BEGAB: Budwork EcoGenomics: applications and technologies

Principal Investigator: Roger C. Levesque
Theme : Forestry
Competition : Pilot projects GQ
Status : Completed
Start : Oct. 1, 2010
End: Sept. 30, 2012
Budget : $400,000.00

The Institut de biologie intégrative et des systèmes (IBIS) at Université Laval, joins forces with scientists of the Canadian Forest Service (CFS) to undertake the decryption of the spruce budworm genome. The launch of this effort coincides with a recent rise in budworm population levels in several regions of Québec, signalling the dawn of a new outbreak. During the last outbreak, in the 1980s, 32 to 46 M m3 of spruce and fir were lost annually in Canada, through either tree mortality or growth reduction. This makes the budworm the most serious insect pest of the boreal forest in eastern Canada.

By comparing the genome of the spruce budworm to that of other organisms, it will be possible to identify genes that are unique to this insect and that could be targeted for the development of budworm-specific pest-control products. The only product currently available for budworm suppression in Québec is the bacterial insecticide Bt, against which other insects have developed resistance. To reconstitute each of the 30 chromosomes’ sequence, the team will use a new-generation sequencer and will also have access to Université Laval’s supercomputer Colosse.



Michel Cusson Université Laval
Daniel Doucet Canadian Forest Service
Christopher Lucarotti Canadian Forest Service (Victoria)
John MacKay Université Laval