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sector_ico_Forestry_trans Forestry

Genomics-Based Forest Health Diagnostics and Monitoring

  • Project Leaders: Richard Hamelin
  • Institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Budget: $4250116
  • Program/Competition: Large Scale Applied Research Programs
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome Canada
  • Status: Closed

Canada’s forests are increasingly under threat by pests and pathogens, resulting in annual losses of about $2 billion. The Tree Aggressors Identification using Genomic Approaches (TAIGA) project developed pathogen diagnostic and detection tools that were transferred to end-users. The TAIGA project developed DNA tests covering 44 species of tree pathogens attacking 45 tree species and built a reference collection of over 700 pathogenic species and generated 1600 DNA barcodes. A total of 82 DNA tests were transferred to the CFIA and several were quickly deployed operationally by the CFIA to detect the deadly pathogens: Dutch elm disease and ash dieback. This project led to 1) A successful GAPP proposal to bring the TAIGA approach to the Asian Gypsy Moth problem and 2) Interest from Biopterre, a technology transfer group, to bring TAIGA to agricultural crop pathogens.