Variety Development

Project lead: Dr. François Belzile, Université Laval
Timeline: 2018-2023 
Total Funding:  $500,827
Funders: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC): $350,579 
  Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance (CFCRA): $85,248
  Alberta Barley: $20,000
  SaskBarley Development Commission: $45,000

One of the most cost-effective tools we have today to adapt to the anticipated impacts of climate change is plant breeding, which can incorporate resistance to existing and emerging diseases and pests. One of the more recent advances of the plant breeding process has been the adoption of genetic markers, which are tools that allow breeders to more rapidly develop new varieties with improved traits.

While genetic markers have afforded us great advances already, there is potential to increase their efficiency even more while also decreasing the costs associated with them.

This research aims to develop low-cost, medium-coverage genotyping tools for barley and soybeans, by exploring different approaches to achieving the low cost point necessary to make marker work more affordable to breeders.

The targeted outcome of this research will be a marked reduction in genotyping costs, which will speed up the usage of DNA markers by breeders and enhance their ability to select superior lines in response to a changing climate and emerging threats.