KASP Genomic Selection
Improving farmers’ livelihoods through better rice varieties

The challenge

For about half a billion people in Asia, most of them poor, rice provides over 50% of the caloric supply so the size and stability of the rice harvest is crucial. In particular, the diseases of blast and bacterial leaf blight (BLB) can cause yield losses of 80% or more. This can be devasting for the livelihoods and food security of small holders in developing countries. In addition, breeding resistance into varieties currently relies on expensive and unreliable field screening.

The response

The simplest way to increase yields is by the breeding of new rice varieties with greater resistance to diseases and pests and improved tolerance to stresses. To help in this breeding all Asian national rice breeding programmes use DNA markers. This project will develop LGC genomics’ proprietary molecular technologies (called KASP) by providing thousands of new KASP markers. By the end of the project, KASP will become the marker of choice for rice breeders through greater choice of markers (available for any cross), reduced costs (allowing a three-fold increase in the size of the breeding programme) and increased speed and reliability. Agri-EPI Centre are acting as project managers and ensuring that the project runs smoothly.


  • Improvement in livelihoods of rice farmers
  • Improvement in developing world food security

Project type

Late stage experimental development


Department for International Development through Innovate UK

Project duration

1 August 2017 – 31 July 2020

More information

More information

Website UK Research and Innovation: gtr.ukri.org

List of partners

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