KPU Bio-Innovation Lab
Founded in January 2019 and located on KPU's Surrey campus, the Bio-Innovation Lab was funded by Kwantlen Polytechnic University, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI), and the BC Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF). Work in the lab builds upon modern developments in technology and understanding in the fields of genetics (genomics) and cellular products (metabolomics) - areas which have driven tremendous advances in human health care and research in recent years. While many cutting-edge techniques are now routinely applied in the medical field, the use of such genomic and metabolomic tools in agriculture is lagging behind. The Bio-Innovation Lab aims to leverage these available tools and work towards solving various challenges faced in agriculture.
The Bio-Innovation Lab is Focused On:
Varietal Development and Consistency
Using microsatellites, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs), next-generation genotype by sequencing (GBS), and real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) genotyping, a genetic 'fingerprint' can be created that allows for the accurate identification of species and subspecies. This can be used to ensure varietal consistency during product development of numerous crops - including ornamental plants, fungi, and hops. Genetic fingerprinting is also used to aid in product registration and in securing patents.
16s Metagenomic Analysis
The Bio-Innovation Lab uses next-generation sequencing (NGS) to characterize complete bacterial communities by targeting a region of the 16S rRNA gene unique to bacteria. Among other purposes, this metagenomic analysis can be used to to investigate gut health in animals by studing fecal bacterial content, or to create a profile of the bacterial population present in a soil sample, leading to a better understanding of the impact of the microbiome on plant production and health.
Custom real-time quantitative PCR assays can be created in the lab to detect the presence and abundance of pathogens in a variety of sample types, including bodily fluids and soil samples. Currently assays are in development for bacteria, fungi, and nematodes.