Biodiversity and Bioresources

Corn

Plant and animal germplasm is acquired and characterized to identify superior characteristics for use in science and breeding programs. This includes:

  • Characterizing ecological and evolutionary processes relevant to agricultural crops to ensure efficient conservation of genetic diversity of cultivated plants of relevance for Canada and their wild relatives to prevent genetic erosion.
  • Acquiring and characterizing material for plant breeders for existing and new crops; screening germplasm relevant to Canada for disease resistance; characterizing plants with improved traits such as drought resistance.
  • Development and refinement of techniques for successful conservation of animal germplasm from different livestock.

Successful solutions

  • Regenerated and characterized major germplasm holdings for the world base collections of barley (39,000 accessions) and oat (28,000 accessions).

  • Provided seeds to clients from 57 countries on all continents (2002-2018).

  • Documented trends in genetic diversity of crops; assessed risks of genetic erosion; conducted disease resistance screening.

  • Improved preservation of chicken, bison and swine sperm/egg germplasm. Developed fertility markers for dairy and beef bulls to ensure the quality of conserved germplasm.