An analysis tool called the Rice Integrative Genomics Workbench in Galaxy (RIGby) will be released soon to hasten breeding of stress-tolerant rice varieties.
A ‘swiss knife’ of tools for bioinformatics, Dr. Reynante L. Ordonio, a PhilRice biotechnology expert, said RIGBy will help generate genomic data needed in developing new rice varieties that are resistant to pests and diseases and can withstand drought, flood, low temperature, and salinity.
Ordonio argues that previous rice sequencing and analysis required so much time to complete until bioinformatics tools like RIGBy transpired accelerating data generation and analysis.
Through sequencing, traits needed to develop high-quality and stress resistant varieties are mined. Genomic data, which require large amount of storage, contain the functions of specific genes.
Dr. Jan Michael C. Yap, project leader and lead developer of RIGby, said the software is specifically designed for rice research containing tools which knows that the input data is from rice.
“Better rice research is expected from the software, which will eventually benefit the farmers,” Yap said.
Yet to pass the beta test, where it will be tested by potential users, RIGby is a free software and open for development to anyone. Rice researchers are encouraged to use and provide feedback to the developers.
The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development funds the project.