Innovation Anthology

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Program ID: Innovation Anthology #850
Program Date: 03/02/2017
Program Category: Alberta, Biotechnology, Climate Change, Forests, Funding, Genomics

Dr. David Wishart: Genomics and Metabolomics Probe Climate Change Impacts On Forests

Dr. David Wishart will contribute his expertise in metabolomics to a new project about trees and climate change.

It's called "Resilient Forests: Climate, Pests and Policy - Genomic Applications"

DR DAVID WISHART:   Trees are a little more challenging.  There's a lot of information both in the leaves and in the sap -  that's the blood, if you wish,  for trees.  There are various methods for extracting metabolytes from either sap or fromleaves or pine needles or spruce needles. But in this case, plants are incredibly adept at producing very different chemicals.  And plants, because they can't run away from threats, actually have to develop an arsenal of chemicals to wage warfare to fight off pests or to survive drought or to survive cold.  And we wanted to learn a lot more about those chemical shields that plants produce and understand how to help them produce more of them if they have to fight off insect pests or drought or cold conditions.  

Dr. Wishart says this project involves numerous disciplines and funding partners, and is led by plant geneticist, Dr. Barb Thomas.


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