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Illumina, Minderoo Foundation Ink A$40M Partnership on Marine Life Sequencing

NEW YORK – Illumina and the Minderoo Foundation said on Tuesday that they have signed a partnership to commit A$40 million (US$27.8 million) toward sequencing DNA in marine systems.

Under the three-year agreement, the partners will each contribute A$20 million and work to scale Minderoo's environmental DNA (eDNA) sequencing capabilities. They will collaborate to create reference genomes from marine vertebrate samples held in museum collections to help identify unknown eDNA sequences from seawater.

Other details were not disclosed.

"By rapidly identifying species that may be endangered, invasive, or otherwise poorly understood, the research will contribute data and information to support timely and impactful marine biodiversity conservation," Minderoo's Steve Burnell, director of the OceanOmics program, said in a statement.

Minderoo has installed an Illumina NextSeq 2000 aboard its research vessel.

In 2019, San Diego-based Illumina donated reagents to help create 100 high-quality reference genomes as part of the Earth BioGenome Project.