Evogene Ltd., a leading plant genomics company specializing in improving crop productivity for the food, feed and biofuel industries, announced enhanced capabilities for gene stacking prediction with the introduction of PlaNet (Plant Networks) version 2.0 computational platform. The upgraded version includes more than doubling of the platform’s interaction data sources and types, and improved algorithms for data analysis.

Gene stacking prediction refers to the combination of multiple genes to improve a particular trait, or several traits, in order to enhance the productivity of seed products, either via biotechnology or advanced breeding applications. Gene stacking is increasingly seen by the agriculture industry as essential for enhancing the efficacy of complex traits such as yield improvement.

PlaNet is part of Evogene’s Gene2ProductTM multi-platform solution designed to improve trait efficacy by high throughput optimization of a candidate gene's functionality in target crops. More specifically, PlaNet is designed to predict the most promising genes to combine with the selected candidate gene to improve a desired trait. The platform applies advanced algorithms on multiple interaction data layers derived from various data sources and types. Evogene capabilities in the field of gene stacking utilize the company’s proprietary database which today incorporates and integrates more than five years of tailored-generated data for the development of optimal multi-gene prediction models.

PlaNet version 2.0 substantially improves gene stacking prediction capabilities by enhancing the quality and scope of the platform’s interaction data and the accuracy of its analysis tools. This is accomplished through more than doubling of the platform’s data sources and types, incorporating new and improved algorithms for data mining, and significant advancements to the platform's statistical analysis capabilities. Through the utilization of scoring and subsequent ranking of hundreds of millions of possible gene combinations, the platform is able to prioritize the selected combinations according to their predicted ability to improve the efficacy of a given gene.

“PlaNet forms an integral part of our proposition to our partners and is currently being adopted across our main product programs,” said Ofer Haviv, President and CEO of Evogene. “Furthermore, Evogene is already in advance stages of development of the next generation of our gene stacking capabilities with a mining platform that will allow us to evaluate and prioritize multi-gene combinations at the initiation of the gene selection process.”