Top Page | English | 简体中文 | 繁體中文 | 한국어 | 日本語
Monday, 30 October 2017, 15:05 HKT/SGT

Source: Toyota
Toyota Signs Licensing Agreement with Kazusa DNA Research Institute, Eurofins Genomics, and GeneBay for GRAS-Di DNA Analysis Technology

Toyota City, Japan, Oct 30, 2017 - (JCN Newswire) - Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) announces that it has signed an agreement with Kazusa DNA Research Institute, Eurofins Genomics K.K., and GeneBay Inc. on October 30 to license Toyota's unique GRAS-Di(1) DNA analysis technology that can dramatically accelerate selective breeding. Since the announcement of this technology in September 2016, it has received acclaim from Kazusa DNA Research Institute, Eurofins Genomics, and GeneBay, and from November 2017, will be put to practical use in contract-based analysis businesses in Japan and abroad.

Until now, selective breeding involved repeated selection and mating of parent varieties, based on extensive past results, and evaluation of their offspring, in order to select new varieties with the desired characteristics. In September 2016, Toyota announced that it had paired its proprietary sample preparation technology(2) with a next-generation sequencer(3) to develop GRAS-Di, a new technology that can substantially simplify the process of identifying and selecting specimens with useful genetic information. It addressed limitations posed by conventional technology, enabling significant reductions in cost and man-hours. As a result, cost has been cut by approximately two-thirds and man-hours by approximately nine-tenths of the previous level.

In signing the agreement, the parties described their evaluation and expectations. Kazusa DNA Research Institute indicated that "We expect that the technology will not only be used by research and development organizations but also widely by private companies." Eurofins Genomics commented that "The ability of this technology to analyze a large number of DNA samples easily and quickly at low cost will support further research and will significantly contribute to addressing world food and energy problems." GeneBay noted that "It is common industry knowledge that it is necessary to acquire a large amount of DNA and data, which was a hurdle for spreading the technology and applying it. We expect it to be widely used in agriculture and livestock, and many other industries."

It is expected that GRAS-Di can be applied to general selective breeding, not only in agriculture, but for wide-ranging development in areas including the livestock, forestry, and fishery industries. Toyota believes that by introducing the technology to companies that intend to expand their businesses globally, the technology will contribute to addressing global issues through increased production of biofuels and foods and improvement of the disease resistance of crops. Consequently, Toyota will continue to actively disclose and share information in an effort to spread technology further.

(1) GRAS-Di: Genotyping by Random Amplicon Sequencing-Direct
(2) Technology that amplifies thousands to tens of thousands of locations on the genome with a high degree of repeatability as a means of amplifying the sequence of an analysis sample using a proprietary primer (nucleic acid fragments necessary for the synthesis and replication of DNA).
(3) A device capable of analyzing tens of millions to billions of locations on the genome at the same time.

History of Toyota's biotechnology/afforestation and agricultural support projects

In order to prepare for the population, food, and environmental challenges of the 21st century, and to support the sustainable growth of the automobile industry in general, Toyota found it necessary to create a business that contributes to the environment. Consequently, the company established its Biotechnology and Afforestation Laboratory in Miyoshi City, Aichi Prefecture in May 1999, which has engaged in business activities focusing on R&D and demonstration activities, in addition to activities that contribute to the community and society.

As part of Toyota Global Vision, announced in March 2011, the company is committed to making ever-better cars and contributing to the enrichment of people's lives and the community. This facilitates the sustainable growth of the company, as well as the construction of a stable management foundation. In April 2011, Toyota began work to improve the rice production process with the aim of contributing to the sustainable growth of agriculture. In April 2014, the company launched a cloud service (Housaku Keikaku), which applies the concept of the Toyota Production System, production management techniques, and process improvement know-how from the automobile business to agriculture. Toyota also provided improvement support services unique to the company and has promoted improvements to productivity and human resources at agricultural production sites.

Currently, the Biotechnology and Afforestation Laboratory is engaged in business activities that will widely contribute to enriching communities. This is intended to be accomplished within a scope ranging from research into basic technologies to the improvement of work sites, all within the fields of environmental contribution and the agricultural and livestock industry.

Overview of Kazusa DNA Research Institute, Eurofins Genomics, and GeneBay

Kazusa DNA Research InstituteThe Kazusa DNA Research Institute was established in 1991 as the DNA Research Institute in Kisarazu City, Chiba Prefecture. Through its main facility, the Kazusa Academia Park, it is engaged in life science and technology research centered on genome research, while providing industrial support and striving to contribute to society.Eurofins GenomicsEurofins Genomics is a multinational bioanalysis company with 375 analysis and testing laboratories and over 30,000 employees in 41 countries. Its genomics division has bases in Japan, the U.S., Germany, and India, providing products and contract services globally in genome research and development, including Oligo DNA synthesis, artificial gene synthesis, and next generation sequencing analysis.GeneBayGeneBay is a contract services start-up company that provides a wide range of IT bioanalysis technology, including cutting-edge genome analysis. It provides services in a wide range of fields including food, medical care, energy, agriculture, chemistry, and the environment. Furthermore, it supports research for commercialization and practical application, along with genome information analysis consultation and contract-based analysis. By fusing biotechnology and IT, the company aims to realize a society that can utilize genome information.

About Toyota

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) is the global mobility company that introduced the Prius hybrid-electric car in 1997 and the first mass-produced fuel cell sedan, Mirai, in 2014. Headquartered in Toyota City, Japan, Toyota has been making cars since 1937. Today, Toyota proudly employs 370,000 employees in communities around the world. Together, they build around 10 million vehicles per year in 29 countries, from mainstream cars and premium vehicles to mini-vehicles and commercial trucks, and sell them in more than 170 countries under the brands Toyota, Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino. For more information, please visit

Public Affairs Division
Global Communications Department
Toyota Motor Corporation
Tel: +81-3-3817-9926

Oct 30, 2017 15:05 HKT/SGT
Source: Toyota

Topic: Press release summary
Sectors: BioTech
From the Asia Corporate News Network

Copyright © 2018 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. A division of Asia Corporate News Network.

Toyota Links

Jan 19, 2018 08:48 HKT/SGT
Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle to Go on Sale This Year in Canada Starting in Quebec
Jan 12, 2018 09:39 HKT/SGT
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Unveils GR Super Sport Concept at Tokyo Auto Salon 2018
Jan 11, 2018 20:57 HKT/SGT
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing launches 2018 Yaris WRC
Jan 11, 2018 20:42 HKT/SGT
Toyota C-HR Leads the Pack as the Top-Selling New SUV in 2017
Jan 11, 2018 09:08 HKT/SGT
Mazda, Toyota Select Alabama for New U.S. Auto Manufacturing Plant
Jan 10, 2018 07:45 HKT/SGT
Toyota Spotlights Technology-Driven Future of Mobility at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show
Jan 9, 2018 02:43 HKT/SGT
Toyota Launches New Mobility Ecosystem and Concept Vehicle at 2018 CES
Jan 5, 2018 09:09 HKT/SGT
Toyota Research Institute Introduces Next-Generation Automated Driving Research Vehicle at CES
Dec 27, 2017 13:38 HKT/SGT
Toyota Announces Results for November 2017
Dec 21, 2017 12:18 HKT/SGT
Toyota to Establish New Mobility Service Company
More news >>
 News Alerts
Copyright © 2018 ACN Newswire - Asia Corporate News Network
Home | About us | Services | Partners | Events | Login | Contact us | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | RSS
US: +1 800 291 0906 | Beijing: +86 10 8405 3688 | Hong Kong: +852 2217 2912 | Singapore: +65 6304 8926 | Tokyo: +81 3 6721 7212

Connect With us: