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Illumina, IMPLAD Partner to Sequence Medicinal Plants

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Illumina announced yesterday that it has partnered with China's Institute of Medicinal Plant Development (IMPLAD) to create a genomic reference catalog for medicinal plants used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

Under the terms of the collaboration, Illumina will perform next-generation sequencing on DNA samples from roughly 500 medicinal plants identified by IMPLAD. The institute will then assemble and annotate the chloroplast genomes with help from Illumina. Pending a review of this work, the two may negotiate a second agreement to sequence an additional 500 medicinal plants to complete IMPLAD's One Thousand Medicinal Plant Genome initiative.

Additional terms were not disclosed.

"With the rapid development of TCM markets around the world, a genomic reference for the plant species used in Chinese medicine would ensure the quality, safety, and effectiveness of TCM products," Shilin Chen, director of the Institute of Materia Medica and IMPLAD advisor, said in a statement.