Crop Protection

2Blades and Computomics Launch Pilot Project using Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tools to Accelerate Discovery of Disease-resistant Genes Across Crop Species

The collaboration will explore the implementation of Computomics’ machine learning technology, xSeedScore®, with datasets from 2Blades’ gene discovery platform, NLRseek™,to enhance the discovery and use of resistance genes across crops and pathogens.

20 November 2023, Switzerland: 2Blades and Computomics have launched a pilot project to advance predictive Artificial Intelligence (AI) models that can enhance the effectiveness and throughput of disease and pest-resistant trait discovery across crop species. Trained with data from 2Blades’ proprietary resistance gene discovery platform, NLRseek™, the models will utilize Computomics’ proprietary machine learning technology, xSeedScore®, in the in silico analysis and characterization of resistance genes across crops and pathogens. By combining these platforms, the two organizations hope to revolutionize the gene identification and validation process, and vastly speed up the delivery of crop solutions into the hands of commercial and smallholder farmers.

“Pathogen resistance is of immense importance for all crops. We are excited to collaborate with 2Blades to help identify functional resistance genes and create a major impact in agriculture“, says Dr. Sebastian J Schultheiss, Managing Director of Computomics.

“The NLRseek™ platform is proving to be a quantum leap in the identification of naturally-occurring resistance genes from diverse plants; when transferred into crops, such genes provide protection from the most intractable and damaging pests and pathogens. Partnering with Computomics is an exciting opportunity to make the existing NLRseekTM process smarter, more effective, and more adaptable for agriculture,” stated 2Blades Business Development Manager, Apolonio Huerta.

NLRseek™ derives its name from one of the primary branches of the plant immune system, Nucleotide-binding Leucine-rich Repeat (NLR) receptor proteins. Plant NLRs are critical for ensuring strong resistance to crop pathogens, but existing approaches for identifying NLR genes that are functional in the field, such as map-based cloning or mutagenesis, are labor intensive and require substantial sequencing investment and bioinformatic expertise. 2Blades proprietary NLRseek™ platform has proven to dramatically reduce the time, resources, and effort required to find functional resistance genes, paving the way for the accelerated deployment of disease resistant crops needed by farmers today.

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