Prof. Istvan Rajcan of the Department of Plant Agriculture was awarded a Collaborative Research and Development Grant worth a total of $500,000.
Rajcan will use this funding, along with previous grants, to improve soybean varieties. By pinpointing genetic markers present in soybeans, Rajcan aims to produce high-yielding crops with specific traits selected by breeders and farmers. Desirable traits can range from high protein content to disease resistance.
The initial funding was granted by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and was matched by Grain Farmers of Ontario, SeCan Association and Huron Commodities Inc. for a $500,000 total value.
Rajcan previously received $1.4 million from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance (CFCRA). This was part of a $10.3 million effort for improving the genetics of canadian crops though the Growing Forward 2 AgriInnovation Program.
Soybeans are one of Canada's largest and fastest growing crops. In Canada, production has increased 450 per cent since 1980. Soybeans are used for a variety of food products, livestock feed, oils, fuels, and plastics.
Rajcan has developed over 50 soybean varieties with his research team at the University of Guelph.
For more information see: http://www.uoguelph.ca/news/2014/05/oac_prof_headi.html