Bayer Crop Science Canada and the University of Alberta (U of A) are working in partnership to research the genetic diversity of canola.

The aim of the research was to make hybrid canola stronger by increasing seed yield and improving disease resistance, Bayer said on 18 April.

“The … research team at the University of Alberta is developing hundreds of canola lines, which could be a game changer for our farmers,” Bayer Crop Science Canada president and CEO Antoine Bernet said.

To determine which genes would be best for breeding new lines of canola to produce the strongest hybrids, the research team at U and A had been researching the genes of brassica vegetables which are closely related to canola, such as broccoli and kale.

“Canada is the top producer of canola, and with demand expected to increase substantially over the next decade, it’s critical that we support research that will help to bolster this important crop,” Bernet said.

“While it will take time to develop these hybrids, I’m optimistic about the work done by the team at U of A to enhance the genetic diversity of canola here in Canada.”

Once developed and proven effective, Bayer Crop Science said the improved genetic material and knowledge from the research would support its long-term work of producing new commercial hybrids.

Part of German chemical giant Bayer, Bayer Crop Science Canada’s portfolio includes crop protection products, seed treatment technologies, plant biotechnology and digital farming solutions. The Crop Science division has 22 research, breeding, production and office sites across the country.