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University of Guelph Launches $11.3M Project for Dry Beans

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News)— The University of Guelph on Friday launched a multi-university research project to improve the dry bean industry.

The project involves nine researchers from three universities who plan to produce a draft genome sequence for dry beans and to develop genetic markers for improved varieties of dry beans, especially disease-resistant beans.

The Ministry of Research and Innovation is providing C$3.7 million ($3.8 million) in funding for the project. Funding from industry and other sources bring the total in funding to C$11 million.

"This represents an important opportunity for an Ontario genomics effort to have major international impact and will put Canadian bean researchers at the forefront," said Peter Pauls, chairman of the department of plant agriculture in the Ontario Agricultural College and leader of the project, in a statement.

Globally, the dry bean industry is an C$11 billion industry, the university said. According to Pauls, the industry lacks genomic information for the dry bean, and the researchers hope to gain genomic information that can lead to resistance to a serious bacterial pathogen and to promote nutraceutical production, more antioxidants, and seed storage proteins though the development of molecular markers.

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