Research projects (Summerland Research and Development Centre)

The Summerland Research and Development Centre (Summerland RDC) supports innovative research, development, and technology and knowledge transfer activities relevant to four of the nine Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Sector Science Strategies.


Summerland RDC develops new sweet cherry and apple cultivars, conducts research on insect ecology and management, and disease epidemiology, management and host-pathogen relationships. This research enables the development of sustainable management strategies for insect pests, field and post-harvest diseases as well as emerging insect and disease pests of tree fruit and grape.

Agro-ecosystem productivity and health

Research in agro-ecosystem productivity and health focuses on soil, water and nutrient management and development of management practices for tree fruit and wine grapes. The development of models for climate, land and water resources, and crop suitability supports National Climate Change Adaptation strategies.


The food microbiology program addresses contamination of fresh produce and sprouts with food-borne illness pathogens, in particular leafy greens and E. coli. Novel attributes of fresh produce that are associated with health are identified. Post-harvest research helps maintain the quality of apples and sweet cherries during storage to provide enhanced market opportunities and food security for these products.

Biodiversity and bioresources

The Canadian Plant Virus Collection acquires and distributes plant viruses for research and regulatory purposes and supports development of diagnostic tests to manage viral diseases of plants. Research also includes identifying species and enhancing our understanding of plant viruses.

Current research projects at Summerland
Project number Lead researcher Project title Budget* Duration: start Duration: end
J-000013 Thistlewood, Howard Strategies for survey and management of invasive insects in Canada: Apple maggot in western North America as a model $143,220.00 2014-04-01 2018-03-31
J-000485 Sanfacon, Helene Molecular dissection of the interaction of tomato ringspot virus with its host $0.00 2010-04-01 2018-03-31
J-000979 Ross, Kelly Defining the influence of preharvest factors on the quality attributes of freshly harvested and stored sweet cherries  $177,375.00 2015-04-01 2018-03-31
J-000982 Rochon, D'Ann Molecular understanding of plant virus infection processes for design of novel strategies for plant virus disease control $596,355.00 2015-04-01 2018-03-31
J-001033 Theilmann, David Genomics and biodiversity of insects and their pathogens for enabling enhanced control of horticultural pest insects in field and hothouse environments. $680,625.00 2015-04-01 2018-03-31
J-001036 Forge, Tom Developing more resilient tree fruit production systems from the ground up: Rootstocks with enhanced tolerance to emerging biotic threats to orchard health $548,300.00 2015-04-01 2018-03-31
J-001107 Bakkeren, Guus Fighting rust fungal crop threats through integrated genomics research $299,000.00 2015-07-31 2019-03-30
J-001295 Judd, Gary Use of kairomones to improve management of tortricid pests in horticulture $200,000.00 2016-04-01 2019-03-31
J-001387 Neilsen, Denise Resilience of Canadian agriculture to climate extremes under climate change: A modelling study $704,757.00 2016-04-01 2019-03-31
J-001577 Neilsen, Denise Integrated agricultural management practices to enhance agri-ecosystem resilience in a semi-arid region, the Okanagan Basin, British Columbia $240,004.00 2017-04-01 2020-03-31
*: The budget amount represents the forecast total project costs (not actual spending), including any offsets by revenues received from outside agencies/partners. It includes operations and maintenance funds used to purchase goods or services. It does not include salary dollars for staff working on the projects or any grant or contribution funds provided to outside partners for work on the projects.
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