The National Research Council of Canada and the Oil Crops Research Institute of the Chinese Academy have signed an agreement to collaborate on research to improve canola production, the two groups said Aug. 5.
“This is a historic event,” said Dr. Roman Szumski, vice-president of life sciences for the NRC. “For the first time, China is investing directly in agricultural research in Canada to advance a crop important to both countries.
“This collaboration will help Canada and China develop higher yielding canola, increasing both our countries’ reputations for scientific excellence in agricultural research and creating a competitive advantage for Canadian and Chinese agricultural producers.”
Dr. Han-zhong Wang, director of the Oil Crops Research Institute, said, “Food and energy shortages are an escalating problem and increasing canola productivity is something that can help these global issues.”
The first project will involve completing genomics work on canola that will identify genes that affect yield and adaptation to various environmental stresses.
The N.R.C., Saskatoon, conducts collaborative plant biotechnology research with universities, government agencies and industry. The Oil Crop Research Institute, based in the Hubei Province of China, does research on canola and elite rapeseed germplasm.