The Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC), the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission (Sask Wheat), and the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) announced a combined total investment of $3,582,992 over four years for a world-leading, Saskatchewan-based research project focused on advancing wheat genomics that will lead to better productivity and profitability for wheat farmers.
The $8.8-million project, titled Canadian Triticum Applied Genomics (CTAG2), is being led by Dr. Curtis Pozniak of the University of Saskatchewanâ€™s Crop Development Centre and Dr. Andrew Sharpe of the National Research Council Canada and will combine the expertise of genomic researchers and wheat breeders to improve genetic gain.
â€śThis is incredibly important research right now, as wheat is one of the worldâ€™s most fundamental food crops and food security has become a major global concern,â€ť says Sask. Wheat Chairman Bill Gehl. â€śCurrently global wheat production needs to increase to meet growing global demands. This type of research will help Saskatchewan wheat farmers meet this increasing demand.â€ť
â€śThis research will result in a value-added breeding model in Western Canada,â€ť says Kent Erickson, AWC Chairman. â€śBy enhancing innovation in breeding techniques, scientists will be better equipped to develop high quality wheat varieties that result in better returns for farmers.â€ť
â€śOur investment builds on Dr. Pozniakâ€™s current wheat genomics research of which WGRF is also a funding partner,â€ť says Dave Sefton, WGRF Chairman. â€śOur funding of Dr. Pozniakâ€™s research has enabled him to participate in the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium to help development of a wheat genome sequence. This work will ultimately result in better wheat varieties for Western Canadian farmers.â€ť
Other co-funders of the project include the Agriculture Development Fund/Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, Manitoba Agriculture, Genome Canada, Viterra, SeCan, University of Guelph, DuPont Pioneer, Bayer CropScience, the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC), and Manitoba Agriculture.