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Historic Canada-China agreement aims to increase oil yield in canola


Historic Canada-China agreement aims to increase oil yield in canola

In what is being called an historic event, Canadian and Chinese interests have agreed to collaborate on genetic research into enhancing oil levels in canola. The alliance is a five year arrangement and will focus on genetic enhancements.

August 5, 2008  By National Research Council Canada

The National Research Council Canada (NRC) and the Oil Crops Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences have signed an agreement to collaborate on genetic research to improve the production of canola. Over the next five years, the Oil Crops Research Institute will contribute $300,000 in cash and the NRC Plant Biotechnology Institute (NRC-PBI) will contribute $210,000 worth of facilities and analytical resources to complete the first project under this agreement.

Dr. Roman Szumski, NRC's Vice-President, Life Sciences, visited the Oil Crops Research Institute last week to strengthen ties between both research organizations and to exchange information.

"This is a historic event where, for the first time, China is investing directly in agricultural research in Canada to advance a crop important to both countries," said Dr. Szumski. "This collaboration will help Canada and China develop higher yielding canola, increasing both our countries' reputations for scientific excellence in agricultural research and creating a competitive advantage for Canadian and Chinese agricultural producers."


"This agreement makes eminent sense, given that Canada is where canola was developed," said Dr. Han-zhong Wang, Director of the Oil Crops Research Institute. "Food and energy shortages are an escalating problem and increasing canola productivity is something that can help these global issues."

The first project to be undertaken under this agreement is to complete genomics work on canola to identify genes that affect yield and adaptation to various environmental stresses.

Recognized globally for research and innovation, the National Research Council Canada (NRC) is a leader in the development of an innovative, knowledge-based economy for Canada through science and technology. NRC-PBI conducts collaborative plant biotechnology research with universities, government agencies and industry, translating research into commercial products for the environmental and health benefits of Canadians. Visit for more information.

The Oil Crops Research Institute is one of China's leading centres for canola research and for the development of elite rapeseed germplasm. The Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) represents China's most important national agricultural research organization, directly affiliated to the Ministry of Agriculture. CAAS has a strategic task of serving nation-wide agricultural and rural development and empowering farmers with science and technology. Visit OCRI's website at for more information.

For more information, please visit NRC's Web site at


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