National Research Council Canada-NRC

National Research Council Canada-NRC
Centre for BioSystems Genomics

Centre for BioSystems Genomics

July 23, 2009 13:00 ET

NRC: New International Agricultural Agreement Will Improve Crop Production, Develop Healthier Foods

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - July 23, 2009) - The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan is collaborating with the Centre for BioSystems Genomics (CBSG) in The Netherlands to launch three agricultural research and development projects on canola - a crop that contributes more than $14 billion annually to the Canadian economy and generates over 214,000 jobs in Canada.

"NRC research facilities and skilled experts are accelerating Canadian innovation by fostering world-class R&D partnerships," said NRC President Dr. Pierre Coulombe. "This collaboration with the Netherlands will contribute to new knowledge that will benefit one of Canada's most important resources."

Under this agreement, the NRC Plant Biotechnology Institute and the Centre for BioSystems Genomics will focus on three projects. The first will study the genetics of lipid metabolism in canola to improve the plant's nutritional value. The second project will look at seed quality and vigour to improve crop yield and the crop's quality to make canola more competitive with other crops. The last research project will try to better understand the signalling pathways that are involved in the formation of haploid embryos - research that will develop new and improved varieties of canola in shorter time-to-market.

"CBSG has a long history of establishing international collaborations and this new link with Canada represents an excellent combination of complementary expertises between innovative scientists in Canada and The Netherlands," said Dr. Robert Hall, Acting Director of the Centre for BioSystems Genomics.

About the National Research Council of Canada

Recognized globally for research and innovation, the National Research Council Canada (NRC) is a leader in the development of an innovative, knowledge-based economy for Canada through science and technology.

The NRC Plant Biotechnology Institute (NRC-PBI) is a major research centre for plant biosciences in Canada, with expertise in genomics, metabolic pathways, gene expression, genetic transformation, structured biology, and natural product chemistry. NRC-PBI performs research and innovation in plant biotechnology in partnership with key stakeholders, to improve and diversify Canadian industry and strengthen Canada's competitive position in the global knowledge-based economy.

About the Centre for BioSystems Genomics

CBSG was established in 2002 as a Centre of Excellence under the auspices of the Netherlands Genomics Initiative (NGI). In 2008, CBSG2012 entered its second five-year phase.

The Centre for BioSystems Genomics (CBSG) is a consortium of major Dutch and international companies and top plant scientists working on potato, tomato, Arabidopsis and Brassica. CBSG2012 carries out plant genomics research using the latest, state-of-the-art technologies. The consortium covers the entire production chain from (pre)breeders to processors in both the food and non-food industries.

For more information, please visit NRC's Web site at http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca or visit CBSG Web site http://www.cbsg.nl/.

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