News & Updates

As a joint venture between ICBA and BGI, the world’s largest genomic research institution, the Desert Life Science Laboratory (DLSL) will help to fast-track the discovery and development of food and other crops suited to marginal environments, that is agroecosystems constrained by a range of factors such as water scarcity, soil and water salinity, heat and drought, among others.

New genomic research facility to support food security efforts in the UAE and abroad

29 September 2021

A new advanced genomic research facility was inaugurated today at the headquarters of the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) to further genomic research on, among other things, healthier, more nutritious, and resilient crops for sustainable food systems.


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Based on the review of previous research on various crops, including pigeon pea, chickpea, faba bean, durum wheat, barley and rice, the study shows that crop populations obtained from multi-parent crosses enable a genetic analysis of complex traits in different crops and facilitate modern as well as conventional plant breeding.

Study sheds new light on multi-parent populations’ potential for crop breeding

20 August 2020

A recent study by an international team of scientists gives a new insight into how multi-parent populations (MPPs) can be better used for crop research, development and breeding.


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The cooperative agreement to this effect was signed by Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, Director General of ICBA, and Dr. Ren Wang, Senior Vice President of BGI Group, during the 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, China, on 25 April 2019.

ICBA, BGI partner to set up advanced genomics center in UAE

7 May 2020

To accelerate agricultural research and development in the world’s marginal environments, the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) and the BGI Group, the world's largest genomics research institution, have agreed to establish a dedicated, cutting-edge genomics center in the UAE.


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The main goal is to identify genes or quantitative trait loci (QTLs) responsible for agronomic and biochemical characters in quinoa and use those genes or QTLs in breeding to improve its yield, quality, and adaptability in marginal environments.

ICBA starts genome-wide association studies of quinoa

27 February 2020

The International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) has joined forces with the Max Planck Institute, Germany, and the BGI Group, one of the world's largest genomics companies, to conduct genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of quinoa.


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The partnership between ICBA and BGI was formalized through an agreement of intent to collaborate on establishing the genomics center in the United Arab Emirates.

United Arab Emirates introduces dedicated Center in Genomics as part of Future Food Security Agenda

28 March 2019

The International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) has joined forces with BGI, the world's largest genomics organization, to establish an advanced genomics center in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


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During the event, BGI and ICBA agreed to step up collaboration in the field of genomics.

High-profile symposium looks at genomics’ role in food security

4 March 2018

The symposium included the signing of an agreement of intent between ICBA and BGI, which seeks to develop the necessary frameworks and plans for the establishment of a joint research center at ICBA’s Dubai headquarters.


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