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

ReVAMP 2015-2021


Reverse vaccinology approach for the prevention of mycobacterial disease in cattle

Reverse Vaccinology Approach for the Prevention of Mycobacterial Diseases in Cattle (ReVAMP)

Infections are a leading cause of sickness and death in cattle, causing direct economic losses to producers and even more serious losses associated with international trade restrictions (as seen with mad cow disease) and decreased public confidence in food quality. This project aims to develop vaccines against two important infectious diseases of cattle, Johne’s disease and bovine tuberculosis. Learn More >

On-Seed Survival 2018 - 2021

On-Seed Survival

Improving on-seed survival and performance of legume inoculants using genome shuffling

Microbial inoculants promote crop yield through biostimulation and biofertilization. The challenge, however, is to improve rhizobial inoculants – inoculants frequently used to promote legume yields so that they remain viable on the plant seed for extended periods of storage before planting and perform optimally once seeded several months later. Learn More >

CTAG2 2015-2021


Canadian Triticum Applied Genomics

Improving sustainability of wheat

Wheat accounts for a staggering 20 per cent of all calories consumed throughout the world. As global population grows, so too does its dependence on wheat. To meet future demands, productivity for wheat needs to increase by 1.6 per cent each year – at the same time as climate change is causing temperature and precipitation changes that challenge established patterns. There is, in addition, a need to ensure that productivity increases are achieved sustainably to ensure the long-term stability of the wheat-growing industry. Learn More >

EcoToxChip 2016-2021


EcoToxChip: A toxicogenomics tool for chemical prioritization and environmental management

Drs. Niladri Basu of McGill University, Markus Hecker of University of Saskatchewan, and Doug Crump at Environment and Climate Change Canada are leading a team to develop, test, validate and commercialize EcoToxChip, a technology that provides an accessible, affordable, consistent, and reliable platform for chemical evaluation. A user-friendly bioinformatics portal ( and an end user-validated technical guidance document will help ensure its uptake. The EcoToxChip will speed testing activities by seven-fold, and reduce the number of animals used for testing by 90 per cent. Together, the EcoToxChip and will make ecological and chemical risk assessment more cost-effective, timely, informative, and ethical. 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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