GCP launches its Molecular Breeding Platform

After months of discussions, brainstorming, design and preparatory work in collaboration with industry experts, public and private sector partners, and several complementary players from GCP’s broad network of collaborators, GCP is delighted to announce the launch of its Molecular Breeding Platform (MPB).

The MBP is conceived as a five-year project with a budget of US$21m, resulting from multilateral funding from various GCP donors, though largely supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The project began in July 2009, although discussions on the need for, and relevance of, such a platform were initiated around the time of GCP’s 2008 Annual Research Meeting in September in Bangkok, Thailand, with follow-up activities proceeding at a fast and furious pace. One key event in the preparatory phase was a consultation and planning workshop held 5–7 March 2009 in Montpellier, France (see presentations).

The goal of the project, led by GCP Subprogramme 4 Leader Graham McLaren, is to establish and deploy a web-based Molecular Breeding Platform (MBP) as a one-stop-shop for information, analytical tools and related services to design and efficiently conduct molecular-assisted breeding experiments. It is hoped that such a platform will enable breeding programmes in the public and private sector to accelerate variety development for developing countries using marker technologies for various breeding purposes, as well as deliver support services to guide and train breeders from national agricultural research systems in accessing and using marker technologies.

For more information on the project, we invite you to visit the MBP collaborative website. See also the press release announcing the launch of the MBP project.