Young Plant Scientists are Creating the Crops of the Future

Feb 03, 2023

The three recipients of this year’s Canadian Plant Breeding Innovation (CPBI) Scholarship have one big thing in common — they’re doing important work on a number of major crops that could ensure a brighter future for pea, durum and soybean in Canada.

On this week’s Seed Speaks, host Marc Zienkiewicz was joined by 2023 scholarship recipients Jérôme Gélinas Bélanger (McGill University), Loveleen Kaur Dhillon (University of Saskatchewan) and Ritesh Kumar Yadav (University of Manitoba).

The scholarships — part of the CPBI Awards program which also includes Seed of the Year and the Plant Breeding and Genetics Award — are made possible through a slate of great sponsors. On board as sponsors this year are Alberta Wheat and Barley commissions, C&M Seeds, Canadian Seed Growers Association, FP Genetics, Germination, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Richardson, Sask Wheat, SeCan, Warburtons, Western Grains Research Foundation and Seeds Canada.

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.

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