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HZPC selects Ceres’ genome browsing software platform

Ceres, Inc, an agricultural biotechnology company based in the US, today announced that the company has licensed its Persephone bioinformatics software to global seed potato developer, HZPC Holland BV. The Persephone software allows researchers to store, access and explore DNA databases in much the same way as online mapping programs allow users to explore geographic regions and locations. “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. Free demo trials are available at

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