Bridgestone Americas and NRGene, a genomic big data solutions company, have entered into a research partnership with the aim of enhancing the tire maker’s US alternative domestic natural rubber breeding program.
The two will work together to sequence and assemble multiple genomes of guayule, a rubber-producing plant indigenous to the hot, dry environments of the southwestern USA and North Central Mexico, to develop new, high-yielding varieties.
The first-ever two guayule genomes have already been sequenced and completely assembled; and a physical and genetic map are being developed, which will provide a high level of accuracy and efficiency for breeding improvement.
“We are looking forward to utilizing NRGene’s capabilities and experience in agricultural genome analytics to move our guayule breeding program to a new level that will ultimately benefit our customers and society,” said Nizar Trigui, chief technology officer, Bridgestone Americas.
“This will quickly bring the most advanced molecular breeding capabilities previously found only in advanced row crops to guayule, an undomesticated species.”
NRGene’s DeNovoMAGICTM 3.0 will develop high-quality, comprehensive genome assemblies of multiple varieties of guayule to uncover and utilize the genetic variation in the species. The genome assemblies also will open the potential to accelerate genetic gains by reducing the time for selection cycles of important traits including overall rubber yield.
The system can be used to impute sequence level information from molecular marker data to design the most efficient markers associated with rubber yield traits and traits that protect the plant from stresses and diseases.
March 1, 2018