Genomics at Environment Canada: Networks and Knowledge

Passed down through generations, the genetic material within an organism is comprised of DNA which is the basic building block of organisms. The genome is the complete set of the genetic material or DNA present in an organism. Genomics is the study of all genes and their inter-relationships, and it is this inter-relationship that influences the growth and development of the organism. 

Environmental genomics looks at how the environment can affect the genome, allowing us to better understand and predict how that organism will respond to those changes.

Strategic Technology Applications of Genomics in the Environment (STAGE)

The STAGE program allows our researchers to develop genomic test method and data, which in turn increases their knowledge of the effect that environmental changes may have on organisms. They use genomics to study the impact that pollution, disease and changes in the environment have on wildlife and plants. Researchers also look at how genomics can help our enforcement officers protect the environment by using DNA barcoding to identify wildlife trafficking, or even to pinpoint invasive species. 

STAGE is funded by the Genomics Research & Development Initiative (GRDI).

The four STAGE research priorities are: 

  • Studying how an organism’s genome responds to toxins
  • Helping manage species at risk, and risks to plants and animals
  • Keeping track of the health of the environment
  • Supporting enforcement of Environment Canada’s laws and regulations

Here are our success stories, highlighting some of our ongoing genomic studies.

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