Genomics-enhanced forecasting of lignocellulosic feedstock supply for bioenergy

PROJECT LEAD(S)/CO-LEAD(S) Joerg Bohlmann (University of British Columbia) & Janice Cooke (University of Alberta)
COMPETITION/ FUNDING OPPORTUNITY Genome Canada - Applied Genomics Research in Bioproducts or Crops - ABC
PROJECT START DATE October 1, 2009
PROJECT END DATE June 30, 2013

Energy derived from renewable biological materials (i.e. bioenergy) offers a realistic means of reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. This project addresses an issue central to the sustainable production of bioenergy from renewable lignocellulose feedstock under conditions of changing environments. The proposed work seeks to remedy the current lack of accurate tools for reliable prediction of feedstock supply from renewable forest inventory. The team will study the mountain pine beetle epidemic to generate new genomics information on the biological components (i.e., pine trees, bark beetles, beetle associated fungal pathogens) of a disease system that significantly impacts feedstock quality and supply. The genomic information generated for the interacting biological components at the individual and population levels will be incorporated into improved risk assessment tools. The integrated genomics, risk modeling and economics approach of this project is innovative and will help better predict, analyze, and address challenges to feedstock supply from forest pest and pathogen progression for more accurate, long-term forecasts. It builds on well-established, multidisciplinary expertise and will further Canada’s international leadership in forest health genomics as it relates to renewable bioenergy production. 

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