MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--DNAnexus Inc. announced today that its groundbreaking cloud-based genome informatics and data management platform is powering the 3000 Rice Genomes Project (3K RGP). The project is a partnership between the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), and BGI in China and their numerous collaborators globally, who are attempting to solve one critical question: how can we continue to feed the growing human population?
Rice is a diet staple for half the world’s population. It is estimated that production of this grain must increase by at least 25% by 2030 to keep pace with population growth. Researchers are using genomics to identify critical genetic differences between strains of rice for nutrition, climate tolerance, and disease resistance – differences that can be utilized in the paddy field in upcoming years to breed rice varieties that can support global demands.
The 3K RGP has analyzed 3,000 rice genomes, generating more than 100 TB of data that was processed on 37,000 CPU cores concurrently. Using DNAnexus, the team completed the mapping and variant calling more than 200 times faster and without incurring additional costs in purchasing and maintaining compute infrastructure. 3K RGP investigators are located across the globe in 10 countries, and they are able to access results and collaborate in real time, without the costs of shipping these datasets on physical storage. The result has been hundreds of new genetic markers, each a potential pathway to improving outcomes for rice production. The genes linked to valuable traits can help breed new rice varieties that have improved yield, higher nutritional value, or greater tolerance to pests, diseases, and drought.
According to Robert S. Zeigler, Director General of IRRI, “Humans have been improving rice over thousands of years. Using this new knowledge of the rice genome, public interest research organizations can further improve rice yields, the nutritional content of rice, as well as the rice plant’s resistance to the negative effects of climate change, pests, and disease.”
“The 3K Rice Genomes Project is a powerful example of how DNAnexus is being used to accelerate scientific discovery, in a project whose sheer volume and scope is unprecedented in the agricultural community,” said Richard Daly, CEO of DNAnexus. “We are thrilled to support this work on our platform, particularly given the wider social benefits of success.”
DNAnexus combines expertise in cloud computing and bioinformatics to create a global network for genomic medicine. DNAnexus provides security, scalability and collaboration for enterprises and organizations that are pursuing genomic-based approaches to health in order to accelerate medical discovery. DNAnexus is supporting customers around the world that are tackling some of the most challenging and exciting opportunities in human health. For more information, please visit: https://dnanexus.com and follow us at @DNAnexus.