Dr Andrzej Kilian from DArT.
PHOTO: Brad Collis
In 1996, Dr Andrzej Kilian, then director of genomics at Cambia, recognised that genotyping technologies developed to explore the human genome were not universally relevant or applicable to agriculture.
Around that time, new high-throughput technology platforms became available, inspiring him to invent Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT) to circumvent the limitations of human-centred technologies and to make high-throughput genotyping available for the benefit of all genomes. Following successful proof-of-concept work, the DArT company was established in 2001.
Dr Kilian says that the application of DArT technology for the identification and purity determination of wheat and barley varieties required the creation of unique discriminating baseline DNA descriptions of each variety (called references, see Figure 1). Field samples can then be compared with the reference sample and their varietal identity verified and genetic purity determined.
Figure 1: DArT principle of genetic ID testing
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