We were among the few who were privileged to observe the high-tech laboratory, the Molecular Genetics Lab, at the Simon Groot Research Center, East-West Seed International, in Sansai, Chiang Mai, Thailand last February 24, 2013. This can provide molecular markers that help senior researchers to facilitate their plant breeding work.
We could not show any photo here because we were not allowed to take pictures. One expensive machine could analyze 50,000 samples of plant materials in one day. What for are they analyzing the plant samples? So they can check the genetic purity of seeds and samples of plants that they are using in their breeding work. They can determine if the sample plants are infected with viruses or diseases. They can also see if there are alien seeds in a batch of seeds intended for commercial distribution.
The machine could also check the DNA of the plants submitted for analysis. They could determine the characteristics of the sample plants. The color, shape, disease resistance of the plants could be determined more easily with the molecular markers the machines provide. This is very important to facilitate the breeding work of the plant breeders. With the molecular markers, the process of producing new hybrids could be reduced from the usual 6 to 8 years to only 4 years.
A new machine has also been added that can analyze more than double the capacity of the first machine. Eventually, they will need a machine that can analyze 250,000 samples in one day.