- ABOUT US
Genomics involves the large-scale, simultaneous study of vast numbers of genes. In addition to DNA sequencing and gene identification, we focus our efforts on determining gene function, how genes are regulated and how the activity of one gene affects others.
This is making biotechnology and plant breeding even more effective. In addition to identifying novel, uncommon gene-trait combinations, our genomics tools allow us to evaluate larger families of genes and complex biological processes controlled by multiple genes. For plant breeders, genomics also allows us to create detailed maps to guide product selections. Historically, biotechnologists and plant breeders have worked with only single gene-trait combinations. Genomics has opened vast new possibilities.
Ceres has pioneered the development of laboratory systems that make full use of model plant systems. Before transforming crop plants, we first determine gene function, regulation, interaction and potential usefulness in plants that are well understood and easy to work with.
Our first tests are conducted on a small plant with a six-week growing cycle, called Arabidopsis. It has a very small genome (only five chromosomes), and behaves similarly to crop plants under experimental pressures.
Genes that enhance this model plant are tested in a fast-growing rice variety. Genes that show value in both these plants are then transformed and evaluated in energy crops. This process makes plant breeding and the development of biotech traits more efficient and increases our success rate.