Centre for Biodiversity Genomics

University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario
What the facility does

Species identification and biodiversity science

Areas of expertise

The Centre for Biodiversity Genomics (CBG) is a place of excellence in biodiversity research. The building hosts a dynamic mash-up of creative minds from three distinct disciplines – taxonomy, genetics & computer science – which combine to create the first ever “Big Data” pipeline that is capable of capturing the full breadth of ecosystem diversity. Part of the ongoing research at CBG is focused on mobilizing applications of DNA barcoding to address the socio-economic problems Canada and the rest of the world face. We do this by partnering with government and industry on a variety of projects, including:

  1. Working with mineral extraction companies, such as New Gold Inc., to develop the next generation of environmental restoration tools for the Canadian mining sector;
  2. Helping the Bird Strike Association of Canada to identify species of birds and bats which are colliding with civil and military aircraft; and
  3. Assisting the United States Food and Drug Administration in developing a DNA-based tool for identifying ingredient substitutions in food products.
Research services

Species identification services, including: bird/wildlife involved in aircraft collisions, ingredient authentication in foods, DNA-based environmental impact assessments, detection of invasive pests and illegally traded plants and wildlife, dietary analyses (metabarcoding).

Sectors of application
  • Agriculture, animal science and food
  • Education
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Fisheries and aquaculture
  • Forestry and forest-based industries
  • Healthcare and social services
  • Information and communication technologies and media
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment
  • Mining, minerals and metals
  • Ocean industries
  • Policy and governance

Specialized lab



Genetics Laboratory (CCDB)

Beckman FXP and NXP liquid handling robots



ABI 3730XL DNA analyzers

Capillary DNA sequencing


Eppendorf thermocyclers



DNA bank

2 million specimen capacity. Secure -80C freezer suite with backup generator.


Roche LightCycler® 96

Real-Time PCR


Applied Biosystems StepOnePlus™

Real-Time PCR


ThermoFisher Scientific Ion Torrent PGM

Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)


Life Technologies Ion Torrent OneTouch ES

Emulsion system for NGS


Life Technologies Ion Torrent S5

Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)


Life Technologies Ion Torrent S5 chef

Liquid handling and sample preparation system for S5


Pacific Biosystems (PACBIO®) Sequel System

Next Generation Long Amplicon Sequencing

Collections Laboratory

Specimen bank (5 million specimen capacity)



3D imaging systems



Photo montage digital imaging systems



Leica Microsystems Critical Point Dryer



Ultrasensitive balance



Mobile specimen collection laboratory


Informatics Laboratory

756 CPU cores (IBM, SGI) and 218 terabytes of storage (IBM DS4700/DCS9900, Isilon X200)

High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster for data-intensive research

  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • New Gold Inc.
  • Bird Strike Association of Canada
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Agriculture and Agri Food Canada
  • Parks Canada
  • Human Food Project
  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency



Cataloguing all the world’s living things: The University of Guelph is building a powerful inventory of every species on Earth in an effort to monitor and conserve biodiversity in the face of crisis.


Do you know where your food came from? It's all in the genes.


Tests reveal mislabeling of fish.


Shark fins sold for soup in Canada include many at-risk species.