Biotech Updates

CMDV to Accelerate Conventional Breeding in Malaysia

November 25, 2011

The recently concluded BioMalaysia 2011 saw the launch of the Center for Marker Discovery and Validation (CMDV) based in the Malaysian Agriculture Research and Development Institute (MARDI) by the Prime Minister Dato' Sri Najib Tun Razak. MARDI, the nation's premier institute for agricultural research, is the custodian of the technology due to their extensive experience in the field of molecular agricultural genomics.

The center will be utilizing a platform technology acquired by BiotechCorp, the Marker Assisted Selection (MAS) platform. MAS uses DNA markers in the process of selecting desired plant varieties which will speed up the plant and animal breeding process by enabling variety development through selection of desired genotypes during the early stage of the breeding program.

"This will enable the production of planting materials or brood-stock that are certified to contain desired attributes, thus enabling Malaysia's sales of these products to increase and capture significantly higher value," Mardi director general Datuk Dr Abd Shukor Abd Rahman said in an interview with the Business Times.

In conjunction with the launch, strategic collaborations involving BiotechCorp, MARDI and four other parties in the form of Memorandum of Agreements were announced, utilizing the platform. The early utilizers of the platform include the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, for the genotyping of the palm oil crop; JEFI Aquatech Resources for the breeding of shrimp and other products; as well as, Green World Genetics Sdn Bhd for the breeding of hybrid seeds of vegetables and fruit.

Ema Kenneth Fung of the Malaysia Biotechnology Information Center at for additional information.