Aug 16, 2018
Canadian researchers seek disease-resistant greenhouse vegetables

The Canadian government on Thursday announced funding to support genetic researchers including a University of Toronto project seeking disease-resistant greenhouse vegetables.

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced $6.7 million in federal funding for seven new projects under Genome Canada’s Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP) that will match researchers with companies to develop new gene-based technologies in health care, agriculture and environmental protection. An additional $14.3 million is being invested by provincial governments, businesses and other funding partners for a total of $21 million.

Duncan made the announcement at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, one of the seven research institutions receiving GAPP funding. This world-class centre for horticulture science and innovation will partner with a team of University of Toronto researchers for a $2 million research project seeking new varieties of vegetables that will be more resistant to diseases. Resilient vegetables will help increase how much Canadian farmers can grow during a season, giving them a competitive advantage in the billion-dollar agricultural industry.

Another $427,000 project will seek to develop rhizobial inoculants – inoculants frequently used to promote legume yields– that remain viable on the plant seed during extended periods of storage before planting and perform optimally once seeded several months later, a process called on-seed survival.

“It all starts with science and our remarkable scientists,” Duncan said. “By investing in researchers, we are giving them the opportunity to work with each other and their counterparts in the business, health and agriculture sectors to find the ideas and innovations that power a stronger economy and a growing middle class.”

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