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Dept. of Agricultural Biotechnology

Department of Agricultural Biotechnology is a leading national R&D institution to boost agricultural biotechnology in Korea, with its excellency in the state-of-art facilities for modern biotechnology.

This department has a national mission to create a new growth engine for future agriculture in the era of bioeconomy through the national R&D infrastructures for agricultural biotechnology. This national institution does focus on basic researches to expand the limits of agricultural techniques for better productivity and value creation for agriculture. The department consists of four divisions, Genomics, Metabolic Engineering, Molecular Breeding and Biosafety. The national core R&D infrastructure serves for the networking of national cooperative researches among its sibling research institutes, academic universities as well as private companies.

Genomics Division

explore useful genes for future agriculture through the application of highly efficient genome sequencing and bioinformatics in agricultural crop plants and microorganisms. This division operates the National Agricultural Biotechnology Information Center.

Metabolic Engineering Division

performs the practical use of valuable substances, control of mechanism & functional property, functional property of main crops & analysis of expression adjustment mechanism, and development of transformation crop of new functional high quality maintenance production.

Molecular Breeding Division

conducts the research on excavating valuable promotor & analyzing an expression adjustment aiming the development on environmental stress resistance dealt with climate change and the crop with which the resistance of disease and insect pest has raised.

Biosafety Division

carries out the research on GMO's food safety & environmental safety, analysis¡¤investigation in genetic information & development of distinction skill, and the improvement of GMO consumer's recognition & analysis of regulating factors of an intellectual property.

Genomics Division

works for excavating valuable genes through a structural dielectric, research on a functional dielectric, elucidating genetic function, and research on genetic character related to quality for an aim that secures functional genetic materials further the knowledge of biotechnology monopolized by advanced countries.

The core outcome

1. The analysis of a dielectric structure on cabbage

We have finished structural analysis on 90% in number 1, 2 of 10 cabbage chromosomes by our traditional technique, secured genetic resources which are necessary for its functional research such as 33 species of cDNA bank, 152,253 cases of expression gene(EST).

  • The analysis & outcome of cabbage chromosome 1

  • The analysis & outcome of cabbage chromosome 2

2. The analysis of dielectric structure and functional research on bacterial leaf blight

We have finished structural analysis on 90% in number 1, 2 of 10 cabbage chromosomes by our traditional technique, secured genetic resources which are necessary for its functional research such as 33 species of cDNA bank, 152,253 cases of expression gene(EST).

  • The map of dielectric
  • RFLP analysis for each race of germs
  • packing & inspection

3. The research on a functional dielectric with rice-inserted mutant group

We researches on a rice's functional dielectric with securing Ac/Ds-inserted mutant more than 110,000 pieces.

Metabolic Engineering Division

researches & develops for the practical use of confirming availability and seperating·concerning materials by searching·excavating valuable metabolites from biological resources. And we develops functional elements & high value-added materials throughout metabolism genes & mechanism control, creates new industrial materials using the system that produces medical proteins from plants & industrial materials.

The core outcome

1. The development of vitamin A-strengthened gold rice

We have completed developing vitamin A-strengthened gold rice by establishing synthetic multiple genetic manifestation skill which can applicable to plant metabolism mechanism control by ourselves, are developing new functional rice materials that produce natural red-colored astaxanthin which has antioxidant & an effect of preventing aging.

2. Development of medical protein production skill by using plant system

We research on the technique to apply plants to producing factory of valuable materials, develop the producing technique from TPA(tissue plasminogen activator) protein to alfalfa, rice, and hairy root.

Molecular Breeding Division

develops plant's genes for increasing agricultural productivity, and new crops for environmental stress & disease/insect resistance by enhancing gene expression using biotechnology.

The core outcome

1. Development of stress-tolerant crops

We develop crops tolerant to abiotic stresses such as drought, temperature, and salt We also develop crops resistant to biotic stresses such as viruses, fungi, and bacteria

  • - Drought causes serious crop loss due to recent climate change
    - Gene knock-out lines were tolerant to drought.
  • - Bacterial leaf blight is one of major disease in Korea.
    - Over-expression of OsWRKYs results in enhanced resistance to bacterial leaf blilght disease

2. Assay system of abiotic stress tolerance

- It is necessary to rapidly screen resources of various crops in the seed bank and transgenic crop.
- We develop automated tolerance assay systems of abiotic stress such as salt and drought.
- We also develop a system to measure sodium concentrations inside plants

  • - CoroNa Green fluorescence & a fixed quantity of mouseear's root for each strength of Na+disposal
    - The measurement substitution of Na+'s strength by using Automic absorption spectrometer
  • - Evaluation of drought stress tolerance of genotypes by automatic measurement of water flux(uptake-transpiration)
    - Development of real-time weight measurement program

Biosafety Division

excavates transformation crops which are practically available to realize agricultural biotechnology value early through practical use of safe GMO to the consumers & farmers, and develops high value-added well-being GMO by thoroughly evaluating the safety to the food & environment

1. Excavation of transformation crops feasible for practical use

We have chosen 8 species of crop as a safety evaluation channel to the crops that are available with practical use in the transformation crops(18 kinds of crop, 75 seeds) developed by RDA

2. The evaluation of the food from GM crop and environmental safety

  • - Damage of normal rice plant from cnophalocrocis medinalis guenee
    - Resistant GM rice plant against cnophalocrocis medinalis guenee
  • segregation package of environmental harm evaluation on GM crops

3. The application of the educational program 'Know GMO straightforwardly'

Bio-safety division spread out the activity about biological safety on information interchange between the researcher·manager of GM crop and NGO·consumer through 30 species of GMO-related publications from 2000 and opening GMO seminar