Genome Prairie


Genome Prairie develops and manages a wide range of initiatives related to bioscience research. This research has broad impacts across many different sectors including agriculture, human and animal health and the environment, to name a few. Our research is generating new knowledge, tools and techniques to transform and enhance our understanding of the world. This understanding is being applied to strengthen the competitiveness of the Prairie region by enabling the development of new products, processes and services.

Browse our current projects and our completed projects below.

Current Projects

GENICE 2016-2022


GENICE: Microbial Genomics for Oil Spill Preparedness in Canada’s Arctic Marine Environment

Thanks to reduced sea ice cover and ice-free summers, the Northwest Passage has never been so busy, leading to greater risk of accidental releases of diesel or bunker fuel or other transportation-related contaminants. In addition, Arctic oil exploration is leading to fears of an oil spill in the Arctic Ocean. Marine microbial communities can help clean up, or bioremediate, oil spills in the south, where it is warmer. Drs. Casey Hubert of the University of Calgary and Gary Stern of the University of Manitoba are leading a team that will use microbial genomics to generate credible, science-based evidence on the role and potential of bioremediation to deal with oil spills in the cold, ice-laden Arctic Ocean. Learn More >

The Arctic Ocean has lost, and continues to lose, significant amounts of sea ice due to climate warming. With this comes large increases in ship traffic and the probability of an oil spill. Damage caused by such a spill could have devastating impacts on the local wildlife, food security and human health, particularly to coastal Inuit communities – the segment of Canada’s population that bears the greatest risk related to oil spills in the Arctic. Learn More >

Canadian Prairie Metabolic Network 2021-2024

Canadian Prairie Metabolic Network

Canadian Prairie Metabolic Network (CPMN)

More than 6,000 patients, primarily children, in the Prairies are affected by inborn errors of metabolism (IEM), rare genetic diseases caused by mutations in either the nuclear or mitochondrial genome. The Canadian Prairie Metabolic Network (CPMN) will ensure the timely and more cost-effective delivery of innovative and relevant genomic testing in the Prairies. Learn More >

Canadian COVID-19 Genomics Network 2020-2022

Canadian COVID-19 Genomics Network

Canadian COVID-19 Genomics Network (CanCOGeN)

The Canadian COVID-19 Genomics Network (CanCOGeN) is a $40 million Genome Canada-led network involving a consortium of Canadian federal, provincial and regional public health authorities, academia, and industry created to coordinate and fund SARS-CoV-2 and human host sequencing to track viral origin, spread and evolution, characterize the role of human genetics in COVID-19 disease and to inform time-sensitive critical decision making relevant to health authorities across Canada during the pandemic. The network will further contribute to building national capacity to address future outbreaks and pandemics. Learn More >

COV3R 2020 - 2022


COVID-19 Rapid Regional Response

Using genome capture, the COV3R initiative aims to tackle the problem of detecting co-infections in humans, and in the process provide powerful new tools for public health. Co-infection by respiratory viruses is common and bad for patients, yet we know very little about co-infection in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn More >

4DWheat 2019 - 2023


4DWheat: Diversity, Discovery, Design and Delivery

Wheat is the most important crop for current and future global food security, as it supplies the most calories and proteins to the global population. Wheat is grown on more land area than any other commercial crop. Meeting the challenge of increasing wheat production to match the growing demand for food over the next 20–30 years is of paramount importance. Learn More >

EVOLVES 2019 - 2023


Enhancing the Value of Lentil Variation for Ecosystem Survival (EVOLVES)

Canada is the largest lentil producer and exporter in the world. In 2015, Canadian lentils generated $2.5 billion in export revenue. The industry is seeking to enter the high-value food and ingredients sector and expects future lentil varieties will support this new venture. Learn More >

Genomic ASSETS for Livestock 2019 - 2023

Genomic ASSETS for Livestock

Genomic ASSETS (Antimicrobial Stewardship Systems from Evidence-based Treatment Strategies) for Livestock

Bacteria are increasingly resistant to antibiotics used for treatment, creating an unprecedented and growing global threat to human and animal health. Furthermore, animal agriculture is also facing pressure to reduce its use of antibiotics and to use antibiotics more prudently. Learn More >

FLOWTER 2019 - 2022


Floating Wetland Treatments to Enhance Remediation

Environmental impacts of oil spills are a major public concern, impeding social license for the development of the petroleum sector and Canada’s economic development. Furthermore, there is uncertainty around the best methods to employ when cleaning oil spills in sensitive freshwater ecosystems. Learn More >

Completed Projects


PLM - Improving Crop Yield and Stress Resilience

2014 - 2017

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization forecasts that world food production will have to increase by 70 per cent by 2050 to meet the needs of a growing global population. This challenge is exacerbated by such factors as diminishing…
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AGILE - Innovating the growth of lentils


Lentils may be tiny, but they are an outsized source of opportunity for Canadian farmers. Canada is the world’s largest producer and exporter of lentils, exporting more than $14 billion worth of lentils since 1997. Lentils are eaten around the world, easy-to-cook, and high in protein and micronutrients, thus contributing to global food security.
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Zika - Addressing an Emerging Issue

Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-borne Flavivirus that can cause infections and clinical diseases in humans. Of particular concern are transplacental infections in pregnant women resulting in significant medical disorders including microcephaly (incomplete…
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CUC - Enhancing Canola Seeds

Canola is more than big agribusiness — it’s huge. It is Canada’s fastest growing crop and generates one-quarter of all farm cash receipts. Canola oil has high levels of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids making it a favorite among health-conscious consumers. The oil is also light and tasty making it the oil of choice for many chefs and food processors. Once crushed for its oil the remaining seed provides a high protein feed supplement for animals. The sector contributes $19.3 billion to the Canadian economy annually; it also supports some 250,000 jobs and $12.5 billion in wages.
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CTAG - Securing the Future of Wheat in Canada

July 2011 - September 2015

Wheat is a staple food crop that contributes about $4 billion annually to the Canadian farm industry and a total value of about $11 billion when value-added food processing is considered. The Canadian Triticum Advancement Through Genomics (CTAG) project…
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Swine Improvement

Swine Improvement - Maintaining healthy and more profitable pig production

2010 - 2015

With the mapping of the pig genome, scientists now have an opportunity to apply genomic-based tools to the pork industry. Genome Prairie is the co-lead for the Application of Genomics to Improve Swine Health and Welfare project. Similar tools have…
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TUFGEN - Maximizing the Utility of Flax

July 2009 - December 2014

Canada is the world’s largest producer of flax. Over the past decade flax has become an important multi-purpose crop with increasing demand for flax oil, seed and fibre. Flax oil is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and plant estrogens, which…
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MGCB2 - Turning Waste into Value-Added Resources

July 2009 - December 2014

Microbes are nature’s top recyclers. Genome Prairie researchers are leading an international collaboration exploring the ability of certain bacteria to convert waste materials such as straw, woodchips and paper into renewable biofuels and biodegradable…
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VALGEN - Capturing the Value of Genomics Research

July 2009 - December 2014

Genomics research is fundamental to all biosciences and plays a critical role in expanding the economic diversification and well-being of Canada and the Prairie provinces.  Research in this field is progressing at a rapid pace and is driving innovation in…
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MAVEN - Microbes: Bringing Mining to a Whole New Level

September 2011 - September 2013

Now more than ever, the extraction industry is striving to achieve greater levels of transparency, accountability as well as environmental and social responsibility.  Microbial Assessment for Value-Add, Environment and Natural Resources (MAVEN)…
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Prairie Gold

Prairie Gold - Energizing Commercialization of Industrial Oilseed Crops

October 2010 - September 2013

Rising oil prices and the increasing desire for environmentally friendly alternatives are driving demand for plant-based industrial oil products. Prairie Gold is an innovative $4.5 million project to develop the emerging industrial oilseed market in the…
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Crop Adaptation Genomics

Crop Adaptation Genomics - Feeding a Hungry World as Climate Changes

2006 - 2011

Genome Prairie’s research in Crop Adaptation Genomics (CAG) is helping traditional crop breeders develop frost-hardy crops better suited to Canada’s short growing season. In Canada’s tough climate our agricultural crops need to be…
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Cold Tolerant Rye

Cold Tolerant Rye - Rye Genetics Hold the Strongest Potential

2007 - 2010

Working to enhance the progress already made with spring wheat through the Crop Adaptation Genomics project, researchers shifted their focus to rye as a possibility of discovering a further level of frost tolerance. The molecular markers, genetic tags…
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DOTM - Building Commercial Opportunities through Designer Oils

The development of canola as a nutritionally-superior vegetable oil is a genetic research success story. Canola currently accounts for 70% of vegetable oil products in Canada, but genomics researchers believe they can make it even better. The canola…
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Enabling Technologies For Proteomic Research

Enabling Technologies For Proteomic Research - Bringing New Capacity to Proteomics Research


Advancements in new fields of science almost always go hand in hand with the development of new technology and the Human Genome Project is no exception. With the DNA sequence of genomes of hundreds of different organisms in hand, the next step is to turn…
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Enhancing Canola Through Genomics

Enhancing Canola Through Genomics - Genomics: Helping Increase Crop Yield in Canola

The goal of the Enhancing Canola through Genomics (ECTG) project was to develop and employ genomic tools for the study of seed development and composition in Brassica oilseed crops. During 2003-2004, progress was made in research activities related to…
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Enabling Technologies for Embryonic Stem Cell Functional Genomics

Enabling Technologies for Embryonic Stem Cell Functional Genomics -


Embryonic Stem (ES) cells have played an indispensable role in helping researchers understand the function of human disease genes and in creating mouse models of human disease. ES research has the potential to transform knowledge of human disease into the…
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Functional Genomics of Abiotic Stress

Functional Genomics of Abiotic Stress -

The FGAS project undertook research activities to identify genes that provide improved resistance to cold and drought in cereal and canola crops. The Functional Genomics of Abiotic Stress (FGAS) project used a range of genomics and proteomics…
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FPMI - Using genomics to understand pathogen-host interactions and disease prevention.

The prevention and treatment of infectious diseases presents similar challenges in humans and animals.  The “disease triangle”, which conceptualizes the interaction between the host, pathogen, and the environment, is a framework to…
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GE3LS - Commercialization & Society

GE3LS provides leadership in ethical, environmental, economic, legal, and social issues related to genomics in Canada. Through an examination of key issues in the areas of intellectual property management, commercialization issues and public views on…
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IBOC - Boosting the Value of Canola Seed

The Improving Brassica Oil Content (IBOC) project was a joint Alberta - Saskatchewan project initiated to provide a better understanding of the overall metabolic events in the seed, the relationship between the embryo, endosperm and seed coat and their…
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MEOR - Using Microbes to Enhance Oil Recovery

After decades of oil recovery from conventional oil reservoirs, using techniques like water flooding, steam injection, and horizontal drilling to recover oil, approximately 65% of all discovered oil still remains trapped in the ground — most of it…
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NorCOMM - Advancing Health Research through Improved Models

To uncover the role of genetic changes in the development of hereditary diseases such as cancer, it is possible to “knock out” selected genes in mice either by removing them, or selectively turning them on or off. Known as gene trapping or…
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One of the most promising uses of biofibres is in combining them with a resin to make a biocomposite. These biocomposites are particularly valuable in the automotive industry, where their light weight, recyclability and sound insulation offer advantages over other materials. The market for biofibre composites is expected to grow by more than 10 per cent per year during 2014-19.
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