Agrigenomics is the study of the genetic makeup of plants and how these genes play a part to produce the crop. The application of next-generation sequencing (NGS) and gene expression plays a crucial part in agrigenomics studies. These technologies have contributed to the agrigenomics market as they help to understand the evolution of plant, yield optimization, phylogenetic relationship, pest management, disease resistance, stress tolerance and optimization of growth for food and biofuel.
Moreover, with the evolving technologies agrigenomics research has a broad range of technologies for collecting genetic information. In the agrigenomics field array-based approach has been the method of choice for single nucleotide polymorphism screening. This method is used to analyze the associated traits with genome for many plants and animals in agrigenomics.
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The rapid penetration of sequencing technology in the agrigenomics market has resulted in higher throughput and lower cost per sample. Owing to this factor, the NGS technique is posed as a cost-effective and efficient tool for genotype screening, purity testing, gene mapping, screening backcross lines, performing association mapping, constructing haplotype maps and genomic selection in the agrigenomics market.
Moreover, NGS is widely used for larger genomes where funding is limited in the agrigenomics industry. Also, crop researchers supporting the application of NGS in agrigenomics for genomic assisted breeding and genomic selection have been driving the industry. Researchers are exploring the agrigenomics industry by finding alternatives to curb diseases that causes huge food loss. One such development in the agrigenomics market was by the Kansas State University (KSU), which cloned genes resistant to Fusarium head blight disease.
PCR-based sequencing method is labor intensive to amplify as it has to tag multiple targets to optimize sequencing coverage. As compared to this sequencing method used in agrigenomics, restriction digests used in the agrigenomics market along with NGS method is used for SNP discovery. Moreover, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Biological and Environmental Research, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture have collaborated to fund projects involving feedstock improvement by characterizing proteins, genes, and molecular interactions.
North America dominated the agrigenomics market due to massive government investment to undertake advanced sequencing techniques. In May 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) invested USD 10 million towards more efficient agriculture feedstock improvements and biofuel production. Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing region in the agrigenomics market with increasing government investment in the field of genomics and export of crops. In Japan, research in the field of agrigenomics is also growing as research institutes and industry players merge to unwind complex genomic profiles. In November 2016, NRGene was the first organization to assemble the genome structure of a commercially grown strawberry. The genome was sequenced using Illumina sequencing technology and assembled by NRGene’s cloud-based DeNovoMAGIC 3.0 software.
Some of the agrigenomics market contributors are Illumina, Affymetrix, Genotypic Technology Pvt Ltd, Thermo Fisher Scientific, GalSeq srl, SciGenom Labs Pvt. Ltd, Edico Genome, Agilent Technologies, Inc. (U.S.), Eurofins Scientific SE and LGC Limited.
Industry players are expanding their product portfolios by either developing new sequencing solutions or through acquisitions. In January 2016, Affymetrix, Inc. with the introduction of new targeted GBS solution and array formats expanded its agrigenomics portfolio.
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The agrigenomics industry is also experiencing the penetration of cloud technology for platform generation. Genestack, a developer of a platform for genomic research and development, was a part of a research project along with Rothamsted Research.