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Centers Launched at University of Alberta to Improve Livestock and Crop Production

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Two research centers have been launched at the University of Alberta in Canada to delve into research to improve livestock and crop production and are being funded with C$6 million (US$6 million) from two provincial sources.

The two centers are Livestock Gentec, which will explore genomic approaches to improve sustainability of livestock, and Phytola, which will use various biotech approaches to improve the quantity and quality of oil in oilseed plants such as canola and flax.

Funding comes from Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions — a publicly funded corporation within Alberta Innovates, the province's research and innovation system — which is providing each center C$2.25 million over two years. The Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency is also providing C$1.5 million over three years to Livestock Gentec.

In a statement, Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions said Livestock Gentec's focus will be on producing "healthier, more efficient cattle that in turn, produce better beef and milk products." The center will be led by Steve Moore, a professor in the department of agriculture, food, and nutritional science at the university.

The two major areas of research at Phytola will be increasing the quantity of seed oils and improving the quality of the oil for nutraceutical and industrial applications. Randall Weselak, a professor in the department of agricultural food and nutritional science, will lead the center.