Seed World

Benson Hill and RAPiD Genomics to Collaborate on Crop Improvement

Benson Hill Biosystems has entered into a partnership with RAPiD Genomics, a provider of genotyping and data analysis solutions for applications in the agriculture, forestry and livestock industries.

Genotyping is the process of determining differences in the genetic make-up (genotype) of an individual by using biological assays, or tests, to examine the individual’s DNA and comparing it to that of another individual or reference. It is often paired with “sequencing”, in which the base pairs that make up DNA are identified one at a time and in order, to analyze DNA.   

“RAPiD Genomics has the technology to accelerate genotyping using next-generation sequencing,” said Mike Thompson, vice president of Partner Development at Benson Hill, which is based in St. Louis. “Under this agreement, we’ll be able to go to RAPiD Genomics for sequencing and genotyping that our customers can’t do themselves. By combining their technology capabilities with our own CropOS platform and data analytics, we’ll be able to offer our customers even stronger capabilities for optimizing the power of predictive breeding.”

Benson Hill’s CropOS utilizes predictive analytics to quickly identify the most desirable individuals throughout a breeding program, bypassing multiple generations of field experimentation to develop improved varieties with greater precision and efficiency than traditional breeding methods.

“Our technologies provide DNA, RNA, and data analysis solutions that are fast, flexible, and apply to any species,” says Richard Currie, CEO of RAPiD Genomics, which is based in Gainesville, Fla. “Our Flex-Seq¬® service, as one example, provides a platform for selective sequencing of up to 1,000 genomic markers in any species. This technology is highly scalable and is suitable for commercial breeding operations and other genotyping applications with high-throughput, low-cost demands. We are delighted to partner with Benson Hill Biosystems in this extended offering to its client base.”