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Genome Canada Awards C$76.7M in Research Grants

NEW YORK — Genome Canada this week announced C$76.7 million ($58.2 million) in funding over four years to support a number of research projects applying genomics in agriculture and aquaculture.

Genome Canada is providing the funding in partnership with Agriculture and Agri-food Canada (AAFC) as part of their 2018 Large-Scale Applied Research Project competition, which aimed to promote large-scale research projects using genomics in key Canadian industries.

Winners of the competition include researchers from the University of Guelph, the University of Alberta, the University of British Columbia, and Université Laval, who received C$12.1 million to develop datasets and genomic tools to breed more robust dairy cattle; a University of Saskatchewan- and AAFC-led team that received C$11.2 million to use genomics to enhance wheat yield and disease tolerance; and scientists from the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Alberta, who received C$5.6 million to develop tools for managing genomic data that can enhance antimicrobial stewardship among veterinarians and livestock producers.

Other winners include investigators from the University of Windsor, the University of Manitoba, and Carleton University, who were awarded C$9.1 million to develop tools for managing freshwater fisheries  using environmental DNA, meta-barcoding, and transcriptional profiling; a group from Université Laval, Concordia University, and Carleton University that received C$14.4 million to develop genomic resources for researching six fish species important for Northern Canadian populations; researchers from York University and the University of British Columbia, who will use their C$10 million in funding to develop genomic tools for monitoring bee health; a University of Saskatchewan team that received C$7.4 million to use genomics to improve lentil crops; and University of British Columbia scientists who won C$6.9 million to use genomics to develop antibiotic alternatives for use by farm veterinarians.

"Innovative research like this is what drives a productive and prosperous agriculture sector," AAFC Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in a statement. "From developing new tools, to increasing sustainability in agriculture, to breeding more resilient crops — our genomic researchers are the heart of advancing science so that our farmers have the tools they need to be successful."