Saskatchewan Pulse Growers invest grower dollars in lentil genomic research

Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG) is providing $588,000 in support of lentil genomic research that is focused on improving end-use quality and nutritional traits in lentils. Saskatchewan is the world’s leading producer of lentils and these results will be used to help define the advantages of Saskatchewan grown lentils on the world stage.
“SPG’s funding for lentil genome research enabled the sequencing of a high quality CDC Redberry lentil genome and the phenotyping and genome sequencing of many cultivated and wild lentils from around the world,” says Dave Greenshields, SPG’s Director of Research and Development. “This allowed for the discovery and deployment of new agronomic and end-use traits that will benefit Saskatchewan growers for many years to come.”
The University of Saskatchewan’s Dr. Kirsten Bett and Dr. Bert Vandenberg are building on that work with their latest research project “Enhancing the Value of Lentil Variation for Ecosystem Survival”. The research leveraged SPG’s investment with primary funding by Genome Canada for $3.5 million. Additional co-funding partners include the Western Grains Research Foundation, BASF, the University of Saskatchewan, and the Global Institute for Food Security.
“SPG has invested over $2.7 million in lentil genomic research that has been undertaken by Dr. Bett and Dr. Vandenberg in recent years,” says Brad Blackwell, Chair of SPG. “Being able to take research conducted on the lentil genome and translate that into a focus on developing lentil traits that are important to end-users is a vital component to ensuring that Canada is viewed as a reliable and quality supplier of pulses around the globe.”
Accountable to and funded by growers, SPG’s strategic direction is guided by a seven member, grower-elected, Board of Directors. SPG’s mission is to provide leadership for profitable growth for Saskatchewan pulses.

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