Plant breeders to get access to genetic info

By Tanya Hollis
Friday, 01 March, 2002

Plant breeders are expected to benefit from a joint venture between a Melbourne genetics company and the Victorian Government.

AgGenomics will offer services intended to help breeders identify commercially important genetic traits in plants.

The joint venture between Genetic Technologies (ASX:GTG) and Agriculture Victoria Services, a commercial arm of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, was finalised this week.

GTG chairman Dr Mervyn Jacobson said the deal formed part of the company's strategy of expanding its DNA Service Testing to additional species.

He said the company would hold a controlling 50.1 per cent share in AgGenomics via its wholly owned subsidiary, GeneType.

Jacobson declined to comment on the revenue forecasts for AgGenomics, saying the main value of the deal was in the competence and expertise brought together by the venture.

"It's a new company that is being formed, so it is what will happen over the next few months that will show the true value," he said.

AgGenomics will begin operations immediately with $500,000 of business already on its books, making use of facilities available to Agriculture Victoria Services through its links with the Department of NRE's Plant Biotechnology Centre, at LaTrobe University.

A formal opening of the facility, which is to be launched by University of Melbourne Professor Emeritus Sir Gustav Nossal, is scheduled to take place on March 20.

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