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Primary production projects

Current projects

High Quality Genomes and Population Genomics

Led by Thomas Buckley, Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research, Shannon Clarke, AgResearch, David Chagné, Plant & Food Research, Anna Santure, University of Auckland

This project, which spans both Environment and Primary production themes, is a merged workstream of previous Genomics Aotearoa projects - High Quality Genomes and Better Breeding Values. It aims to develop gold standard high quality assemblies, building on the progress already made in developing and benchmarking new technologies and bioinformatics tools on species unique to New Zealand. The project will also utilise these high-quality genome assemblies as a basis to generate and analyse population genomic sequence data. Knowledge of genomic variation within species will lead to better prediction of traits of economic importance, and informed prioritisation of functionally important variation in threatened species.

Completed projects

Better Breeding Values

Led by Dorian Garrick, Massey University, and Michael Lee, University of Otago

Primary industries rely on genetic improvement to maintain sustainability and increase efficiency and profitability, in order to remain competitive and mitigate risk. This project developed next-generation tools and approaches to help manage the complexity of using genomic data to predict breeding values.

High Quality Genomes


Blueberries, photo by Elisabeth Joly

Led by David Chagné, Plant & Food Research, and Thomas Buckley, Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research

High quality genome (sets of DNA) sequences of organisms that are important to New Zealand are needed for conservation purposes and breeding within our primary industries. Assembling high quality genomes is a challenge as many genomes are large, variable or very complex. This project developed the capability and distributed tools needed to routinely generate high quality genome assemblies. These tools will accelerate protection of our threatened species and improve knowledge for primary production species.