Plant Genetics
Canada and China pledged to double agricultural trade by 2025 at the Economic and Financial Strategic Dialogue in Beijing on Nov. 12, co-chaired by Canadian Minister of Finance Bill Morneau and Minister of International Trade Diversification Jim Carr.
Published in Imports/Exports
Cultivar resistance is considered the most effective and practical approach for clubroot management on canola. However, almost all of the current cultivars were based on a single clubroot resistance (CR) gene, which can be eroded when the pathogen Plasmodiophora brassicae changes in virulence.
Published in Canola
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 yields, to larger seeds, yellow seed coats and higher alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) levels in the oil.
Published in Plant Breeding
Clubroot continues to be a disease risk to canola crops across Alberta, with more than 2,700 clubroot-infested fields now confirmed, along with a few isolated cases in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Although good clubroot resistant (CR) varieties have been available for about 10 years, there are an increasing number of fields in Alberta where new strains of the pathogen Plasmodiophora brassicae have overcome the resistance.
Published in Diseases
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.
Published in Plant Breeding
The fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, which causes stem rot, is a major economic disease in canola that impacts the crop across all of Canada’s growing regions.
Published in Diseases
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.
Published in Plant Breeding
A  comparison of heirloom and modern dry bean varieties is revealing that some heirloom varieties could be good candidates for breeding dry beans with greater nitrogen-fixing capacity.
Published in Agronomy
Since the early 1990s, blackleg resistant canola varieties have been available in Western Canada, and have helped to prevent yield losses caused by the main races of the pathogen, Leptosphaeria maculans. But the disease is on the rise due to a shift in the races of the pathogen that has resulted in the loss of resistance in some canola varieties in some fields.
Published in Canola
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 quality wheat for growers.
Published in Plant Breeding
Since the early 1970s, canaryseed has become established as an alternative cereal crop for Saskatchewan farmers. The province produces approximately 90 per cent of the canaryseed grown in Canada and about 65 per cent of the global supply of the crop, which is used to feed wild and caged birds the world over. Now, canaryseed was recently approved for human food use in Canada and the U.S., offering the potential for new opportunities for Saskatchewan producers.
Published in Cereals
For bread lovers, there is nothing quite as delightful as a mouthful of soft, fresh bread – and nothing quite as disappointing as hard, stale bread. Now a new stay-fresh wheat line developed in Saskatchewan offers several extra days of that wonderful fresh-baked quality.
Published in Genetics/Traits
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. 
Published in Plant Breeding
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.
Published in Plant Breeding
A major research project called SoyaGen is tapping into the power of genomics to really boost Canadian soybean breeding advances.
Published in Plant Breeding
Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a serious disease affecting yield and quality of wheat and other important cereal crops across Canada. Breeding for resistance continues to be a key strategy in the fight against FHB, and research scientists like George Fedak are helping to lead the way.
Published in Cereals
The pool of genetic diversity in a domesticated crop like barley is much shallower than in the crop’s wild relatives. So researchers sometimes bring individual genes from a wild cousin into the crop to add crucial traits. But plant breeder Duane Falk is tackling the problem from the opposite direction: he is re-domesticating wild barley lines.
Published in Cereals
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 first hybrid brown mustard, B3318, was supported for registration in 2018.
Published in Plant Breeding
A major research project called SoyaGen is tapping into the power of genomics to really boost Canadian soybean breeding advances.
Published in Soybeans
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.
Published in Plant Breeding
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