Winning a grant for the greater good

At the Plant and Animal Genome Conference, 11-15 January 2020 in San Diego, California, USA Illumina awarded Dr. Roland Schafleitner and the International Mungbean Improvement Network (IMIN) the 12th annual Illumina Agricultural Greater Good Initiative Grant for generating genomic resources for mungbean breeding, which contributes to food and nutrition security.

The IMIN, funded by the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and coordinated by the World Vegetable Center, seeks to unlock the potential of mungbean to improve system productivity and livelihoods. There are now 12 members in the network, including research institutes and private companies from Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Philippines, Switzerland, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The US$ 250,000 grant makes it possible to test new mapping approaches as an alternative to genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to reveal the genetic basis of important traits.

Additionally, the IMIN will use the grant to build capacity to maximize the use of genetic sequencing information in its breeding programs, specifically to use biodiverse germplasm for breeding and tracking important genetic traits.

IMIN collaborator Cheng Ruei Lee from National Taiwan University accepted the award with Roland.

Illumina is a leading developer, manufacturer, and marketer of life science tools and integrated systems for large-scale analysis of genetic variation and function. These systems are enabling studies that were not even imaginable just a few years ago. With rapid advances in technology Illumina aims to offer solutions that are innovative, flexible and scalable. The company is based in San Diego, with offices in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Korea, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore and the UK.