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FCC Accelerated Breeding Program at GIFS

The FCC Accelerated Breeding Program at GIFS is a collaborative initiative to accelerate innovation in agriculture, driving productivity, competitiveness and sustainability for Canadian farmers and agri-food stakeholders.

Accelerated breeding enables researchers to shorten the breeding cycle in crop and livestock breeding programs through the application of genomic selection, speed breeding and modelling.

These strategies have been verified by large, multinational plant and animal breeding organizations: first in the dairy sector a generation ago and since then in major commodities like corn and soybean. Today, they are employed in breeding programs by major agriculture companies.

GIFS has the innovative technologies and highly skilled team to make accelerated breeding accessible to diverse organizations in both the public and private sectors.

From our base in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, a thriving hub of agricultural research, development and production, we are working with partners to apply these technologies and strategies to diverse commodities and deliver market-impacting innovation to agricultural producers.

Why Accelerated Breeding?

To promote food security and feed a growing global population, the agriculture sector must maintain and increase production amidst significant challenges, including limited land, water and nutrients, as well as threats from disease, pests and climate change.

Accelerated breeding provides crop and livestock breeders with a comprehensive suite of tools to stay ahead of the curve and deliver innovations that are resilient and adapted to the markets and challenges of today and tomorrow.

What is Accelerated Breeding?

The FCC Accelerated Breeding Program at GIFS utilizes our proven genotyping, phenotyping and bioinformatics expertise — capacity that GIFS has built and demonstrated through our technology platforms.

Through the following activities, we are working with partners to optimize breeding pipelines, increase the rate of genetic gain and more rapidly bring innovations to agricultural producers that enhance performance and sustainability.

  • Genotype by sequencing: High-throughput DNA sequencing via GIFS’ state-of-the-art Omics & Precision Agriculture Laboratory enables the use of genotypes to predict performance through genomic selection.
  • Reduced breeding cycle time: Double haploid production and speed breeding through GIFS’ Cell Biology Platform and Plant Growth Facilities support a rapid drive to homozygosity.
  • Genomic selection: GIFS’ Data Management and Analytics Platform generates Genomic Estimated Breeding Values (GEBVs) to help identify top-performing lines, reduce screening and inform optimal parental combinations.
  • Optimize breeding pipelines: Utilizing computer simulations, GIFS’ Data Management and Analytics Platform models plant breeding pipelines to improve genetic gain per dollar invested.

When applied at scale, GIFS’ Accelerated Breeding Program can shorten the breeding cycle to deliver tangible results for the agriculture sector:

  • Enable breeding of multiple traits to changing environments.
  • Enhance the return on investment into research and development.
  • Contribute to the economic, environmental and social sustainability of farm operations.
We are Open for Business

Learn more below about how to partner with us or reach out at partnerwithus@gifs.ca.

Partners in Innovation

The FCC Accelerated Breeding Program at GIFS is supported by a $5 million investment by Farm Credit Canada. Learn more >>

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