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How Young Plant Scientists are Creating Crops of the Future

Bolstering nitrogen fixation in pea. Understanding how to develop extra-early soybean varieties to enable cultivation in different climates. Creating a potential new class of wheat.

The winners of this year’s Canadian Plant Breeding Innovation (CPBI) Scholarships are doing just that.

On next week’s Seed Speaks, host Marc Zienkiewicz will talk to PhD students Loveleen Kaur Dhillon (University of Saskatchewan), Jérôme Gélinas Bélanger (McGill University) and Ritesh Kumar Yadav (University of Manitoba) about their work, why it’s significant, why they wanted to be in plant science, and their advice for how up-and-coming young science students can be successful in plant science.

Bélanger, 35, is known as an ambitious, original and highly independent researcher who had his own idea to start a PhD research project aimed at identifying novel genes involved in the early flowering/maturity of soybeans using CRISPR-Cas9 and QTL mapping. Currently, his project aims to understand how to develop extra-early soybean varieties to enable cultivation in Canadian regions such as northern Saskatchewan and Alberta. He’s also trying to develop novel genetic soybean transformation techniques that could increase the competitiveness of Canadian plant breeders and seed companies for other traits.

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