Funded by the Department for International Development through Innovate UK, this project directly addresses the need to improve food security and livelihoods for international development.
The project is a collaboration between partners LGC Biosearch Technologies, Bangor University, Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC), Anamolbiu (APL), the Pakistani National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (NIBGE), and subcontractor, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir (SKUAST). Agri-EPI Centre are the lead partner and provide project management support to ensure the smooth running of the project and allow the rest of the consortium to focus on the technical elements of delivery.
This project is developing LGC Biosearch Technologies’ proprietary genotyping technology (called KASP) by providing thousands of new KASP markers to aid Asian rice breeding programmes and accelerate the breeding of new rice varieties with greater disease resistance.
Genomic selection relies on information from a huge number of markers distributed across the genome that can be deployed to capture and collect data that indicate the diversity of genetic characteristics within that genome. The process is much quicker and cheaper than current methods of marker assisted selection. Once extracted, the data can be used to estimate crop breeding values without the need for precise knowledge about where the exact genes are located.
The main body of work for the KASP project is based in Nepal with partners Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC), among other countries like India and Pakistan. The primary goal of the project is to increase the efficiency of breeding new varieties of rice that are genetically suited to resist disease and grow a larger crop yield for farmers in Asian developing nations.
Genomic Selection: Improving farmers’ livelihoods through better rice varieties