Genetic evaluation of sow efficiency traits using single step genomic evaluation methods - Year 2

Most economically important traits associated with lactation and reproduction in pigs are either less heritable, sex-limited, expressed later in life, or difficult to measure on a routine basis. Genomic predictions using single step best linear unbiased prediction (SSBLUP) methodologies, which utilizes information on phenotypes, pedigree and markers from genotyped and non-genotyped animals simultaneously, is an alternative to phenotype and pedigree based (BLUP) methods.

Quantifying soil nitrogen supply to reduce nitrate loading to groundwater from high intensity agricultural production areas in Nova Scotia

Understanding and measuring nitrogen supply in agricultural soils is a critical component in managing groundwater quality and minimizing impacts on the environment. Degraded water quality, primarily as nitrate contamination, is a growing concern in Atlantic Canada and agricultural fields are potential point sources. This project proposes to develop a baseline dataset from agricultural fields across Nova Scotia toward developing a soil nitrogen supply index that will help producers make better crop fertilization decisions.

Comparative Analysis of Milking Systems in Nova Scotia to improve efficiency and sustainability of water resource

This project will provide a detailed evaluation of the energy, water and labour requirements of the four different types of milking systems used in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia currently has 36 robotic milking systems installed with more expected in the near future. It is generally considered that robotic systems use more water than free stall systems, however tie stall systems use less than free stall. If the industry is moving to high water use systems then such evaluations are important to ensure a sustainable and responsible approach to water use if achieved.

Genetic evaluation of sow efficiency traits using single step genomic evaluation methods

Most economically important traits associated with lactation and reproduction in pigs are either less heritable, sex-limited, expressed later in life, or difficult to measure on a routine basis. Genomic predictions using single step best linear unbiased prediction (SSBLUP) methodologies, which utilizes information on phenotypes, pedigree and markers from genotyped and non-genotyped animals simultaneously, is an alternative to phenotype and pedigree based (BLUP) methods.

Climate change and genotype variations impacts on human health properties of wheat

Recent consumer interest in controlling and preventing chronic diseases through improved diet has promoted research on the bioactive components of agricultural products. Wheat is an important component of the human diet, providing energy, due to its high content of carbohydrate, and protein. In addition, wheat contains high levels of secondary metabolite (bioactive) compounds such as antioxidants. Wheat genotype, the environment, and possibly interactions between the genotype and environment are known to strongly influence the levels of these bioactives.

Identification of transcription factors involved in cannabinoid biosynthesis and glandular trichome formation

As an important medicinal plant, Cannabis sativa produces bioactive molecules that provide symptom relief for conditions such as severe cancer pain, nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy. The cannabinoid
biosynthetic pathway that generates bioactive molecules has been studied for over a decade. However, understanding of transcriptional regulators that control cannabinoid synthesis is fairly limited. The primary site of cannabinoid

Optimizing medical marijuana: developing genetic and chemical resources to improve thequality and quantity of cannabinoid metabolites in Cannabis sativa L strains Year Two

Determine how cannabinoid metabolites and their relative abundances differ among marijuana strains. Post Doctoral Fellow Name: Teagen D Quilichini Cannabinoids are synthesized and accumulate in Cannabis plant hairs called glandular trichomes, which are particularly abundant on female flower buds. Cannabinoid content and composition vary dramatically among Cannabis strains, with two general groupings distinguished: marijuana strains, defined by high THC and low CBD levels, and hemp strains containing low THC and high CBD (or low total cannabinoid content).

Community benefit: Microbial consortia that stimulate plant growth

There is a growing awareness of the role of microbes in the functioning of higher organisms. The human microbiome has now been shown to play key roles in health and physiology. Similarly, plants have had microbes, mycorrhizal fungi for example, associated with their roots since they colonized the land. It is becoming clear that there is a community of rhizobacteria that is regularly associated with plant roots and plays an important role in how plants deal with a range of environmental challenges. Inocucor Technologies has developed a consortium of microbes that improve plant performance.

Deploying GABA metabolism to boost plant immunity to phytopathogens: From fundamental research to practical application

Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a non-protein amino acid that has recently been discovered to play an important role in plant-pathogen interactions. In this proposal, we will comprehensively investigate the potential of GABA metabolism to boost plant immunity against fungal and bacterial pathogens using tomato and Arabidopsis as model plant systems. The effectiveness of exogenous applications of GABA will be compared with known inducers of disease resistance in laboratory and greenhouse trials, and then novel formulations will be developed and evaluated.

Swine feed efficiency improvement and meat quality co-selection using genome wide technologies

Improving feed efficiency (FE) and meat quality (MQ) are Canadian swine industry priorities that will increase sustainability and competitiveness. It is difficult to improve these traits simultaneously by traditional breeding methods due to limited knowledge of genetic interactions, limitations on animals that can be measured and the high cost of measurement. High throughput genomic technology has the potential to positively impact these issues. Our overall purpose is to develop a genomic assisted breeding program to simultaneously improve FE and MQ.

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