The University of Arizona
Helping to Solve the 9 Billion-People Question
Institute Profile
The Arizona Genomics Institute (AGI) was formed in 2002 when Dr. Rod A. Wing joined the School of Plant Sciences at the University of Arizona in Tucson. The primary focus of AGI is in the area of structural, evolutionary and functional genomics of crop plants where it has played significant roles in over 30 plant and animal genome projects. AGI is divided into 4 Centers each lead by a Center Leader (BAC/EST Library Construction & Resource Center, Sequencing & Physical Mapping Center [including: production sequencing and fingerprinting, and sequence finishing], Bioinformatics Center, and the Evolutionary and Functional Genomics Center). AGI is housed in the state of the art Thomas W. Keating Bioresearch Building on the northeast part of the UA campus near the Arizona Health Science Center. AGI currently employees about 10 scientists and is primarily funded through federal grants, private contracts, and the Bud Antle Endowed Chair in Plant Molecular Genetics.
Learn more about
Click to see original Image in a new window

AGI is an Approved PacBio Certified Service Provider

The Arizona Genomics Institute recently acquired a Pacific Biosciences Sequel state-of-the-art long-read sequencing instrument that is now available for service project sequencing. AGI has developed robust pipelines for sequencing whole genomes, transcriptomes and BAC clones. Pacbio sequencing uses Single Molecule Real Time sequencing of large templates to produce extremely long reads.
BAC/EST Resources Available for Distribution
Libraries: 365
Clones: 15,083,328
Recent News
Opening the doors to food security through genomics Posted by webmaster
Click to see original Image in a new window
The development of Green Super Rice, a new breed of stable, climate-smart, high-yielding varieties, opens up the potential of understanding and using genomics of agroecosystems in responding to the increasingly complex challenges the agricultural sector is facing today.

As the global population continues to increase exponentially each day, so does the demand for rice, a major staple food and livelihood for more than 3.5 billion people. Given the current growth rate, it is expected that global population will reach around 10 billion by 2050. Much of this increase will occur in poor, densely populated regions in Asia and Africa that are already highly dependent on rice for food, nutrition, and livelihood.

The article “The Rice Genome Revolution: from an Ancient Grain to Green Super Rice” published in Nature Reviews Genetics discusses how genomes from domesticated and wild rice can be used to improve other breeding programs, making it more responsive to global needs.

IRRI’s first AXA Chair and University of Arizona professor, Rod A. Wing, teamed up with Michael D. Purugganan of New York University, and Qifa Zhang of the Huazhong Agricultural University, in investigating genetic variation among domesticated rice species to develop more stable high-yielding varieties and enhance other breeding programs. Though traditional breeding programs resulted in varieties with better lodging resistance and higher yield vigor, it has been costly in terms of resources most especially with the environment.

In 2008, one year after Professor Zhang first proposed the concept of Green Super Rice (GSR), IRRI and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, began working together to use genomics to develop GSR varieties. That is, varieties that are higher yielding and more nutritious, while at the same time requiring less water, fertilizers and pesticides and can grow on marginal lands. GSR varieties also hold the potential to help smallholder farmers mitigate the impact of climate change in their livelihoods.

GSR varieties are developed to efficiently use nutrients and have resistance to pests, diseases, and abiotic stresses such as drought, submergence, salinity, cold, and heat. These varieties are able to produce enough food with improved eating quality for the world’s expanding population while using fewer inputs such as water, fertilizer, and pesticide. This reduces greenhouse gas emissions thus decreasing the impact of rice farming on the environment.

Through the use of available gene sequences (see Genomic variation in 3,010 diverse accessions of Asian cultivated rice), breeders could use genetic markers to develop varieties like GSR. As a result, the breeding process becomes more efficient, precise, and more responsive in developing varieties that can help in achieving food security in a complex production environment. ... on=&id_category=&id_crop=

How can we solve world hunger with rice?
A portion of AGI's material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 102620.