Plant Breeding
Being the only flax breeder in Western Canada puts the onus on Helen Booker to target traits that are of keen interest to flax growers, processors and users. Her program is working on a wide range of advances – from stronger disease resistance, greater adaptation to northern conditions, and increased…
Increasingly, research is showing that canola root-associated microbiomes can impact crop growth and nutrient uptake. Some of the soil micro-organisms are beneficial to plants that protect them against pathogens, mitigate the impact of abiotic stress, improve plant nutrition or stimulate plant growth by phytohormones.
Winter wheat has major environmental benefits. It helps reduce wind and water based soil erosion, out competes many weeds, and generally conserves energy because of the fewer field operations.
In Western Canada, wheat is the largest acreage cereal crop, however increasingly variable climate conditions and stresses such as drought can affect plant development, yield and profitability for growers. Researchers and plant breeders are looking for new tools and strategies to advance high yielding, more drought tolerant varieties of high…
The journal Science published the highest quality genome sequence produced to date for the bread wheat variety Chinese Spring, which would lead to further innovation in wheat breeding and improving the crop. 
Wheat breeding has a long history in Canada, beginning in the late 1800s when researchers began looking at spring wheat varieties for Western Canada. The need at that time, in that region, was for an earlier maturing variety of wheat.
A major research project called SoyaGen is tapping into the power of genomics to really boost Canadian soybean breeding advances.
Lacking an efficient hybrid production system in mustards, the advantages of increased hybrid vigour and yield have left Prairie mustard growers wanting more. However, a breakthrough by Bifang Cheng, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s mustard breeder in Saskatoon, has made hybrid brown and oriental (Brassica juncea) hybrid development a reality. The…
Pre-harvest sprouting – germination of the grain while it is still in the head – can cause costly losses in Prairie cereal crops, so research is underway to develop tools and knowledge for more efficient breeding of elite wheat and barley varieties that better resist or tolerate pre-harvest sprouting.
Better winter field survival is a central goal of Prairie winter wheat breeders. However, over the last few decades, making gains in this trait has been very challenging. So a team of researchers is deciphering the genomics of winter survival to further advance the development of varieties that survive and…
In Canada, the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) at the University of Saskatchewan conducts research into transformative innovations in agriculture in both the developed and the developing world.
While putting his issue together, I was reminded just  how intricate (and complicated) disease is. Let’s look at Fusarium head blight (FHB) and its many forms as an example.
Wanted: farmer plant breeders. In a pilot project initiated by Martin Entz with the University of Manitoba’s plant science department, and Stephen Fox of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), organic wheat farmers participated in the selection of organic wheat lines to see how farmer-selected wheat populations compared with conventionally developed…
A three-year research project with the goal of streamlining dry bean breeding projects shows promising developments that could lead to significant increases in yield for dry bean crops.
Together, Cargill and Precision BioSciences are using Precision’s ARCUS genome-editing technology to further reduce saturated fat in canola oil.
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