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Dairying Will Benefit From New Collaboration

The drive to maintain New Zealand’s crucial efficiency advantage in dairying is about to be stepped up.

The dairy industry’s bio-technology company ViaLactia Bioscences and HortResearch have established an ongoing research collaboration to improve the quality of New Zealand’s pasture species using technology which will greatly improve understanding of pasture plants characteristics and thereby enable much faster breeding of superior strains.

As part of a large programme to discover genes and their functions, ViaLactia Biosciences and HortResearch are jointly establishing a significant state-of-the-art microarray facility in Auckland. This will use internationally competitive technology to allow a deeper understanding of the natural interactions of genes within the forage plants essential to dairy-based agriculture. The partnership will increase the understanding of the range of characteristics found naturally in these economically important plants.

HortResearch’s, CEO, Dr Ian Warrington, said: "We are delighted to be entering into this collaboration with ViaLactia. HortResearch brings considerable knowledge and expertise in plant physiology and genomics. This collaboration confirms the benefits of Government investment in Crown Research Institutes to build research capability. We are now applying our research skills in strong relationships with New Zealand-based companies.

“The synergies achieved through working in partnership with ViaLactia will also advance our genetic studies into horticultural crops for New Zealand’s benefit.”

ViaLactia Biosciences Managing Director, Dr Kevin Marshall, said the collaboration with HortResearch will assist his company achieve its mission to employ the latest scientific knowledge and technological developments to the benefit of New Zealand. "Improvements to forage plants will make a positive economic impact in the New Zealand Dairy and other pasture based industries.

“The collaboration with HortResearch represents one of the platforms we are building to deliver benefits to New Zealand farmers and the necessary skills to expand our existing forage research programme in this direction exist within one of New Zealand's own research companies.”

Based in Auckland, ViaLactia Biosciences, a wholly owned subsidiary of the New Zealand Dairy Board, is a leading player in the global development and marketing of biotechnology based products, services and technologies for the dairy industry. More information on ViaLactia Biosciences can be found at www.vialactia.com

HortResearch, New Zealand’s leading horticultural research company is at the forefront of advanced technology in plant genomics and is strongly positioned to take advantage of the opportunities that biotechnology will provide. Find out more about HortResearch at www.hortresearach.co.nz

Ends


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