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Activity 3.2.6

The Generation Challenge Programme's Genotyping Supporting Service One-page summary.

While the developed world, in particular the private sector, is making intensive use of molecular marker technology with significant advantages, developing countries are hardly ever employing these techniques. This is due to many factors, ranging from lack of technical skills, lack of infrastructure, insufficient or improper funding, absence of enabling policies, etc. In a bid to overcome some of these issues, GCP created the Genotyping Support Service (GSS).
The GSS facilitates access to modern breeding technologies for developing world agricultural R&D organisations (NARS, Academia, NGOs and small private sector organisations). The GSS offers cost-efficient genotyping services worldwide, including support and training in analysis for proper interpretation of genotypic and phenotypic data.
The GSS is an innovative project that assists participants to develop sound proposals, and links them with competent Genotyping Facilities able to undertake the genotyping work within the required timeframe at competitive costs. The GSS helps with the legal issues and administrative procedures involved in contracting genotyping services. It also trains researchers to analyse and use the resulting data to improve breeding projects. Consequently, participants can make use of the technology right away, learning about its applications and applying the results all in a single project. The GSS emphasises the need for quality science that leads to improved cultivars and research findings that can be published in peer reviewed journals. In this way, the GSS contributes to the participants' professional development, and demonstrates the value created through the dissemination of results to the scientific community.


Examples of beneficiaries of the GSS are:

  • Programmes lacking molecular marker labs
  • Programmes that do not have appropriate infrastructure or funds to build molecular marker labs.
  • Programmes with labs whose installed capacity cannot match their actual needs
  • Programmes that cannot afford the overhead needed to maintain labs operating and up to date, especially if located in places with no reliable power supply, quality water, hard to get supplies, etc

The GSS aims to:

  • Facilitate the dissemination of the new technologies among developing country agricultural research teams
  • Raise the capacity of scientists working in breeding programmes or germplasm management for the proper use of new technologies
  • Show its beneficiaries that outsourcing lab work is a viable alternative to setting up costly lab facilities
  • Build links between scientists in the developing world and advanced facilities and skilled statisticians.

The GSS avoids creating dependency in its beneficiaries through co-funding: while first-time applicants are fully supported, subsequent users cover the costs of their requests, but can still benefit from the GSS infrastructure and non-financial support.


How the GSS Works:
The GSS starts with an application process and then follws the workflow of the Marker Services:

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