Bioinformatics Facility

National Research Council Canada, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
What the facility does

Provides bioinformatics computational infrastructure and supports research through data analysis, and workflow and software development.

Areas of expertise

The Bioinformatics Facility supports applied genomics research in the agri-food and aquaculture sectors, as well as other data-intensive domains of biology, such as high throughput phenotyping or phenomics. A suite of instruments is used for storing, organizing, and managing high throughput biological data produced by DNA sequencers and imaging equipment. The expertise of the facility is specialized to the sub-fields of plant, agricultural and aquaculture bioinformatics. Fields such as plant breeding require complex data analysis and statistical genetic methods that are not present in other life sciences and require appropriate bioinformatics support, which this facility provides. The hardware infrastructure is specialized to the needs of agricultural bioinformatics, and the facility is staffed by personnel with expertise in handling large and complex plant genomes. A core strength of the facility lies in the expertise in assembling genome sequences of complex polyploid crops, such as wheat, canola and pulse crops, and analysis of genetic diversity to enable genomics assisted improvement of agronomic and seed quality attributes.

Research services
  • Bioinformatics support to researchers that require advanced analysis, or user-support for tools that researchers utilize in their labs;
  • Direct support through analyses that require computer programming, data analysis, data visualization, research software engineering, and expertise in the tools and methodologies for agricultural bioinformatics;
  • Support to researchers who prefer to perform analyses in their labs, but need help with enabling technologies such as Linux, development environments, high performance computing scheduling, etc.
Sectors of application
  • Agriculture, animal science and food
  • Fisheries and aquaculture



High performance computing cluster

  • 1.5 PB (Petabytes) of redundant network attached storage
  • 8 Linux-based compute nodes with a combined 600 compute cores and up to 6 TB (Terabytes) RAM (Random Access Memory) per node

Dedicated to bioinformatics analysis