Seed World

Which Genomic Tools Best Suit Your Program?

Director of Marketing ,
Standard Biotools

Roberto Spada is the director of marketing at Standard BioTools. He holds a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Madrid.

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The genomic tools at plant breeders’ fingertips today would be almost impossible for breeders’ predecessors to imagine. Genomic advancements are opening the door to huge gains in crop yield, resource use efficiency, pathogen resistance, stress tolerance and more. They also bring a new challenge: if you are a plant breeder with various genomic options available, how do you choose which genomic tools might best suit your needs? The right fit is one the meets your biggest plant breeding priorities: 

Are you looking for faster throughput and easier to assess QTLs for marker-assisted breeding? Would you like to be able to screen seeds more easily for PCR-based quality control? Could being able to look at multiple pathogens simultaneously dramatically speed your workflow? Might automating library preparation and processing multiple samples and assays simultaneously enhance your breeding program’s efficiency? Do you want control of genomic testing in-house via a cost-effective, user-friendly system? 

Microfluidic chip-based genomics — genomics on nanoscale — allows all this and more. 

Whereas conventional genomic technologies are generally either multiplexed (producing non-specific data from large numbers of grouped samples) or singleplexed (producing high-resolution data based on just a single sample), Standard BioTools’ microfluidic system allows the best of both worlds: highly specific, individualized data from multiple samples. Even more importantly, our microfluidics system allows operators to customize the interrogation to exactly what they need and even make changes on-the-go. Need to replace certain targets or add additional samples? No problem: our microfluidic chips can be adjusted and customized at any time. 

We’re also cost effective. Because the samples and reagents are used in nano-size and the technology is fully automated, microfluidics helps minimize the costs of both material and labor while providing highly reproducible data from robust instrumentation. That ‘press start and walk away’ is arguably what researchers like very best about our technology. Our fully-contained system is easy enough for anyone to use, but puts genomics right into plant breeders’ hands, no sending away samples and waiting on results required.

The benefits of microfluidics are clear: greater workflow efficiency, far more flexibility and customization, high data quality (a 0.2% drop-out rate) and speed.  In articles like this one over the coming months, we’ll explain how our technology works and why it belongs on your laboratory counter. If we’ve piqued your interest and you’re keen to learn more now, check us out here