Dedicated to making tangible contributions

Enabling groundbreaking research for greater sustainability, productivity, and nutritional density

Agricultural Community

Illumina is dedicated to making tangible contributions to the agricultural community, with the goal of reducing hunger, malnutrition, and poverty. We are committed to enabling groundbreaking research that will result in increased sustainability, productivity, and nutritional density of agricultural species.

Reducing Global Hunger with Agrigenomics

Through the Illumina Greater Good Sequencing Grant Program, we are collaborating with the agricultural community to support research into creating a sustainable, nutritious food supply. The grant program is designed to help identify measures that can increase crop yields and improve livestock welfare and productivity to alleviate poverty and hunger in the developing world.

Agricultural Greater Good Initiative

The Grand Prize winner will receive 20 tera-bases of Illumina NovaSeq sequencing data on samples of your choice (check Terms and Conditions). The winner will be announced during the Illumina Workshop at PAG XXVII in San Diego on January 12-19, 2019.

Agricultural Greater Good Initiative

This initiative recognizes researchers in the agricultural community using Illumina technology to help alleviate global hunger, malnutrition, and poverty.

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In 2015, Illumina awarded the Agricultural Greater Good Sequencing Grant to the African Orphan Crops Consortium. In collaboration with the agricultural community, Illumina recently donated a HiSeq 4000 System to enable the consortium to complete its crop sequencing project. The African Orphan Crops Consortium will use the genetic information to breed new lines of more nutritious crops. Members of the African Orphan Crops Consortium hope that their work will help to improve the food supply and nourish families in need.

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Improving Nutrition in Africa

The grant program is open to basic researchers in agrigenomics at academic or nonprofit institutions. Priority will be given to research that increases sustainability, productivity, and nutritional density of the world’s food supply.

In 1000 words or less, provide an overview, a statement of work, and a description of the impact of your research. You may also include up to three figures, with legends, and a list of citations (not included in the word count).

In these sections, applicants should include:

  • Economic impact
  • Social impact
  • Collaborators
  • Nations represented
  • Technologies used
  • Other sources of funding

To be considered, all entries must:

  • Be in English
  • Be complete
  • Be an original work

A team of Illumina scientists and executives will judge all submissions. Each submission will be judged based on our view of how well the entry reflects scientific merit, innovation, and fit with the values of the Illumina Agricultural Greater Good Initiative.

Allen Van Deynze

University of California Davis, African Orphan Crops Consortium

Through the African Orphan Crops Consortium, Allen Van Deynze, PhD is using genomics to advance the breeding process for orphan crop plant species, with a mission to curb malnutrition in African children.

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Max Rothschild

Iowa State University, Global Food Security Consortium

Illumina sheep and goat BeadChips help Iowa State University researchers identify selection signatures associated with heat and drought tolerance.

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Tim Close

University of California at Riverside

Timothy J. Close, PhD is studying the cowpea to maximize drought resistance of this important food source in West Africa.

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Appolinaire Djikeng

Biosciences eastern and central Africa – International Livestock Research Institute Hub (BecA-ILRI Hub)

Illumina sequencing is enabling BecA-ILRI Hub researchers to better understand two viruses responsible for infecting cassava crops throughout Africa.

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Rajeev Varshney


Rajeev Varshney, PhD and other ICRISAT researchers are using Illumina sequencing to develop disease-resistant pigeonpea varieties.

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G. Craig Yencho and Bode Olukolu

North Carolina State University, Department of Horticulture

G. Craig Yencho and Bode Olukolu are working to develop a whole-genome assembly and a SNP array for the nutritious sweet potato

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Genomics to Enhance Global Food Security
Genomics to Enhance Global Food Security

The African Orphan Crops Consortium is using genomics to address malnutrition in Africa.

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