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Canada Gives $2.3M Grant for Cod Genomics

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Canadian government has given C$3 million ($2.3 million) to Genome Atlantic to conduct genomics studies of the Atlantic cod in order to understand what causes a developmental problem in the fish.

Genome Atlantic, which is a non-profit research entity based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, that is focused on genomic studies of sea life, said recently that it has received the funds from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency's Atlantic Innovation Fund in order to support the project.

The study's goal is to solve the "challenge of early maturation in cod, which can account for significant financial losses due to increased production time and decreased quality," Genome Atlantic said.

The Comparative Assessment of Diploid & Polyploid Physiology & Production Traits (C-ADAP3T) project will use genomics and selective breeding to develop sterile production fish that can overcome the early maturation barrier, said Genome Atlantic President and CEO Steve Armstrong.

Genome Atlantic is leading and will manage the project, which will include regional researchers and companies including Fisheries and Oceans Canada's St. Andrews Biological Station, Memorial University's Ocean Sciences Centre, Cooke Aquaculture, the Huntsman Marine Science Centre, the University of New Brunswick, and the University of Guelph.

Genome Atlantic estimated that the cod-farming industry in the Atlantic region could potentially be worth as much as C$545 million.