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Its Genome Canada funded project in collaboration with Parks Canada and USASK. The overall goal of BIG is to ensure the existence of healthy, genetically pure bison, without domestic cattle and subspecies introgression, and with long-term sustainable genetic diversity in Canada’s bison herds. 

 Genomics-derived solution will focus on developing four novel genomics tools for bison conservation and deliver:

  • Improved diagnostic assays for bovine bTB using advanced proteomic and transcriptomics tools

  • A prototype combined recombinant Brucella/rBCG vaccine for use in wood bison, the vaccine development partnership between the USASK, VIDO-Intervac, and Parks Canada

  • A validated SNP chip to evaluate the genetic composition and integrity of existing bison herds

  • Rescue and transfer of healthy germplasm between wild and genetically depauperate herds. 

Activity 1

Development of more sensitive and specific diagnostic assays for bison (Dr. Jeffrey Chen, Dr. Todd Shury)


Activity 2

Development of a combined Brucella/bTB vaccine for use in wood bison (Dr. Jeffrey Chen, Dr. Todd Shury)


Activity 3

Refine and validate genomic tools to identify genetic composition of existing bison herds (Prof. Dr. Paul Stothard, Dr. Greg Wilson, Dr.Beth Shapiro, Prof. Dr. Gregg Adams, Dr. Mohammad Anzar, Dr. Tim Dumonceaux)


Activity 4

Rescue and transfer healthy germplasm between wild and captive herds 

(Prof. Dr. Gregg Adams, Dr. Gabriela Mastromonaco, Prof. Dr. Jaswant Singh, Dr. Greg Wilson, Dr. Todd Shury) 

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