Morden Research and Development Centre
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
101 Route 100, Unit 100
Telephone : 204-822-7556
Search Scientific Staff and Expertise (Morden Research and Development Centre) to learn more about the expertise of agricultural scientists working at this centre, and to find a list of their research publications.
The Morden Research and Development Centre was established in 1915. The Centre is associated with two satellite locations in Winnipeg:
- the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine,
- and the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals.
The Centre leads research in six areas:
- Cereal diseases
- Cereal germplasm and genomics
- Flax and Eastern Prairie Pulse crop germplasm
- Human nutrition, food health attributes, and functional foods;
- Bioprospection from bioresources: cereals, pulses, and oilseeds
- Grain and grain products storage research
Facilities at the Morden Research and Development Centre include:
- Field research carried out at Glenlea, Manitoba, a 103 hectare site 12 kilometres south of Winnipeg and at the Morden Research Station, a 260 hectare site 95 km southwest of Winnipeg
- Research on health benefits of Canadian crops at the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM), located at the St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre and at the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Neutracuticals located at the University of Manitoba
- The Morden Research Station operates the first Plant Pest Containment (PPC 3) biocontainment facility in Canada for research on plant pathogens.
Current research activities
- Developing guidelines for storing grain safely, as well as environmentally sound options to more effectively control insects and microflora in stored grain and grain products
- Exploring the development of new varieties of cereals, oilseeds and pulse crops that will have higher yields, resistance to disease, improved quality and greater tolerance to environmental stresses
- Providing end-use quality testing for cereal breeders and research centers in western Canada
- Identifying new sources of disease and insect resistance in cereals, oilseeds and pulse crops
- Conducting research on the various factors that affect the health of plants, the genetics and physiology of plant diseases and the cause and control of diseases such as Fusarium Head Blight, leaf, stem and crown rusts, smuts, viruses and leaf spot diseases in cereals; flax rust, Fusarium wilt, powdery mildew, Pasmo in flax; sclerotinia, rust, verticillium wilt and downy mildew in sunflower; and Anthracnose, bacterial blight, white mould, Mycosphaerella blight, and root rot in pulse crops
- Evaluating wheat, barley and oat lines for milling and baking quality, and barley malting quality
- Identifying and cloning genes responsible for quality traits and disease resistance
- Studying the protein and starch contained in cereals, the physical factors that affect baking, pasta and noodle making, and oat quality
- Enhancing human health and wellness through food, nutrition and innovative products
- Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM) has a mandate to investigate health-related effects of functional foods and nutraceuticals (FFN) and to develop reliable, scientific, evidence-based information concerning FFN's. Target diseases include diabetes/obesity, cardiovascular disease and immune disorders.
Results of our research
Cereal and pulses; oilseeds
- Discovered rust-resistant genes (leaf and stem rust in wheat; stem and crown rust in oat; powdery mildew in flax), and developed DNA markers for several of these genes. This will help scientists develop disease resistant varieties.
- Identified the new strain of Ug99 stem rust in Africa as a threat to Canadian wheat production; found three novel sources of resistance; identified and mapped the resistant gene.
- Identified regions in the genome contributing Fusarium Head Blight resistance in spring and durum wheat; the location of the chromosome of a number of resistance genes for smut and bunt pathogens in wheat and barley; characterized ergot resistance in wheat;
- Identified molecular markers for anthracnose resistance; resistance to specific races of pasmo in flax inbred lines; new virulent races of sunflower rust and downey mildew; new source of resistance to Sclerotinia in a native perennial wild sunflower species.
- Developed germplasm for multiple disease resistance to common bacterial blight, anthracnose and bean common mosaic virus.
- Led the development of genomic resources and markers for flax: constructed the only flax bacterial artificial chromosome library and a physical map of the flax genome, used to describe the genome composition; sequenced the wild progenitor of cultivated flax to access novel genetic diversity.
- Established a core collection of 407 flax accessions and assessed them for agronomic, disease and seed and fibre traits, identified regions in the genome responsible for yield components, oil content and fatty acid composition.
- Registered and commercialized 6 new flax varieties and 14 new dry bean varieties over the last decade.
- Demonstrated the role of resveratrol, found in grapes and other berries, in preventing and regressing heart disease caused by hypertension and early stage type two diabetes. This influenced clinical studies on the use of resveratrol in humans with heart disease.
- Established a cell-based model to help scientists pre-screen agri-food extracts before progressing to more expensive in vivo experiments in animal models.
- Established techniques to determine the amount of total anthocyanins (antioxidants found in red/purple fruits and vegetables that protect heart heath), and separate them from other polyphenols (micronutrients) in an extract.
Agro-ecosystem productivity and health
- Developed hydrologic models for three watersheds in southern Manitoba.
- Created information for agricultural resource inventories that helped create numerous integrated watershed management plans and "group farm plans".
- The Making of Wheat Warriors: Canadian Wheat Stands Out (2016-03-10)
- Barley is 'in' when it comes to heart health (2015-11-26)
- Lure of the Lingonberry: Win-Win for Northern Agriculture and Heart Health (2015-07-30)
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