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HZPC takes potato genome browsing to the next level

HZPC takes potato genome browsing to the next level
May 11, 2015
Ceres, Inc. (NASDAQ: CERE), an agricultural biotechnology company, today announced that the company has licensed its Persephone bioinformatics software to global seed potato developer, HZPC Holland BV. The software license agreement provides a non-exclusive license to HZPC as well as professional support services.

HZPC is the most recent multi-national life sciences company to adopt Persephone as its primary genome browser. Originally developed for in-house use by Ceres, the Persephone software allows researchers to store, access and explore DNA databases in much the same way online mapping programs allow users to explore geographic regions and locations. Today, hundreds of life scientists around the globe are using Persephone.

"We are pleased that HZPC selected Persephone to complement and expand on their current R&D and product development efforts. We also are excited about working with HZPC's experts to expand Persephone's functionality into polyploid species, like potato, where plants have more than two sets of chromosomes," said Tim Swaller, Ceres Vice President of Genomics Technologies.

HZPC, which is one of the world's market leading seed potato companies, breeds potato varieties for many local growing conditions and various markets including retail, quick service restaurants and traditional trade.

"Our mission is to contribute to the development of responsible food for a growing world population," said Robert Graveland, Director of R&D at HZPC. "Our company will benefit from implementing this integrated software solution, which allows interactive querying and visualization of the rapidly growing amount of Big Genomics Data. Our R&D team has been impressed by the user friendly interface and speed of Persephone. Our variety development will be significantly facilitated by Persephone as it allows easy and efficient use of the growing amount of genomics and other '-omics' crop data."

Ceres also continues to conduct Persephone evaluations with companies and institutions in the human and biomedical fields, where DNA-related data is analyzed and viewed in a similar manner to plants. While low cost DNA sequencing has created rich sources for innovation, the large volumes of data generated have overloaded first-generation software tools, which were primarily developed to study one genome at a time. The company believes that Persephone's scalability and high-performance visualizations can be used for both research and clinical purposes to differentiate samples and variants to help with diagnostic test development. Persephone can also help researchers and clinicians better interpret how different diseases or treatments may impact individuals based on their genetic makeup.

In addition to custom installations, Ceres currently offers a software version utilizing Amazon's cloud infrastructure that facilities the demonstration process for larger institutions interested in custom installations, while providing individual researchers with an online tool to visualize public genomic information.

About Persephone

Persephone screenshot

Persephone is a genome visualization application marketed by Ceres, Inc.

The software allows researchers to store, access and explore DNA databases in much the same way online mapping programs allow users to explore geographic regions and places.

Driven by dramatically lower costs, DNA sequencing is one of the most commonly used technologies in biological and medical research laboratories.

Persephone has been designed to more fully utilize what has become an overload of data by enabling the rapid and easy visualization of large amounts of genomics data by experts and non-experts alike. The software features a number of optimizations to quickly fetch and render very large datasets.

Persephone can display diverse datasets such as genetic maps, genomic sequences, gene models, synteny, QTLs, SNPs, RNA-Seq, and gene expression, among others. Persephone is a trademark of Ceres, Inc.

Free demo trials are available at
Companies in this Article
HZPC is a Dutch supplier of seed and ware potatoes. HZPC is the largest seed potato supplier worldwide.