Latest Reports and Publications

April, 2015

Food Quality and Preference, 2015, In Press
The article is available here at a cost

Abstract: A. Grygorczyk, S. Mhlanga, I. Lesschaeve. Color is often found to be the most important factor driving consumer purchase decisions for flowers. However due to the sheer number of flower color options available, pinpointing which flower shades to aim for in a breeding program is a complex task. Discussions with local growers revealed discrepancies between color preferences previously identified and actual consumer demand. The present work examines this in further detail by applying two methods of testing consumer flower color preference with the same panel of consumers: conjoint analysis using color categories and a follow-up question asking consumers to pick their 3 most preferred colors from a chart of 60 colors. Consumers were found to have different tolerance ranges for shades across color categories. Consumers have a wide range of tolerance for red colors, making this a safe target as nearly all shades of red tested were well liked by consumers. By contrast, in the yellow category there was one very high performing shade, with consumer preference dropping off sharply with any deviation from this shade. While this particular shade of yellow could potentially be highly successful with consumers, it is a riskier target as breeders would have a narrow range of tolerance in shade variation to achieve consumer success. This study presents a new understanding of consumer preference as it suggests that consumers exhibit not only preference intensity for sensory stimuli, but also a tolerance range for variations on the stimulus. Interestingly, tolerance ranges are not consistent across categories of sensory stimuli (e.g. color categories).

April, 2015

Experimental and Applied Acarology, 2015, 65 (4): 451-464.
The article is available here at a cost

Abstract: Rosemarije Buitenhuis, Graeme Murphy, Les Shipp and Cynthia Scott-Dupree. The predatory mite Amblyseius swirskii Athias-Henriot is a biological control agent that has the potential to play an important role in pest management in many greenhouse crops. Most research on this predatory mite has focused on its use and efficacy in greenhouse vegetables. However, an increasing number of growers of greenhouse ornamental crops also want to adopt biological control as their primary pest management strategy and find that biological control programs developed for vegetables are not optimized for use on floricultural plants. This paper reviews the use of A. swirskii in greenhouse crops, where possible highlighting the specific challenges and characteristics of ornamentals. The effects of different factors within the production system are described from the insect/mite and plant level up to the production level, including growing practices and environmental conditions. Finally, the use of A. swirskii within an integrated pest management system is discussed.

April, 2015

Experimental and Applied Acarology, 2015, 65 (4): 435-450.
The article is available here at a cost

Abstract: Laura C. Hewitt, Les Schipp, Rose Buitenhuis, Cynthia Scott-Dupree. The influence of seasonal greenhouse climate on the efficacy of predatory mites for thrips control was determined for potted chrysanthemum. Trials in controlled environment chambers, small-scale greenhouses and commercial greenhouses were conducted to determine which biological control agent—that is, Amblyseius swirskii Athias-Henriot or Neoseiulus cucumeris (Oudemans)—is more efficacious for control of western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande), in different seasons. Under simulated summer conditions, no differences were observed in the predation and oviposition rates of both predatory mites in the laboratory trials. However, small-scale greenhouse trials showed that A. swirskii performed better than N. cucumeris in summer (i.e., more efficacious thrips control, higher predator abundance and less overall damage to the crop). Under simulated winter conditions, laboratory trials demonstrated variable differences in predation rates of the two predatory mites. The small-scale greenhouse trials in winter showed no differences in thrips control and predatory mite abundance between the two predatory mites, but plants with A. swirskii had less damage overall. The results from the small-scale trials were validated and confirmed in commercial greenhouse trials. Overall, A. swirskii performed better in the summer and equally good or better (less damage overall) under winter conditions, whereas N. cucumeris is a more cost effective biological control agent for winter months.

Growing Forward 2 annual report 2014-2015
March, 2015


  • Performance measures 2014-15
  • Partnerships and collaboration
  • Applied research and innovation activities
  • Knowledge transfer, outreach and communications
  • Commercialization
January, 2015

Acta Hort. (ISHS) 2015, 1064: 247-251.
The article is available here to individuals with subscription.

Abstract: Rumen Conev and Parminder Sandhu. Many landscape roses have poor and erratic seed germination which poses significant challenge to hybridizers. A series of multi-factorial replicated experiments have been conducted in Vineland, Canada since 2010 to study the effect of achene coat scarification, maceration, and warm and cold stratification on seed germination in garden roses. The response of 11 garden rose cultivars to six different seed treatments (T) was studied in 2010-2011. Morden Snow Beauty, Morden Sunrise and Carefree Spirit did not respond to any treatment. Six-week cold stratification alone (6WCS) (T1) did not induce germination in any genotype. Scarification with 50% sulphuric acid for 30 or 60 s followed by 6WCS (T2 and T3) slightly increased the germination in Parkwood Scarlet and Lupo. Adding three weeks warm stratification (3WWS) prior to the cold stratification (T4) provided modest benefit only to Morden Blush, which along with Cape Diamond had the highest germination response (31 and 16%, respectively) when sulphuric acid was replaced with 0.5% cellulase for 36 h (T5). The combination of extended exposure to warm and cold stratification 9WWS + 12WCS (T6) gave the best germination in 6 out of 11 genotypes (up to 52% in Lupo). In a second experiment conducted in 2011-2012, achenes from cultivar Morden Blush were subjected to nine scarification and maceration treatments followed by uniform stratification regime (5WWS + 15 WCS). Overall, the treatments involving achene coat maceration with cellulase resulted in significantly higher germination (32-49%) compared to the seed scarification treatments with sulfuric acid (15-17%). The treatment with 0.5% cellulase for 50 h gave the best germination.