University of Saskatchewan scientists are involved in two new crop-related genomic projects.

The Western Grains Research Foundation announced over $1.6 million dollars in funding for the projects.

WGRF Chair Terry Young says the projects should lead to new and improved varieties for farmers.

He notes the Federal Government is always helping to fund the work being done and since one of their priorities is sustainability and the environment; a project on Enhancing the value of Lentil Variation for Ecosystem Survival is a natural fit.

“There is a sustainability component in Pulses. Particularly, in pulses, because they don’t use any synthetic fertilizers they produce their own fertilizer. So that is a project that will enhance Lentil production and hopefully, it will be a benefit to producers across Western Canada.”

The project is being led by Dr. Kirstin Bett and Dr. Bert Vandenberg from the University of Saskatchewan.

The other project focuses on 4D Wheat: Diversity, Domestication, Discovery and Delivery and is being led by Dr. Curtis Pozniak at the University of Saskatchewan and Dr. Sylvie Cloutier at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

The proposed work and genetic resources will benefit Canadian breeders as they work on improving wheat varieties to enhance producers' returns and ensure a stable food supply.

The projects were approved through Genome Canada's Large-Scale Applied Research Project Competition.