The Molecular Genomics group assists in the development of cultivars with superior quality, through practical application of high throughput sequencing and genotyping technologies. The team continuously scouts for novel developments in these fields and evaluates the most promising of these technologies for application by the shareholder or in shareholder specific applied projects. Currently, one of the main focus points in the molecular breeding (r)evolution is the increased output and read length of sequencing platforms. The Molecular Genomics group anticipates on these developments by optimizing protocols for high throughput DNA isolation and high throughput sequence library preparation. In addition, the isolation of pure high molecular weight DNA (HMW DNA) is a focus point, as this is essential to benefit optimally from the long read sizes of novel sequencing technologies. In addition, novel genotyping approaches and optimizations in turn-around time are continuously being evaluated for application in, for example, Genomic Selection programs.
Genomic selection (GS) is an alternative to marker-assisted selection, which can accelerate the genetic gain through shorter breeding cycles. Genetwister is implementing new breeding schemes and methods that integrate GS for crop improvement.