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BGI, TGAC Collaborating on Food Security, Health

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – BGI and The Genome Analysis Center said on Tuesday they will collaborate to "foster key research developments in the areas of food security, energy, and health."

Part of the research being undertaken as part of the partnership is focused on crop genomics. BGI and TGAC already are working on important crop species, including wheat, barley, and rice, and they plan on investigating methods of improving crops and food security by applying sequencing technologies with new computational solutions, such as rapidly identifying alleles associated with desired traits.

They also will investigate ways of deriving energy from crops.

As part of the collaboration, a fellowship program is planned for Chinese researchers who are early in their careers, providing them with access to expertise and educational opportunities at the Norwich Research Park in the UK, where TGAC is based.

"This is a great opportunity to build on our relationship with BGI and form a long-term collaboration with them," TGAC Acting Director Mario Caccamo said in a statement. "The Norwich Research Park has emerged as a leader in plant genomics research and biotechnology. The partnership between TGAC and BGI will facilitate future implementation of novel solutions to tackle important global challenges in food security and sustainable energy."

Ning Li, director of BGI Europe, added, "We would like to collaborate with more researchers in Europe to better accelerate the genomic studies on human health, agriculture, bio-energy, as well as other innovative research."

Financial and other terms of the alliance were not disclosed.