Latest Reports and Publications

An automation technology strategy for the Canadian horticulture sector
April, 2017


  • Labour and automation in the Canadian horticulture sector
  • Trends in automation technology development
  • Vision and strategy development
  • Horticulture automation technology strategy
Growing Forward 2 annual report 2016-2017
March, 2017


  • Performance measures 2016-17
  • Partnerships and collaboration
  • Applied research and innovation activities
  • Knowledge translation and transfer, outreach and communications activities
  • Commercialization
February, 2017

PloS One, 2017, 12(2): e0171710. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0171710
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Abstract: Amyotte B., A.J. Bowen, T. Banks, I. Rajcan and D.J. Somers. Breeding apples is a long-term endeavour and it is imperative that new cultivars are selected to have outstanding consumer appeal. This study has taken the approach of merging sensory science with genome wide association analyses in order to map the human perception of apple flavour and texture onto the apple genome. The goal was to identify genomic associations that could be used in breeding apples for improved fruit quality. A collection of 85 apple cultivars was examined over two years through descriptive sensory evaluation by a trained sensory panel. The trained sensory panel scored randomized sliced samples of each apple cultivar for seventeen taste, flavour and texture attributes using controlled sensory evaluation practices. In addition, the apple collection was subjected to genotyping by sequencing for marker discovery. A genome wide association analysis suggested significant genomic associations for several sensory traits including juiciness, crispness, mealiness and fresh green apple flavour. The findings include previously unreported genomic regions that could be used in apple breeding and suggest that similar sensory association mapping methods could be applied in other plants.

December, 2016

Biological Control, 2016, 103: 129-137.
The article is available here to individuals with subscription or at a cost.

Abstract: Cossentine, J., M. Robertson and R. Buitenhuis. Exposure of Drosophila suzukii adults to surfaces treated with Metarhizium brunneum, Beauveria bassiana, Isaria fumosorosea or Lecanicillium lecanii conidia under laboratory conditions resulted in fly infection and dose dependent mortality. Scanning electron microscopy confirmed that conidia accumulated on D. suzukii pretarsi after ≤48 h exposure to the dried conidia treated surfaces. Approximately 50% of the flies died post exposure to 1 × 108 conidia of each isolate distributed over approximately 148 cm2 by 7, 10, 12 and 13 days respectively at 25 °C. Temperature had an impact on fungus-induced D. suzukii mortality when tested at 20, 25 and 30 °C, although control mortality was also significant at 30 °C. Fifty percent of the control D. suzukii adults died after being held at 30 °C for 11–13 days. Significantly lower oviposition, recorded as F1 pupae, was recorded from adult D. suzukii exposed to M. brunneum compared to the number of offspring produced by control flies indicating that the fungus had a negative impact on fly fecundity. Evidence of transmission of acquired M. brunneum conidia between sexes was recorded.

December, 2016

Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 2016, 20: 120-127.
The article is available here to individuals with subscription or at a cost.

Abstract: McGrath D. and J. Henry. Soil compaction significantly impacts urban tree survival and herbaceous vegetation recruitment along roadsides. Soil samples were collected at two highway tree planting sites in Ontario, Canada. The average soil bulk density in the 0–10 and 20–30 cm range was 1.45 g cm−3 and 1.55 g cm−3, respectively, at Site 1. At site 2, the average soil bulk density in the 0–10 and 20–30 cm range was 1.49 g cm−3 and 1.67 g cm−3, respectively. Six treatments were established on each site to determine the amount of organic amendment required to decrease bulk density and increase tree growth as a measurement of successful tree establishment. Compost was incorporated into the soil at 0%, 10%, 25% and 50% on a volume-to-volume basis at both sites. In 2014 Acer x freemanii Autumn Blaze® ‘Jeffersred’ whips were planted into each treatment bed (Site 1, n = 36 and Site 2 n = 42). Bulk density, porosity, soil pH, EC, tree survival, height, shoot extension and chlorophyll content were measured for the 2014 and 2015 growing seasons. Incorporation of 25% v/v compost consistently decreased bulk density to below-root restricting thresholds, resulting in improved tree growth. Significant differences were observed in chlorophyll content between organic-amended remediated treatment beds compared to the control; chlorophyll content was significantly higher (p < 0.05) for the 25% and 50% treatments throughout the 2015 growing season at both sites. Incorporation of compost at 10% and 25% v/v effectively reduced soil bulk density, leading to increased growth and reduced tree stress at both sites. This study demonstrates the importance of understanding the baseline of soil physical structure in prescribing remediation strategies, including organic amendments, in urban tree planting