The agency will invest $320,000 in DNA barcoding projects.
OTTAWA, Ontario – Lloyd Longfield, member of Parliament for Guelph, Ontario, on behalf of the Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor, announced Sept. 14 that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is investing C$320,000 (US$262,370) in the Univ. of Guelph’s Biodiversity Institute of Ontario to support collaborative research projects. The projects will utilize DNA barcoding and computer technology to help protect Canadian plants, animals and people from pests and diseases.

 “Safe and accessible food and the protection of Canada’s plant and animal resources are essential to the health of Canadians. This partnership builds on Canada’s world leadership in genomics and DNA barcoding for detecting and identifying species and will further integrate innovative science into the regulatory world,” Taylor said.


“This research enables the Univ. of Guelph to build on their partnership with the CFIA, to demonstrate their expertise in DNA barcoding research and their commitment to developing exceptional students and future researchers,” Longfield said.


The Biodiversity Institute of Ontario at the Univ. of Guelph is known as the birthplace of the field of DNA barcoding.


The first of the new Biodiversity Institute projects involves developing DNA barcoding tools to protect Canadian crops from destructive insects. The second collaborative project will focus on protecting Canadian livestock. DNA barcoding tools will help identify disease-carrying insects called Culicoides midges, which can transmit bluetongue virus to sheep and cattle.


The $320,000 funding was provided under the CFIA’s Federal Assistance Program. This is the second Federal Assistance Program agreement signed between the CFIA and Univ. of Guelph. The previous project (2015-2016) developed a DNA barcoding training program that identified invasive species and mislabeled fish and seafood.


“Our partnership with the CFIA will enable the Univ. of Guelph to leverage opportunities in genomics that will modernize regulatory programs. We look forward to the exciting outcomes of this world-class scientific collaboration,” said Malcolm Campbell, vice president of research, Univ. of Guelph.


(US$1 = C$1.22)