KeyGene and INCOTEC have intensified their collaboration in order to develop SNP assays in various crops. These assays, UniSNP sets, are used for quality control testing in commercial seed production, such as variety tracing and (hybrid to open pollinated) seed purity testing.
INCOTEC is the world’s largest independent seed enhancement company and KeyGene is one of the world’s leading Agro Biotechnology companies specialized in molecular plant genetics. The two companies teamed up in 2012 to work on this venture.
The UniSNP sets are unique SNP assays which have been developed through the united effort of INCOTEC, KeyGene and their customers. In the last 2 years UniSNP sets have been developed and commercialized worldwide for tomato, pepper, cucumber, melon, watermelon, lettuce and sunflower. These assays have proven to be highly predictive and effective.
A unique feature for the proprietary SNPs involved is that they have been developed from broad crop germplasm collections obtained from seed companies all over the world. Together, INCOTEC and KeyGene have designed broadly applicable SNP assays for the crops mentioned above and they have been made available to all seed companies. Crops which are currently under assay development are: eggplant, several brassicas, onion, corn and squash with rice and cotton to follow soon.
All UniSNP sets will be made commercially available shortly. INCOTEC and KeyGene provide customers the opportunity to send samples for testing. As the demands of the market will determine which crops will be added to the list, customers are able to influence the choice of crops for which assays will be developed.
Rob Pronk, General Manager INCOTEC Analytical Services: “This partnership with KeyGene is proving to be extremely successful and the KeySeeQ® bio-informatics approach from KeyGene enabled the selection of superior and descriptive SNPs. The market has been enthusiastic about participation and the resulting assays have been used by a broad spectrum of customers from all over the globe. We now have SNP assays for a growing list of crops. Our customers and contacts are keeping us informed about their requirements for additions to the list”.
Herco van Liere, Vice-President Business Development of KeyGene adds: “We are very happy with the results so far. INCOTEC’s global presence and strong relationship with seed companies on all continents is a huge advantage. The broad and diverse genetic origin of the germplasm that was used makes our assays unique and very descriptive for hybrid purity testing and variety tracing. This greatly enhances the quality and value of seed lots and enables companies to monitor their seed production process”.