Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

October 13, 2006 15:24 ET

AAFC and DNA Landmarks Announce Collaborative Efforts in Genetic Marker Research

OTTAWA, ONTARIO, AND SAINT-JEAN-SUR-RICHELIEU, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 13, 2006) - and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and DNA LandMarks Inc. today announced their collaborative efforts to develop genetic markers for the breeding of Brassica crops like canola, cabbage, and broccoli. The project involves the study of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs), the small genetic changes that can occur within a DNA sequence and cause changes in plants. The aim is to bring new and improved Brassica crops and varieties to Canada's agriculture industry.

"Partnerships such as the one with DNA LandMarks, the Brassica industry and the international scientific community further illustrate how Canada's new government is committed to building a strong future for Canadian farmers and farm families," said the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board. "Through research projects like these, Canada will continue to lead in the development of better agricultural products."

Anticipated outcomes of the research include:

1. A comprehensive set of SNP markers for Brassica crops.

2. Genetic markers for genes controlling key agronomic and quality traits.

3. The adoption of Brassica SNP marker technology by the canola breeding industry.

4. A methodology for identifying molecular variation in novel germplasm, the germ cells responsible for heredity.

"The scope of this project will enable the Brassica industry to deliver significant genetic improvement at an accelerated rate," said Dr. Joachim Richert, CEO of DNA LandMarks. "We are very excited that virtually every significant Brassica R&D program around the world has decided to join their efforts in this project."

AAFC and DNA LandMarks bring to the collaboration the facilities, materials, personnel and established expertise in large-scale DNA sequencing in Brassica species and in developing genetic markers for Brassica crops.

Other partners include Bayer Crop Science AG, Germany; Bejo Zaden BV, the Netherlands; Cargill Ltd., Canada; Dow AgroSciences Canada Inc., Canada; Huazhong Agricultural University, China; KWS SAAT AG, Germany; Monsanto Company, USA; Nickerson International Research GEIE, France; Pacific Seeds Pty Ltd, Australia; Pioneer Hi-Bred Production Ltd, Canada; RAPOOL-Ring GmbH, Germany; and Svalof Weibull AB, Sweden.

Funding for the project is based on a combination of cash contributions from the partners and from AAFC's Matching Investment Initiative. DNA LandMarks is a subsidiary of BASF Plant Science.


About Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada provides information, research and technology, and policies and programs to achieve security of the food system, health of the environment and innovation for growth. AAFC, along with its portfolio partners, reports to Parliament and Canadians through the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board.

About DNA LandMarks

Since its foundation in 1995, DNA LandMarks Inc. has been a world leader in DNA marker development and applications. Today the company offers a full array of marker technologies to the agricultural sector from development to mapping to high-throughput application. DNA LandMarks is a unit of BASF Plant Science and its Centre of Excellence for DNA sequencing and genotyping. For more information regarding this news release, please contact: Charles Pick, Business Development Manager (

About BASF Plant Science

To exploit the potential of biotechnology, BASF, a leading player in agricultural products and fine chemicals, established BASF Plant Science as its proper plant biotechnology company in 1998. BASF Plant Science operates a research and development platform in Europe and North America, where more than 500 employees are developing products in the following areas: crops for a more efficient agriculture and for the production of renewable raw materials as well as plants for healthier nutrition. Examples are plants with higher vitamin content or with omega 3 fatty acid that can prevent cardiovascular diseases.

BASF is the world's leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. In 2005, BASF had approximately 81,000 employees and posted sales of more than $42.7 billion.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Media Relations
    DNA LandMarks Inc.
    Charles Pick
    Business Development Manager
    450-358-2621 ext 123
    Minister Strahl's Office
    Jeff Howard
    Press Secretary