Génome Québec is proud to recognize the participation of researcher Roger C. Levesque from the Institute for Integrative Systems Biology of Université Laval, as co-project leader of Richard Hamelin’s project (University of British Columbia), with Cameron Duff from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. This project, issued from the Genome Canada’s GAAP competition, aims at early detection of pests in Canadian forests by next generation biosurveillance.
Invasive alien species like emerald ash borer are in the news, causing irreversible damage to the environment and costing hundreds of millions of dollars to the Canadian economy, affecting agriculture, forestry and international trade.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) protects Canada’s forests and agricultural resources by intercepting alien forest pests and intervening before they establish themselves. The Agency is partnering with scientists at the University of British Columbia and a network of academics from Université Laval in Québec and Natural Resources Canada to develop, validate and deploy genome-based biosurveillance tools aimed at two species – the Asian gypsy moth (AGM), which feeds on a wide range of economically important tree species, and Phytophthora ramorum (PR), which attacks dozens of plants and tree species including oak trees. The tools will use DNA detection arrays that target unique genome regions in the pests, improving CFIA’s ability to better detect and identify these two species. The project will take approximately three years, after which CFIA laboratories will use the tools to enhance and complement their current procedures.
To learn about this project, read the press release issued by Genome British Columbia.