Seed World

NRGene Canada Maps Clubroot Resistance Trait

NRGene Canada has now successfully mapped the unique genomic locations of a previously-identified novel high-resistance trait for clubroot in canola, a July 11 news release said. DNA markers were also developed by the company to allow for efficient trait integration into elite canola seeds.

“NRGene’s activity in the heart of the Canadian Prairies for over three years is already paying off with the development of a natural and efficient solution to overcome this most devastating disease in canola and save local farmers billions of dollars from yield loss,” Gil Ronen, NRGene founder and CEO, said in the release. “We look forward to partner with leading seed producers and supply farmers novel, disease-resistant seeds.”

By developing DNA markers, this enables for the identification of clubroot resistance plants by using simple PCR tests, the release noted. NRGene’s Canola-SNPro genotyping kit, developed in 2021, allowed for the DNA markers to be developed in just a few weeks.

“Canola seed producers can thus utilize the identified DNA markers to develop and commercialize novel disease-resistant canola seeds in a rapid and cost-efficient manner and provide farmers with an efficient and sustainable solution,” the release said.

With the support of the Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), NRGene Canada expects to complete the project by 2025, the release said. The company is presently seeking Canadian and global partners to ensure varieties bearing these resistance genes are available to farmers and producers.

“Innovation and AI-Genomics empower us to provide farmers with resilient Clubroot resistance in Canola, safeguarding both crop health and the environment. By deploying cutting-edge technologies, we are building a sustainable future for Canola before the next agricultural pandemic strikes. We recognize the importance of preparing for future challenges in crop security, driven by emerging pathogens. It’s not a question of if, but rather when,” Masood Rizvi, general manager for NRGene Canada, said in the release.

A provisional patent has been filed by NRGene Canada to protect these high-resistance traits, the release said.