC)
The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC) is a research institute focused on the development of genomics and computational biology. TGAC is based within the Norwich Research Park and receives strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council (BBSRC) and other research funders. TGAC is one of eight institutes that receives strategic funding from BBSRC.
TGAC offers state of the art DNA sequencing facility, unique by its operation of multiple complementary technologies for data generation. The Institute is a UK hub for innovative Bioinformatics through research, analysis and interpretation of multiple, complex data sets. It hosts one of the largest computing hardware facilities dedicated to life science research in Europe. It is also actively involved in developing novel platforms to provide access to computational tools and
processing capacity for multiple academic and industrial users and promoting applications of computational Bioscience. Additionally, the Institute offers a Training programme through courses and workshops, and an Outreach programme
targeting schools, teachers and the general public through dialogue and science communication activities, www.tgac.ac.uk.