GFM Network News


This illustration shows how CRISPR-Cas9 technology could be used to genomically edit a species of the streptococcus bacterium. The Cas9 nuclease protein (in blue) uses a guide RNA sequence (purple) to cut DNA (green) at a complementary site.

Where are the Canadian genome-editing startups?

Looser regulations give the U.S. an edge in GE product development, but Canadians are working on gene editing, too

Genome editing has made some major strides in the past year. Minnesota-based Calyxt struck a deal with a processor to make oil from its GE soybeans, in which the genes responsible for trans fats have been ‘turned off.’ And SU Canola (a sulfonyurea herbicide-resistant variety) was given its Canadian commercial release a year ago by […] Read more

Edmonton’s Delta Genomics sold to U.S. company

Newly named Neogen Canada focuses on the use and application of genomic data, says company

Edmonton’s Delta Genomics has been sold to Neogen Corporation, an American company with locations in the U.S., Scotland, Brazil, and Australia. “The biggest visible change will be the logo,” Michelle Miller, Delta’s CEO who is now general manager of Neogen Canada, said in an e-newsletter from Livestock Genetic. “Even though the testing will be done […] Read more


For the first 10 or so weeks of their lives, Elk Island bison calves have a reddish-orange colour, earning them the nickname ‘Little Reds.’ Most have mixed parentage but are indistinguishable from purebred wood or plains bison.

‘Wood’ you know what kind of bison that is? It’s plain difficult

Woods and plains bison are impossible to tell apart, but a new genomics test will settle that question

Can you tell the difference between a wood bison and a plains bison? Most people can’t — which is partly why Delta Genomics and a team of collaborators are developing a genomics test that will be able to distinguish the two. “The biggest difference is that wood bison — their natural habitat is restricted to […] Read more

Canadian genetics are considered superior and allow for us to consider many paths as a global supplier of live cattle.

Single-trait selection can be too much of a good thing

Dairy and beef cattle are amazingly adaptive, 
but problems arise when we breed for just one trait

As I have travelled the world I have had the privilege of seeing many different breeds of cattle. They come in every colour and shape, from the stocky Belgium Blue to the sleek Zebu. Some cattle can be found on streets eating food waste; others are beasts of burden working fields and transporting goods; the […] Read more


Genomics research funding on offer

Genome Alberta is partnering with Alberta Agriculture on the Alberta Applied Agricultural Genomics Program. The program will provide funding for genomics-based research projects up to $250,000 over a period of two years. Research proposals participating in larger national or international efforts are strongly encouraged. For example, understanding stress response of crops at the genomic level […] Read more

Big or small, data makes all the difference, says veteran cattleman

Doug Wray is a well-known intensive grazing expert but he’s also an advocate 
of using genomics to push herd performance

If you want to make more money on your ranch, get more data. “You can’t manage what you don’t measure,” Irricana cattleman Doug Wray said at the recent Livestock Gentec conference. “We measure a lot of things. To have a successful ranching operation, you have to manage the resources you have. Every ranch is different.” […] Read more


Genomics testing is now practical for crossbred herds, says Delta Genomics.

Genomics testing now available for commercial herds

Knowing more about your cattle’s DNA can help you make better decisions, says non-profit developer of test

Delta Genomics has released a new genomics tool that will help commercial cattle producers determine breed composition and fertility of their cattle. EnVigour HX, which was released in February, allows producers of crossbred cattle to tap into the power of genomics, said Michelle Miller, chief executive officer of the not-for-profit genomics service division of Livestock Gentec. […] Read more

Crop research partnership maps two lentil genomes

A partnership between University of Saskatchewan (U of S) crop scientists and genomic big data company NRGene of Israel has successfully sequenced two wild lentil genomes—the largest legume genomes ever assembled. In a Nov. 8 news release, the U of S said the research was part of the $7.9-million Genome Canada-funded “Application of Genomics to […] Read more


‘Build your cow herd’ workshops on tap

Workshops begin Oct. 23 and run to early November across Alberta

Wondering how to use genomics, deal with lower-quality feed, or about health issues faced by cattle producers in your area? Then you may want to attend one of 10 workshops being held across Alberta in late October and early November. The ‘Tools to build your cow herd’ workshops are being put on by Alberta Agriculture […] Read more

Lots to see on cow forage tour

Field Day Aug. 22 at the Lacombe Research Centre

Several on-pasture demonstrations will be held during a field day co-hosted by Livestock Gentec and the Lacombe Research Centre. The Aug. 22 event at the research centre will focus on better understanding the interactions among cows, forage, and genomics and on optimizing cow/forage production. The demonstrations include a multi-site legume tour; high- and low-vigour cows […] Read more