The DivSeek International Regional Hub for Canada aims to form a national network to coordinate individual efforts in Canadian research institutions to strengthen characterization and utilization of the plant genetic resources, encourage international collaboration and establish guidelines and evidence for policy makers at international treaties.
Co-leads: Steve Visscher, Global Institute for Food Security
2021 update on Activities:
- The Hub aims to be a focal point to promote Canadian needs, including data standards for genomic and phenomic crop data; data management, dissemination and access; priority research areas or crops to reflect national interests and effective use of plant and microbial genetic resources.
- The work of the DivSeek Canada project and key partner resources such as the OPAL partnership and the KnowPulse genomic and phenomic resources developed for pulses are illustrative examples of foundational components that could harnessed through DivSeek Canada Hub coordination. Where appropriate partnerships could be forged with international groups
- Discussions have been held with a range of stakeholders and funders across Canada, and a Steering Group has been formed to guide a consultative workshop to advise on the scope for the Hub. Genome Canada and other funders are being engaged at the outset with the intent of creating a network focused on issues that can deliver benefits which address policy federal and provincial priorities and hopefully with some industry input. The Canadian Government has announced a new national genomics strategy and provided significant funds to underpin this. As such there is an excellent opportunity for the Canadian Hub to align with this and thus increase prospects of support for network participants.
- A coordinated programme approach is envisaged to encourage sharing and accessibility of data and application of tools and standards across crop and other value-added opportunities. The Hub will also connect with the Earth Bio-genome Project where standards for genome assembly, notation and data analysis. A further connection will work on a recently completed ‘Div Seek Canada’ project to accelerate plant breeding by leveraging the genetic diversity in the world’s live collections and seed banks to create a unified, coordinated and cohesive information management platform.