2019 Seminar Series - Travis Banks


Using the Latest DNA Sequencing Approaches to Assemble Highly Contiguous Plant Genomes

by Travis Banks, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (VRIC)

LOCATION: Room 202, Crop Sci
DATE & TIME: Thursday, April 11, 2019 @ 11:00 AM

rescheduled from Feb 7th


In the last few years the options available to researchers for producing highly assembled genomes has increased. The development of long-read sequencing technologies, low-cost short-read sequencing technology, optical mapping, and innovative sample preparation methods have made it possible for small research groups to generate reference assemblies for their own projects that far surpass what was possible only a handful of years ago. This presentation will describe the recent assembly of a heterozygous cherry tree genome at Vineland and use it as a case study to understand the rational for the technology choices made to achieve the project goals.


Travis holds undergraduate degrees in biochemistry and computer science from the University of Saskatchewan and an MSc in biochemistry from the University of Saskatchewan. He has been a Research Scientist in Bioinformatics with the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre since 2009 and has over 16 years of experience in plant bioinformatics and the development of genomics tools. His research currently focuses on the application of modern DNA sequencing technologies for crop improvement and the use of machine learning techniques to increase crop breeding efficiencies. In addition to his bioinformatics research, Travis also leads Vineland’s program to develop flavourful, climate-adapted greenhouse tomatoes for Ontario producers and teaches a course in bioinformatics at McMaster University.