The world’s population is growing and so is demand for the crops to feed it, among them canola. The canola industry in Canada accounts for nearly a third of the gross production value of all Canadian crops, generating $19.3 billion and nearly 250,000 jobs across Canada. The industry has set a goal of increasing yield by 53 per cent in the next 10 years. Traditional breeding techniques are not sufficient to meet this goal; new technologies are needed.
Dr. Peter Pauls and collaborators at the University of Guelph have identified the genetic links of traits that can be incorporated into canola. The new traits are expected to significantly enhance crop productivity by increasing photosynthetic capacity, without negatively impacting seed quality. The researchers are working with Benson Hill Biosystems (BHB), an innovative crop genetics firm, combining their strengths to produce game-changing varieties of canola for producers across Canada.
The results of this project will enable commercialization of the improved plants through licensing or collaborative development agreements. Increasing the yield of the canola crop benefits growers and others across the value chain, growing industry revenues by $3-$4 billion per year. BHB will also establish a Canadian subsidiary, CanolaCo, for this project that will result in newly created jobs for Canadians.