Based on whole genome molecular breeding technology and genetic engineering technology, BGI-Agro carrries out genomics guided plant germplasms development and application, plant variety improvement and modern agriculture industrialization promotion.
It has a lab area of over 8000 square meters, over 1200 mu breeding field, well equipped with advanced experimental instruments. 

Plant platform of BGI-agro was founded in 2009. Before this, BGI had finished whole genome sequencing of several important agriculture related species including rice, silkworm, chicken and cucumber.Plant breeding platform has 3 major research directions: (1) important crop genome sequencing and bioinformatic analysis, including genome sequencing, genetic map construction and gene mining; (2) crop core germplasm collection and preservation; genotype and phenotype database construction; (3) establishment of the agricultural core technology system, including large-scale gene mining, high flux of transgenic technology, whole genome based molecular breeding techniques, etc.;

Plant breeding platform has several key laboratories, including: state agricultural genomics key laboratory, genomics key laboratory of agriculture ministry, state agriculture genomics group, CAAS-SIBI. It has established long-term collaboration with world famous agricultural institute such as International Rice Research Institute, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center. Our ultimate goal is to propel the development of modern biotech and crop breeding.

Plant breeding platform has launched several demonstrative projects from genome to breeding in rice, millet, soybean, corn and other important crops so far. High-throughput transgenic technology in rice, tobacco, Arabidopsis and other important crops has been established and the throughput reaches 300-500 genes / month. Both breeding and transgenic platform can provide powerful service and technique support for global scientists and breeders.

With expansion of talent team, improvement of scientific research conditions, development of international communication and deepening of scientific research, the plant breeding platform will definitely become the leader in China's agricultural genomics research and application, and make great contribution to the development of China's agriculture.

Tissue Culture Lab
Valuable laboratory instrument

Tissue culture room 
Molecular Breeding Lab

Genotyping Lab

Combined with hand-made cloning and whole genome  molecular breeding technology, BGI has established a platform for boar-selection, in which some domestic breeds of high-quality are housed, including Bama mini-pigs and Tibetan mini-pigs. Totally, there is a well-equipped pig farm over 200 mu and 160 square meters of ultra-clean SPF mouse rooms. Till now, animal models of dwarfish, type 2 diabetes mellitus have been developed via genetic engineering. In the future, more models, such as cardiovascular, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, will be generated.

Experimental base 
Mouse House

Development of disease model

Applying genetic engineering techniques,such as transgenesis, RNAi and Knock-out, we have developed several new humanized animal models for cancer (Breast cancer, nasopharyngeal carcinoma ), diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, using mouse, rat and minipig. We have also developed several new animal models for Mendelian disease, based on new findings of unlocking Mendelian disease using exome sequencing.

Development of genetically modified min-pet

By means of genetic manipulation of growth-aix related genes, we have developed several new min-pet lines for pig, goat and rabbit, featured by small, slow-growing, and genetic stability. These mini products will be used as mini pet, and also as a dwarfism model for human biomedicine research.  

Gene-Knockout Plan in Mammals

Applying optimized the TALEN and CRISPR systems, we have completely knocked out more than 20 genes in mammals, such as mouse ACE2, TXNIP, Caspase-1, HAS3, BRCA1 and pig GHR, GHRHR, HMGA2, P53. Strikingly, the knockout efficiency achieves 50%, 20% of which are biallelic deletions. Currently, we can prepare modified cell lines and mice in 4 months, which saves time for disease model manufacturing.

We focus on high throughput screening of microbial strains/genes and explore the values of these microbial bio-bricks in fields such as dairy, sewage treatment, environmental engineering, inspection and quarantine, agricultural feed, enzyme industry, biochemical industry, and green energy.

Based on collaboration with various partners, the following are on-going R&D projects:

High efficient cellulase

Lignocellulosic biomass can be utilized to produce ethanol, a promising alternative energy source instead of the limited crude oil. The main challenges of ethanol production from lignocellulosic materials are the low yield and high cost of the hydrolysis process. Considerable efforts have been made to find new cellulose genes from the soils, compost, animal (termites and panda) intestines which convert lignocellulosic biomass with high efficiency.

Efficient biotransformation of organic waste to methane

We are trying to discover methane-producing genes with specific characteristics from activated sludge, manure, and biogas pool. The stable bacterial community, which has high efficiency of converting organic waste to biogas at low temperature, will be enriched and applied to environmental engineering..

Construction and application of biosensors for environmental pollutants detection

Biosensors are molecular sensors that combine a response gene components with a fluorescent reporter gene. We have explored several degradation/regulatory genes related to typical pollutants from environmental micro-organisms meta-genomics by high-throughput screening, such as heavy metals, petroleum hydrocarbon, and dioxin. We have developed microbial whole-cell biosensors, which can be used to detect a variety of pollutants, and can be widely applied in environment monitoring, food safety and other fields.

Oil reservoir microorganism

We investigated the microbial community in oil reservoirs and the effect it has on oil displacement efficiency. By analyzing the origin of the bacterial community structure, and the influence of external microbes, we are able to provide guidance for a suitable choice of oil displacement agent. In addition, the analysis of functional genes gives insight into the mechanisms of microbial strain displacement, influence factor, migration and transformation, and complex metabolic pathways. We obtained important target genes in degradation pathways, and provide a reference for monitoring and regulating of water injection and oil production, as well as selecting and evaluating the best flooding conditions.

Whole-genome resequencing, molecular breeding and strain improvement of industrial microbiology

We focus on industrial microbiology in antibiotics, amino acids, and wine production. Genomics studies provide essential information for understanding the mechanism of metabolic pathways. Genetic manipulation of microorganisms will be conducted according to findings with which to construct new strains for commercial and industrial production.

Optimization of strains with high lactic acid yield by high-throughput screening

By the use of the microbial high-throughput screening platform, we isolated lactic acid bacteria from environmental samples, such as dairy products, animal intestines, and pickled cabbage. A lactic acid bacteria library has been established. Various functions of these strains are being tested to find potential probiotics which will be applied to dairy products, health care products and pharmaceutical industry.

Mechanisms and application of plastic

Widespread studies on the biodegradation of plastics have been carried out in order to overcome the environmental problems associated with synthetic plastic waste. We are currently trying to isolate bacteria which can degrade plastics from various sources. The genomics sequencing, proteomics and metabonomics of these strains will help to reveal the mechanisms of degradation. 

Focusing on marine organisms, researchers in the Marine and Fisheries Institute (MFI) are working on aquaculture and molecular breeding, microbes, medicine, pest control, biodiversity and conservation, environmental protection and ecological improvement by means of high-throughput omics and modern biotechnology.

Aquaculture and Molecular Breeding

Researching aquaculture and molecular breeding of economically important marine fish, shrimp and shellfish, and carry out industrial development of water aquaculture.

Marine Drugs and Marine Bioengineering

By using biotechnology to express enzyme, bio-functional protein and peptide, we are aimed at exploiting functional foods, health care products and drugs. Through establishing model animals(zebra fish etc.) and a cell culture system, we are launching high-throughput functional identification of important genes.

Development and utilization of marine microorganisms

We are currently developing and utilizing microalgae biomass energy, biological activity material industrialization, developing  functional food and health care products and studying deep sea and polar microbial.

Protection of marine resources and environment and ecological construction

We are participating in offshore marine disaster prediction and prevention, Shenzhen bay mangrove protection of biological resources, the Dayawan nuclear power plant low-level radioactive wastewater biological detection and purification, national endangered aquatic genetic resources protection and species conservation. 

Marine biology lab Aquarium

BGI international marine research centre conceptional planning