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Arcadia, BGI Partner on Rice Genetics Resource

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Ag-bio firm Arcadia Biosciences announced today that it has formed a collaboration with BGI to create a rice genetic resource library to advance food crop research and development.

Under the deal, Shenzhen, China-based BGI and Arcadia will create, sequence, and characterize millions of new rice gene alleles, focusing on 5,000 proprietary indica-type rice lines with high-density genome variation provided by the company. 

BGI will determine the genomic DNA sequences for these lines, with the assembled and analyzed data made freely available online. BGI will also store the rice seeds and distribute the lines to researchers through its China National Gene Bank in exchange for users making the results of their studies on the lines available to the public.

Arcadia will retain the rights to any findings arising from the collaboration for use in its rice R&D programs, which include developing traits for nitrogen use efficiency and salinity tolerance. 

Additional terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.

"These shared results have the potential to accelerate rice variety development and eventually extend to other key food crops," Arcadia President and CEO Eric Rey said in a statement. "We are cost-effectively connecting a major global genetics research base with the breeders who can apply that knowledge practically to support global food security in the face of growing populations, limited land resources, and the negative effect of climate change on crop yields."