Applied Genomics involves the study of how genes function and control crop architecture, environmental stress, disease resistance and traits related to consumer preferences. Daryl Somers, PhD and his research team also integrate plant breeding and sophisticated genome DNA sequencing into horticulture technologies.
Current projects include:
- Value-Added Traits for Horticultural Crops – This area of research uses genomics to create enhanced traits, such as disease resistance and extended production, in greenhouse vegetables including tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers.
- Enhancing Flavour and Production Traits of Canadian Greenhouse Tomatoes – This research program entails the development of flavourful greenhouse tomato varieties with improved disease resistance and low light tolerance suited to Canadian greenhouse growing conditions.
- Global Reach, Local Touch: New Vegetable Varieties – In partnership with Louisiana State University, sweet potato cultivars are evaluated to identify lines which perform better in the Ontario climate, with a focus on quality and cold tolerance.
- Canada's National Hardy Rose Program – This program focuses on the development of black spot resistance screening techniques and cold hardiness to breed roses that can survive our cold Canadian winters.
- New Market Opportunities: Driving Growth with New Plant Varieties – The apple breeding program is a true example of consumer-driven product development, where consumer insights, genomics and breeding work together to create new apple varieties that consumers love.