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Canola Industry Meeting Speakers 
Kristi Snell
Dr. Kristi Snell, Ph.D. is Vice President of Research and Chief Science Officer of Yield10 Bioscience, an agricultural bioscience company focusing on the development of disruptive technologies to produce step-change improvements in crop yield for food and feed crops to enhance global food security. Dr. Snell joined the company (formerly called Metabolix) in 1997 and has led the plant science research program since its inception. Dr. Snell has more than 20 years of experience in metabolic engineering of plants and microbes for the production of novel products and increased plant yield. Dr. Snell received a bachelor of science degree in Chemistry from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Purdue University where she worked on metabolic engineering strategies to increase carbon flow to industrial products. Dr. Snell conducted her post-doctoral research at MIT in biochemistry and metabolic engineering.


David Dzisiak


 
Marcus Weidler
Head of Seeds - Canada / VP Seeds Operations
Bayer CropScience Inc.
Dr. Weidler assumed his current role as Head of Seeds / VP Seeds Operations in April 2013, where he is responsible for leading Bayer’s seeds and traits business in Canada. He also oversees the development and implementation of Bayer’s Digital Farming strategy.
Prior to this, Dr. Weidler was the Global Crop Manager, Cereals Seeds and Traits at Bayer CropScience AG based out of Germany. His experience also includes several leadership roles in R&D, marketing and strategy development.
Dr. Weidler holds a PhD in biotechnology from the Institute for Biotechnology and Drug Research, Kaiserslautern, and a master’s degree in biophysical chemistry from the University of Bayreuth, both in Germany.
His hobbies include mountaineering, trekking, long-range shooting, hunting, canoeing and photography. He resides with his wife and son in Calgary, Alberta.

 
Wolfgang Friedt

Wolfgang is a Professor emeritus in Agronomy and Plant Breeding from Justus Liebig-University of Giessen (Germany). After higher studies of Agricultural Sciences at the University of Bonn, Wolfgang worked as a senior scientist in the Institute for Resistance Genetics at Gruenbach near Munich.

Based on his research on mutagenesis and mutation breeding he did a doctorate in Plant Breeding at the Technical University of Munich (TUM 1978). In the year 1983 he was awarded an annual stipend by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science which enabled him to work as a guest scientist at Kyoto University (Japan). Subsequently, he became engaged as Lecturer for Plant Genetics at the University of Bayreuth (Germany) and simultaneously qualified as a professor (Habilitation 1984).

In 1985, Wolfgang was appointed Full Professor and Chair of Plant Breeding at Justus Liebig University, Giessen.

Repeatedly, Wolfgang has served as a Dean of the Faculty for Agriculture & Environment Conservation, University of Giessen. The focus of his scientific research has been on applied genetics and breeding of major crop plants such as barley, wheat and oilseed rape emphasising on breeding methodology and the improvement of disease and stress resistance as well as yield performance and stability. 



Lorin DeBonte

Lorin is the Assistant Vice President of R&D for Cargill’s Global Edible Oil Solutions – Global Specialties business where he is responsible for seed and oil products development.  He leads a team of scientists that develop the Victory® Hybrid Canola and Clear Valley® Canola Oils produced in North America and Australia.  Lorin earned his B.S. degree from Rochester Institute of Technology in New York and a Ph.D. in Botany from Miami University in Ohio.  Following post-doctoral work at the U.S.D.A. he joined DNA Plant Technology working on the nutritional improvement of plant oils for the consumer market.  He was one of the founding members of InterMountain Canola in 1991 which was responsible for introducing canola based high stability frying and ingredient oils to the market.  In working with the Cargill team he is named on over 45 U.S. patents the areas of genetics and food oils.  His passion is to bring healthy oil solutions through a sustainable global food supply chain to meet the future needs of our planet.



Meghan Vankosky
Dr. Meghan Vankosky is a field crop entomologist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Saskatoon where she has joined the ranks of the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network and is working to develop a research program focused on understanding insect pests and developing sustainable management programs that will benefit both producers and the environment. Meghan completed her MSc on integrated management of the pea leaf weevil at the University of Alberta in 2010, then moved to the University of Windsor for her PhD where she investigated the biology and behaviour of an omnivorous biological control agent of greenhouse pests. Upon completion of her PhD in 2015, Meghan moved to Riverside, California and worked as a postdoc with Dr. Mark Hoddle, studying classical biological control of the Asian citrus psyllid until she moved back to Canada in July 2016. Thus, Meghan has experience working on integrated pest management of insects in field crops, greenhouse crops, and orchard crops. Her current research interests include midges attacking canola; pea leaf weevil IPM and biological control; and monitoring insect pests and their natural enemies across the prairies.

 
Marco Valicenti
Marco joined the Sector Development and Analysis Directorate (SDAD), Market Industry Services Branch of AAFC in May 2017 as the Director General. His role includes overseeing the provision of in-depth market information and analysis, as well as advice and engagement on sectoral issues, to meet departmental policy and program delivery needs and to contribute to industry’s economic development. He also ensures his staff continue to maintain and expand working relationships through collaboration with provinces and territories, national and regional agricultural and food associations, and individual companies and value chain members, and to develop strategies to improve competitiveness and long-term market success, and to address issues of importance facing the sector, including market and regulatory issues.
 
Prior to this position, Marco Valicenti served as the Executive Director of the Market Access Coordination division within the Market Access Secretariat. In addition, Marco served as the Senior Policy Advisor to two former Deputy Ministers, and then transitioned to the position of the Department’s Corporate Secretary.  From 2008-2012, Marco worked at the Canadian Embassy in Rome, Italy as an Agricultural Counsellor and the Canadian Representative to the United Nations food agencies.
 
Marco has held various other executive positions within AAFC.  Marco’s work experience over the last 20 years has ranged from operations to strategic decision-making and has worked in both line branches and on corporate matters.
 
Marco has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) and an undergraduate degree in Economics.


Meghan Moran
Meghan Moran is the Canola and Edible Bean Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Moran has a BSc in Biochemistry and an MSc in Plant Agriculture from the University of Guelph. Her role is focused on agricultural extension; sharing research and crop production information with farmers and agronomists to support on farm decision making in the production of canola and dry edible beans. Moran is currently involved in projects focused on swede midge and clubroot in Ontario canola, and reduced tillage practices in edible beans.
Abstract:
There are approximately 6 million acres under cash crop production in Ontario, with soybean leading acreage at more than 2.5  million acres in recent years and followed closely by corn at around 2.0 million acres. Spring canola acreage in Ontario peaked in 2011 at nearly 90,000 acres, but through the past decade there has been significant yield and acreage loss due to the insect pest swede midge. While canola acreage is small in comparison to western Canada, it remains an important crop for farmers in northern regions with fewer crop opportunities, and is a valuable option for lengthening rotations in central and eastern Ontario. There are a handful of winter canola growers in Ontario, and there is renewed interest in the crop. Registration of new and improved varieties is a critical part of expanding winter canola acres through our warmer growing regions.
 
Swede midge and clubroot represent significant threats to canola production in Ontario, and are at the center of current research and extension efforts. There is currently a push to expand agriculture and land clearing through northern Ontario, and canola can play a role in the success of farms across that region if significant improvements to swede midge control recommendations are realized. The presentation will include an update on canola production in the province, the status of swede midge and clubroot, and research priorities and future needs for continued expansion of canola.

 
Xiujie Susie Li
Susie is a senior researcher at InnoTech Alberta. She received her Ph.D from the University of Alberta and has been working on agriculture related research for 15 years. She has worked on developing technologies and natural products for disease and weed management. Her presentation will be about developing a new technology for real-time in-field forecasting of Sclerotinia stem rot in canola.

Murray Hartman
Murray received his degrees from the University of Alberta: B.Sc. in Agronomy with distinction in 1983, and M. Sc. in Soil Fertility in 1987.  His work experience includes two years with a grain company, five years as the coordinator of an applied research association, and various crop specialist roles with the Alberta government since 1993.  He has been the Alberta Provincial Oilseed Specialist since 2001.

Dane Froese
Dane Froese is the Industry Development Specialist in Oilseeds for Manitoba Agriculture.  He was raised on a grain & oilseeds farm near Winkler and studied Agronomy and Plant Science at the University of Manitoba, obtaining his B.Sc. in 2014. He has worked in the industry as an agronomist since that time. His projects prior to joining Manitoba Agriculture have included large-scale research trials and return on investment scenarios.
Dane currently farms about 400 acres of canola, wheat, soybeans, flax and corn near Winkler, MB, and helps manage the growing family farm. You can reach out to him on Twitter @dane_froese.

 
Heather Deobald
Heather grew up on a cattle and grain farm in Southern Saskatchewan.  She completed her Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with a major in Agronomy and a Master of Science in Animal Genetics, both from the University of Saskatchewan.   Heather has worked as an agronomist and in agricultural sales before joining Quantum Genetix and Biosciences.  For the past 15 years she has had many roles within the organization, and most currently she is the General Manager.   Heather is  passionate about all aspects of farming and agriculture.  Heather’s enthusiasm has led her to focusing on bringing innovative and leading edge genetic products to the agriculture industry.

 
Sakaria Liban
Sakaria received both his bachelor's degree in Genetics and a M.Sc. in Plant Science from the University of Manitoba. His graduate research included identification of blackleg pathogen races and resistance and genetic variation in the global pathogen population. Sakaria has worked with DL Seeds since 2014, and in his role he has worked towards developing resistance to major diseases of Canola including Blackleg, Sclerotinia, and Clubroot. Sakaria manages pathology programs and marker development at the Winnipeg research facility.
 


Lone Buchwaldt
Lone Buchwaldt is a plant pathologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in Saskatoon. She leads projects in applied as well as basic plant pathology research including decision support systems for fungicide application, disease phenotyping, characterization of pathogen populations, mapping of resistance loci, and molecular host-pathogen interaction via defense gene transformation and fungal small RNA. Lone was born in Denmark and received a Ph.D. degree in 1991 from the Royal Agricultural and Veterinary University in Copenhagen. Concurrently she was a research associate at the National Research Institute until she immigrated to Canada in 1990. Buchwaldt was a Post Doc and research associate in the Department of Plant Science at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, after which she joined AAFC in 1998. Lone is associated with the Canadian gene bank (Plant Gene Resources of Canada) and teaches utilization of disease and insect resistant plant germplasm at the University of Saskatchewan. She has trained numerous Post Docs, technicians and summer students. Rimmer, Shattuck and Buchwaldt published a ‘Compendium of Brassica Diseases’ as editors for the American Phytopathological Society. Buchwaldt has specialized in two crop diseases that are important in western Canada, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum of canola and Colletotrichum lentis of lentil. Accordingly, she serves on pathology committees involved with registration of canola and pulse crop varieties. Buchwaldt’s program provides plant breeders with seed of resistant lines, disease phenotyping methods, and fungal isolates representing the pathogen population. Lone also develop decision support tools for fungicide application in canola and lentil in collaboration with weather data providers. Her research is primarily funded by canola and pulse grower’s organisations which is matched by the Federal Government.

 
 
Matthew Bernard
Matthew Bernard is the Provincial Specialist, Oilseed Crops with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture since October 2016. Matthew is a farm boy from Trossachs, Saskatchewan. His previous roles in private industry involved R&D in both crop protection and breeding. He received his BSA and MSc from the University of Saskatchewan in plant biotechnology, where his master’s thesis research investigated the molecular events underlying the biosynthesis of omega-3 & omega-6 fatty acids (the “healthy oils”) in oat seed. Since deciding to pursue post-secondary studies, Matthew’s driving motivation has remained the same: exploring the potential of plant oils for both food and industrial applications to improve health and enhance our quality of life. He is excited to start tackling industry challenges by bringing agriculture, science and health industries together in this role.

 
 
Véronique J. Barthet
After obtaining a PhD at McGill University (Montréal, Canada), Véronique J. Barthet joined the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) in 2000.  Her research programs cover several research areas in order to maintain the Canadian oilseeds quality assurance programs.  She led several projects to assess the impact of seed quality on grading factors (e.g. effect of spouting on canola quality) and to develop analytical methods to measure minor seed components (e.g. cyanogenic glycoside in flax seeds, n-7 fatty acids in Brassica).  Her research program also looks at the use of rapid methods (NIR and NMR) to analyze seeds components. 

Véronique is  a member of several national and international committees, such as the Oilseeds Sub-Committee of the Western Standard Committee, an industry-CGC advisory committee recommending specifications for quality parameters allowing the segregation of Canadian grains in different classes - grades - for their end-uses and marketing by the industry nationally and internationally. She is currently the Chair of the ISO Sub-Committee 2 of the Technical Committee 34 dealing is oilseeds and oilseed meal analyses.  


Lixi Jiang
Lixi Jiang earned his B.Sc. in 1986 from Zhejiang University (ZJU), M. Sci in 1998 and Ph.D. in 2001 from Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany. He had worked as postdoc and research fellow at Institute of Molecular Agrobiology Singapore from 2001 to 2005. He has been employed by Zhejiang University as full professor since 2005, and as ZJU-Distinguished Professor since 2015. Since 1986, he has been working on oilseed rape. He has received four governmental awards by Chinese central or provincial government for the achievements in projects such as rapeseed genetic resource collection, canola breeding and relevant fundamental researches. Currently, he acts as the deputy director of Provincial Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Resources and the deputy chair of Agronomy Department at Zhejiang University. His current research interests focus on (a) molecular mechanism of lipid formation in Brassica oilseeds, (b) genomics of rapeseed genetic resources, (c) improvement of agronomic traits by genetic engineering. (see http://person.zju.edu.cn/en/0005104 for more details)

 
Christina Eynck
Christina was born and raised on the shores of the North Sea in Germany. She studied Biology and Agricultural Sciences at the Christian-Albrechts-University in Kiel, Germany and received her Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the Georg-August-University in Göttingen, Germany in 2008. Her Ph.D. studies focused on the identification of resistance sources and the characterization of resistance to the fungal pathogen Verticillium longisporum in Brassica species. Shortly after finishing her Ph.D., she joined AAFC-SRDC as a NSERC Visiting postdoctoral fellow. In the labs of Dr. Ginette Séguin-Swartz and later that of Dr. Isobel Parkin, she worked on elucidating the mechanisms underlying resistance to sclerotinia stem rot in the crucifer oilseed Camelina. For the following six years, Christina worked as Camelina breeder for Linnaeus Plant Sciences and developed varieties with improved agronomic and quality traits adapted to the Canadian Prairies. In spring of 2017, Christina joined AAFC-SRDC as a Research Scientist, working on genetics and variety development of Camelina, B. carinata and B. rapa.
Abstract:
Breeding of Camelina sativa and Brassica carinata – challenges, progress and opportunities
Novel germplasm and varieties of the new oilseed crops Camelina sativa (camelina) and Brassica carinata (carinata) are being developed at AAFC-SRDC and licensed to industry partners.
Camelina is a lower-input crop that can be grown profitably on land where other oilseeds perform poorly, providing a much needed rotation option and a reduction of risk. Initially emerging as an industrial oilseed, the market focus in Canada has recently shifted to food and feed applications. This is due to the realization of the unique properties of camelina seed oil with a high content of omega-3 fatty acids and at the same time high stability as well as recent trial results demonstrating the excellent suitability of camelina oil and meal in aquaculture and poultry feed applications, respectively. While camelina has a number of attractive agronomic attributes, adoption by famers has been slow due to its small seed size and lack of broadleaf weed control options. The presentation will discuss significant progress that has recently been made in both of these areas through traditional breeding.
Carinata, a high-erucic oilseed, has recently been developed as an industrial crop for biofuel production and it has the potential to be a dedicated feedstock crop for additional bio‐based products. Also known as Ethiopian mustard, it is drought and heat tolerant as well as shatter resistant, but most advanced germplasm is also late maturing. Work at AAFC-SRDC focuses on the development of high-yielding, early maturing varieties, the improvement of oil and meal traits through interspecific hybridization and the development of hybrids. Further, the identification of genomic regions associated with agronomically important traits is underway, work also relevant to canola and condiment mustard breeding due to shared genetics between Brassica species.

Jeff Bertholet
Jeff Bertholet received both his BSc in Agriculture and MSc in Weed Science from the University of Manitoba. He has more than 30 years of agricultural industry experience in both eastern and western Canada. Jeff has worked most of his career with BASF Canada and held positions in Field Research, R&D Planning and Marketing. Currently Jeff is the Canadian Technical Development Manager, based in Saskatoon. During his career I he has been involved with a number of associations and professional organizations, including Canadian Weed Science Society, SIA and the Canadian Seed Trade Association.

Aleksander Patrzykat
Dr. Aleks Patrzykat is the director responsible for AgriFood-related programming at the National Research Council of Canada (NRC).
 
Prior to the most recent appointment Aleks served as the Executive Director of NRC’s Algal Carbon Conversion Flagship Program, the Director of Research at the NRC Institute for Marine Biosciences (IMB) and the Aquatic and Crop Resource Development (ACRD) Portfolio in Halifax, Nova Scotia, managed NRC-IMB’s Technology Platforms as well as its Life Sciences Cluster Initiative, and served as a Senior Technology Development and Commercialization Officer.
 
Aleks has authored peer-reviewed publications in the areas of novel marine antibiotics and drug development. His research on antimicrobial peptides has been patented and licensed to Canadian and US companies and he spent several months on an Entrepreneurship Leave.
 
Aleks obtained his early education in Poland, his B.Sc. in Life Sciences from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of British Columbia. He is a graduate of the United World College of the Adriatic in Duino, Italy and has completed further professional development activities in Europe in recent years.

 
Igor Falak
Igor received B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees between the University of Novi Sad, Serbia and the University of Guelph studying plant protection, phytopathology and plant breeding.
 
Since 1994 he has been employed as a research scientist with Pioneer Hi-Bred Production Company.  His primary areas of research are breeding for disease resistance and agronomic/stress-related traits in canola.
 
Igor has been an active member of oilseed research community participating as a pathology expert in evolution of canola, especially through pathology subcommittee of WCC RRC as a member/chair.
 
He spearheaded development and introduction of the first canola products with resistance to Sclerotinia Stem Rot and Clubroot in Canada in 2009.
 
In 2013, Igor received Achievements in Plan Disease Management award from Canadian Phytopathological Society for this contribution to Canadian Agriculture.  

 
Canola Innovation Day Speakers
 
Martin Reaney
Dr. Reaney is a professor of the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan, and is also the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture (SMA) Chair of Lipid Quality and Utilization. The SMA chair is mandated to develop new technology for oilseed processing and producing commercial bioproducts with enhanced value. The commercial activity resulting from this research is intended to generate wealth for the Canadian agriculture sector. Professor Reaney's research interest involves exploring orbitides compounds including a range of natural health products, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics, and developing technology to bring these compounds to the market for a broad range of applications. He works with industry and has worked with Agriculture and Agri‐Food Canada. He has published over 110 papers in peer-reviewed journals and has presented over 250 papers at conferences. 25 US and 7 world patents have been granted as a result of his research and several of these have been commercialized. Both the US and Canada have honored him several times with Innovation Awards. He recently formed Prairie Tide Chemicals Inc. to commercialize several recent discoveries of an abundant source of flax compounds


 
Janina Braatz
Janina Braatz recently submitted her PhD thesis in the field of Plant Breeding and Genetics at the University of Kiel, Germany. She specialized in CRISPR/Cas9-mediated mutagenesis and TILLING of canola with a focus on mutations conferring silique shattering resistance. The three years of her doctoral studies yielded four manuscripts including a report of targeted mutagenesis of canola which was published in Plant Physiology this year. In future projects, she plans to develop innovative protocols for CRISPR/Cas9-based multiplexed gene knock-out and sequence replacement.
Janina is a member of the German Genetics Society (GfG) and the German Society for Plant Breeding (GPZ). She holds a master’s degree in Agricultural Genomics from the University of Kiel and a bachelor’s degree in Bioinformatics and Genome Research from Bielefeld University
Abstract:
Improved shatter resistance of canola by CRISPR/Cas9 and EMS mutagenesis
Janina Braatz1, Hans-Joachim Harloff1, Nazgol Emrani1, Lars Heepe2, Stanislav Gorb2, Martin Mascher3,4, Nils Stein3, Axel Himmelbach3, Christian Jung1
1 Plant Breeding Institute, University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany
2 Department of Functional Morphology and Biomechanics, University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany
3 Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research Gatersleben, Stadt Seeland, Germany
4 German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
Crop breeding programmes commonly make use of mutagenesis approaches to introduce novel variation into narrow gene pools. In contrast to random chemical or physical mutagenesis, site-directed mutagenesis techniques like the CRISPR/Cas9 system allow for the targeted alteration of selected loci. Regarding genome editing of polyploid canola (Brassica napus), it is of special interest to simultaneously address all functional homoeologs of a target gene.
Aiming at the reduction of pre-harvest seed losses, we transformed a Cas9 nuclease together with a sgRNA targeting two gene copies of BnALCATRAZ (BnALC) into a canola spring cultivar. The primary transformant already harbored four mutant alleles and no wild type BnALC sequences. We demonstrated the Mendelian segregation of the mutations and T-DNA in the progeny. Sanger sequencing of putative off-target loci did not reveal any undesired effects. However, by whole genome shotgun sequencing we identified unexpected vector backbone integrations.
The Cas9-mediated Bnalc mutations increased silique shatter resistance marginally. Therefore, the phenotype was confirmed in a more shatter-prone canola variety with chemically-induced Bnalc alleles identified by TILLING. To elucidate mechanisms of shatter resistance in detail, we implemented three independent bench-top phenotyping strategies and performed microscopic observations of siliques. For these studies, we chose chemically-induced mutations in BnINDEHISCENT which conferred a more pronounced shatter resistance. Our results suggested that the silique robustness is partially caused by altered cell structures in the dehiscence zone and a broader contact surface of valves and replum.

Mark Belmonte
For close to 15 years Professor Mark Belmonte has contributed to the field of plant biotechnology and food security where his work holds the promise of solving world food shortages while significantly bolstering Canada’s agricultural economy. With an admirable scholarly record of 39 peer reviewed journal articles, 6 invited review articles, 3 book chapters, and 2 patents, Dr. Belmonte has been invited to present his research over 60 times at regional, national, and international meetings and institutions and is a recognized international leader in his field. Many of the journals where he has published have high impact factors including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), The Plant Cell, and Plant Journal. Since graduating with his MSc in Plant Biology from the University of Calgary in 2003, Dr. Belmonte’s work continues to evolve, making important contributions to our understanding of plant performance through the application of cutting-edge next generation molecular and plant laser microdissection techniques that herald major advances both within the domain of theoretical biology and in their practical application to the world’s agricultural producers. 

Tim Sharbel
Dr. Sharbel’s research group investigates apomixis (asexual plant reproduction via seeds) in natural populations, using evolutionary theory, population genetics and advanced “omics” methods, with the goal of identifying apomixis factors for agricultural improvement. 
 
Dr. Sharbel worked as a technician in an amphibian genetics laboratory at McGill University from 1987 until 1995, and simultaneously completed his BSc and MSc in evolution and biology at McGill.  In 1995 he moved to the Max Planck Institute for Behavioural Physiology (Seewiesen, Germany), where he completed his Phd in Biology, studying the evolution of sex in flatworms from the Italian Alps. In 1999 he moved to the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology (Jena, Germany) to work on apomixis as a post doc.  In 2005 he began as head of the apomixis research group at the Leibniz Institute for Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK Gatersleben, Germany).  On Sept 1st 2015, he began as the Research Chair in Seed Biology at the newly-formed Global Institute for Food Security in Saskatoon. 
Selected publications
Mau M, Lovell J T, Corral J M, Kiefer C, Koch M A, Aliyu O M, Sharbel T F
Hybrid apomicts trapped in the ecological niches of their sexual ancestors. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 112 (2015) E2357-E2365. 
Corral JM, Vogel H, Aliyu OM, Hensel G, Thiel T, Kumlehn J, Sharbel TF.  (2013)  Apomixis-specific DEDDh exonuclease expression in premeiotic ovules of Boechera.  Plant Physiology 163 (2013) 1660-1672.
Mau M, Corral JM, Vogel H, Melzer M, Fuchs J, Kuhlmann M, de Storme N, Geelen D, Sharbel TF.  (2013)  The novel chimeric transcript UPGRADE is associated with unreduced pollen formation in apomictic Boechera.  Plant Physiology 163 (2013) 1640-1659.
Aliyu OM, Seifert M, Corral JM, Fuchs J, Sharbel TF.  (2013)  Copy number variation in transcriptionally active regions of sexual and apomictic Boechera demonstrates independently-derived apomictic lineages.  Plant Cell 25 (2013) 3808-3823.

Kevin Rozwadowski
Kevin Rozwadowski is a Research Scientist at the Saskatoon Research Centre of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.  Kevin received a B.Sc. in Agriculture from the University of Manitoba (1987), a M.Sc. in Applied Microbiology from the University of Saskatchewan (1990) and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Guelph (1996).  His areas of research include: DNA recombination and repair in plants, and mechanisms of gene and protein regulation.  This work is focused on developing technologies to modulate meiotic recombination frequency, to facilitate efficient gene editing in plants, and to regulate expression of gene families in polyploid crops.
Abstract:
CRISPR/Cas9 systems and applications for crop improvement
Kevin Rozwadowski, AAFC-Saskatoon
The CRISPR/Cas9 technology provides a revolutionary means for functional genomics and directed gene adaptation for crop improvement.  This is principally due to the ability of the technology to enable formation of heritable genetic changes at prescribed target loci in complex genomes.  While gene inactivation through targeted InDel formation has been a principal application of CRISPR/Cas9 in plants to-date, new technologies for gene deletion, true gene editing involving specified sequence changes, and altering gene expression have been developed.  This presentation will provide an overview of CRISPR/Cas9 systems and describe applications in canola, camelina and wheat, including some of the challenges imposed by the polyploid nature of these crops.

 
Bobbi Helgason
Dr. Helgason is a Soil Microbiologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Saskatoon and an Adjunct Professor and Visiting Scholar in the Department of Soil Science at the University of Saskatchewan. Bobbi grew up on a small grains farm east of Humboldt, SK near the village of St. Gregor. Her research includes microbial aspects of soil carbon and nitrogen cycling and plant root-microbe interactions in agricultural cropping systems. Her work queries why and how soils perform critical biological functions, integrating soil biogeochemistry, microbiology and ecology to better understand the impacts of agricultural management and climate on soil health, environmental performance and agroecosystem productivity. 

 
Rod Snowdon
Rod Snowdon is Professor of Plant Breeding at Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany, where he moved in 1993 after studying plant biology and genetics in New Zealand. After completing a PhD on Brassica molecular cytogenetics in 1997 he remained in Giessen and established a research program on genomics-based breeding. Today he heads the plant breeding department, leading a large research program working on genome analysis, quantitative trait dissection, pre-breeding and breeding particularly in winter oilseed rape, wheat and sorghum. Besides classical quantitative genetics and molecular breeding, his group implements high-throughput genomics and next-generation sequencing technologies for analysis and dissection of genome structural diversity, investigation of complex trait regulation and prediction of trait performance. Many projects involve close cooperation with the breeding industry in the framework of public-private research consortia.

Trent Meyers
As Executive Vice President of Dot Technology Corp. and sister company SeedMaster Mfg, Trent is working with Founder/President/Engineer Norbert Beaujot and his family to take the Dot Autonomous Power Platform concept and SeedMaster Mfg. to the world.
A Saskatchewan native and a graduate of the University of Guelph, Trent Meyer has made a career out of building innovative Canadian enterprises at home and abroad. Having done business on 7 continents, he works to understand what customers truly need and to deliver that back with additional value. A positive customer experience for Trent doesn’t simply mean the emotional piece, but just as important is a happy bottom line. With the Dot Autonomous Power Platform, Trent believes that the future of farming has arrived.
 
Abstract:
In 2014, Norbert Beaujot started thinking about building an autonomous seeder and realized that if a powered platform could be adapted to facilitate other implements, it would have more value for farmers.
Imagine...
• Saving more than 20% on farm fuel, labour and equipment capital costs.
• Reducing your CO2 emissions by 20%.
• Gaining more than 20% on your equipment’s future trade-in value.
• Easily and economically rescaling your equipment to your future farm size. (Small and large farms becoming more efficient and profitable.)
• Reducing overlap while improving turning and filling efficiencies.
• Simplified secure, cloud-based data storage.
• Stocking only one type of oil filter for all of your farms power units.
With DOT, it’s all possible... and more.

Rex Newkirk
Dr. Rex Newkirk is an Associate Professor and Research Chair in Feed Processing Technology in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science at the University of Saskatchewan.   As research chair, he assists the feed processing industry, crop commodity groups, livestock industry and government in developing programs to create new value added opportunities for the agri-food sector.  He is also the scientific leader of the Canadian Feed Research Centre.  Prior to joining the University of Saskatchewan in 2015, Rex spent 12 years at the Canadian International Grains Institute where he led a team that developed innovative products and applications of Canadian Ingredients and provided technical marketing support to buyers and processors of Canadian Field Crops including canola around the globe.

 
 
Leon Kochian
Leon V. Kochian joined the faculty at the University of Saskatchewan in August 2016 as the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Food Systems and Security and Associate Director of the Global Institute for Food Security. He also is a Professor in the Department of Plant Sciences. Previous to coming to the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Kochian was the Director of the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture and Health on the Cornell University campus as well as a Professor of Plant Biology. Dr. Kochian’s research deals with the molecular biology, physiology and genetics of mineral ion transport and root biology processes as they relate to mineral nutrient acquisition, plant response to abiotic environmental stresses, and the role of root architecture in nutrient acquisition efficiency.

Abstract
Next-Generation Technologies for Tomorrow’s Crops: Getting to the Roots of Global Food Security
Plant root systems function as critical links between the growing shoot and the rhizosphere, providing both nutrients and water to the plant. Because roots grow in opaque soils and thus are not readily visible, they are often taken for granted as the “hidden half” of the plant, especially when it comes to crop improvement strategies. In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the importance of root structure and function in many important agronomics traits, especially those associated with crop adaptation to climate change and environmental stresses. For example, plant scientists now understand that root system architecture (RSA), which is the way a plant organizes its root system in three dimensions in the soil, can play an important role in crop nutrient and water acquisition under marginal soil conditions. Differences in RSA can lead to different root archetypes, with some better adapted to acquiring nutrients that have relatively low mobility in the soil (such as phosphorous), and other root architectures better designed to acquire mobile soil nutrients such as water. In this seminar I will discuss research integrating high throughput RSA phenotyping with discovery of genes underlying root traits. I also will briefly introduce our new program at the Global Institute for Food Security on identifying important root traits and associated genes and genetic markers, for possible use in future plant breeding programs aimed at improving crop resiliency and productivity on sub-optimal soils.

David Yee

 
 
 
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