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GG4GHG – grassland genomics project

GG4GHG Grassland genomics project
Grassland genomics for green house gas mitigation (GG4GHG)

Grassland systems, both natural and seeded, cover more than 16 million hectares of land in Canada. Grasslands sequester a large amount of carbon and stably store it in the soil. Many grasslands, however, are lost every year, and some are not well managed in terms of carbon storage or greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation.

Increasing native species and genetic diversity in grasslands will enhance carbon storage. It will also enhance other ecosystem services (ES) that can further mitigate GHGs, including forage productivity, wild pollination and natural pest control. Microbial and insect communities, which change rapidly, are good indicators of GHG mitigation.

This project, in partnership with producer groups, NGOs and First Nations, will use metabarcoding and metagenomics to quantify how microbial and insect biodiversity relates to native plant genetic and species diversity, and how these relationships influence ES in grasslands. The aim is to develop robust models and tools for predicting the ES benefits and performing cost-benefit analyses for different seeding strategies. These tools will inform stewardship decisions and government policymaking through translation into web and mobile apps for industry use.

Climate-smart pasture seed mixes will increase biodiversity, facilitate re-introduction of native species and diversify seed company offerings. Increased diversity of grasslands will increase carbon storage, thus improving their valuations and reducing GHGs.

 

 

 

 

 

Quick Facts

  • Project Leader(s):
    • Dr. Jonathan Bennett
      (University of Saskatchewan)
      Dr. Jonathan Bennett is an Associate Professor
      at the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan, and co-lead of the grasslands genomics project.
    • Dr. Sean Asselin
      (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)
      Dr. Sean Asselin is a Senior Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and co-lead of the grasslands genomics project.
  • Genome Centre(s):

    Genome Prairie

  • Project Value:

    $5.9M

  • Funding Partners Contribution:
  • Genome Canada Contribution:

    $2.83M

  • Other Funding Partners:

    Ducks Unlimited Canada, Saskatchewan Association of Wetlands, Canadian Hub for Applied and Social Research, Meewasin Valley Authority, Nature Conservancy of Canada

  • Project Status:

    Active (2023-27)

  • Competition:

    Genome Canada Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems (CSAFS) Interdisciplinary Challenge Teams (ICT) competition.

Current Projects

2023 - 2027

GG4GHG – grassland genomics project

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2023 - 2027

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Helicobacter pylori Genomics Project

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The Ovarian Cancer Genomics Project

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2022 - 2025

BIG – Bison Integrated Genomics

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2021-2025

GENICE II

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2021-2024

CPMN – Canadian Prairie Metabolic Network

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2019 - 2025

4DWheat – Diversity, Discovery, Design and Delivery

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2019 - 2025

EVOLVES – Enhancing the Value of Lentil Variation for Ecosystem Survival

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2019 - 2025

Genomic ASSETS for Livestock

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2020 - 2023

COV3R – COVID-19 Rapid Regional Response

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