The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the University of Guelph are teaming up again in the fight against invasive pests and disease.
MP for Guelph, Lloyd Longfield announced a $320,000 investment for the U of G’s Biodiversity Institute of Ontario to support research projects that will advance surveillance techniques, and ultimately protect plants, animals and people from various threats.
“This research enables the University 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.
One project involves the development of DNA barcoding tools that would identify destructive insects and protect crops. It will also look at using DNA technology to analyze soil samples for invasive weed seeds.
Integrative biology professor Bob Hanner said invasive species can have a significant impact on Canada’s economy and surveillance allows them to get ahead of developing issues.
“We’ve been largely reactive,” Hanner said. “If we can have better biosurveillance tools that would allow us to eradicate them before they are established and we be more proactive that would save our economy a lot of money.”
Thursday’s announcement builds off a $323,000 investment last year.