In Japan, Toyota Motor Corporation signed an agreement with Kazusa DNA Research Institute, Eurofins Genomics K.K., and GeneBay Inc. to license Toyota’s unique GRAS-Di DNA analysis technology that can dramatically accelerate selective breeding.
Until now, selective breeding involved repeated selection and mating of parent varieties, based on extensive past results, and evaluation of their offspring, in order to select new varieties with the desired characteristics. In September 2016, Toyota announced that it had paired its proprietary sample preparation technology with a next-generation sequencer to develop GRAS-Di, a new technology that can substantially simplify the process of identifying and selecting specimens with useful genetic information.
GRAS-Di can be applied to general selective breeding in agriculture as well as areas including the livestock, forestry and fishery industries. Toyota believes the technology will contribute to addressing global issues through increased production of biofuels and foods and improvement of the disease resistance of crops.