Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN) today announced two new grant recipients
of its Agricultural Greater Good Initiative at the 21st
International Plant and Animal Genome Conference. The recipients,
International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
(ICRISAT) and Biosciences Eastern and Central Africa - International
Livestock Research Institute Hub (BecA-ILRI Hub), are pioneering
applications of Illumina technologies to increase crop yields and reduce
poverty and hunger.
ICRISAT will use the grant to expand its efforts to improve the
productivity of pigeonpea, a staple crop used for food, feed and fuel
production in Africa and India. BecA-ILRI Hub will use the grant to
expand its study of genetic resistance to cassava brown streak disease
and cassava mosaic disease, both of which have infected large
percentages of crops across East Africa where cassava is a major source
"There is nothing more foundationally important to health than food, and
Illumina is excited to be involved with organizations working at the
forefront of food security," said Jay Flatley, President and CEO of
Illumina. "Collaboration will enable the power of genomics to impact
more people and on a global scale."
"We are very excited to be a part of Illumina's Agricultural Greater
Good Initiative," said ICRISAT Director General William Dar. "This grant
will supplement our USAID-sponsored efforts on pigeonpea improvement
through molecular breeding. We are working in collaboration with our
national partners such as the Indian Council of Agricultural Research
(ICAR) and State Agricultural Universities, as well as with our African
partner institutes, to help ensure food security and income generation
in developing countries."
"Collaborations like these between Illumina and the BecA-ILRI Hub are
very welcome as they are key contributors towards strengthening
agricultural research and capacity development in Africa," said Dr.
Appolinaire Djikeng, interim Director of the BecA-ILRI Hub. "If we are
to bring Africa out from the shadow of poverty and food insecurity, then
African scientists must have the tools to conduct research at the same
level as other scientists around the world."
In 2012, Illumina broadened the scope of the Agricultural Greater Good
Initiative through engagement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
and Dow AgroSciences, as well as with the Feed the Future Initiative of
the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
"We're excited about the opportunity to connect advances in sequencing
technologies with the needs of millions of families farming small plots
of land in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia," said Katherine Kahn,
Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
"Increasing the productivity and resilience of staple crops including
cassava and legumes is key to helping small farmers lift themselves out
"Through science, Dow AgroSciences is working to serve the needs of the
growing world," said Gordon Slack, Dow AgroSciences Global Leader,
Finance and Public Affairs. "The need for novel solutions to address
food insecurity in Africa and other locations is of paramount importance
to Dow AgroSciences employees and the agriculture industry as a whole.
We are honored to play a part in this vital work."
Illumina's Agricultural Greater Good Initiative, launched in 2011, helps
to spur critically needed research that will increase the
sustainability, productivity and nutritional density of agriculturally
important crop and livestock species. Grant recipients receive donations
of Illumina reagents to support their projects.
For more information about the Illumina Agricultural Greater Good
Initiative, please visit: www.illumina.com/agrigood.
is a leading developer, manufacturer, and marketer of life science tools
and integrated systems for the analysis of genetic variation and
function. We provide innovative sequencing and array-based solutions for
genotyping, copy number variation analysis, methylation studies, gene
expression profiling, and low-multiplex analysis of DNA, RNA, and
protein. We also provide tools and services that are fueling advances in
consumer genomics and diagnostics. Our technology and products
accelerate genetic analysis research and its application, paving the way
for molecular medicine and ultimately transforming healthcare.
The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid-Tropics
(ICRISAT) is a non-profit, non-political organization that conducts
agricultural research for development in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa
with a wide array of partners throughout the world. Covering 6.5 million
square kilometers of land in 55 countries, the semi-arid tropics have
over 2 billion people, and 644 million of these are the poorest of the
poor. ICRISAT and its partners help empower these poor people to
overcome poverty, hunger and a degraded environment through better
agriculture. ICRISAT is headquartered in Patancheru near Hyderabad,
Andhra Pradesh, India, with two regional hubs and five country offices
in sub-Saharan Africa. It is a member of the CGIAR Consortium. CGIAR is
a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future. Its
science is carried out by the 15 research centers who are members of the
CGIAR Consortium in collaboration with hundreds of partner
organizations. For more information, please visit ICRISAT (www.icrisat.org)
and CGIAR (www.cgiar.org).
About the BecA-ILRI Hub
The Biosciences eastern and central Africa-International Livestock
Research Institute (BecA?ILRI) Hub is a world-class agricultural
research and biosciences facility located at and managed by ILRI
in Nairobi, Kenya. It provides support to African and international
scientists conducting research on African agricultural challenges and
acts as a focal point for learning, interaction and strategic research -
enabling collaborations in the scientific community to benefit African
farmers and markets within the region. The Hub was established as part
of an African Union/New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD)
African Biosciences Initiative, which employs modern biotechnology to
improve agriculture, livelihoods and food security in eastern and
central Africa. For more information, please visit http://hub.africabiosciences.org
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