It will be crucial in development of improved varieties

HYDERABAD: BGI, the world's largest genomics organisation founded in China and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) here have jointly announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a long-term collaboration on applied genomics research and molecular breeding.

The partnership aims to enhance precision of breeding programmes for semi-arid tropic crops by using next-generation sequencing technologies towards crop improvement for sustainable food production particularly in the dry lands of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

The MoU was signed by Dr.William D. Dar, Director General of ICRISAT and Dr.Gengyun Zhang, vice-president of BGI.

The two organisations agreed to enhance their collaboration in agricultural research for development, especially in the genome sequencing and analysis of ICRISAT mandate crops namely, chickpea, finger millet, groundnut, pearl millet, pigeonpea and sorghum, as well as in capacity building and other agreed activities.

The collaboration will be crucial in the development of improved varieties that can provide high yields and at the same time meet the challenges of marginal environments and the threat of climate change and scarce natural resources in the drylands, according to a press release.

ICRISAT and BGI together with several organisations from the U.S. and Europe, has just completed the de novo genome sequencing of pigeon pea, known as the “poor people's meat,” published in the journal Nature Biotechnology in November 2011.


  • The partnership aims to enhance precision of breeding programmes for semi-arid tropic crops

  • Two organisations agree to enhance their collaboration in agricultural research