David Wolyn

Dave Wolyn



519-824-4120 x53092


B.S. Rutgers University;
M.S. University of Wisconsin-Madison;
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison


Edmund C. Bovey Building


4236 ECB

Asparagus Breeding and Genetics

Field comparison of Millennium Asparagus vs. U.S. CultivarAsparagus tips

The University of Guelph Asparagus Breeding Program focuses on the development of all-male hybrid cultivars adapted to northern areas with cold winters.  Objectives include yield, quality, longevity, and disease and replant resistance.

Graduate student projects are enhancing the breeding program in a number of areas:

•    Improvement of human health components
•    Understanding components of freezing tolerance and winterhardiness
•    Development of improved tissue culture methodology
•    Application of genomic tools to study genetic architecture and diversity

Domestication and Breeding of Russian Dandelion as a Rubber-Producing Crop

Russian Dandelion in potDandelion stem showing natural rubber

Natural rubber is a strategic commodity used in many products, especially tires. Southeast Asia supplies most of the world’s rubber and shortages and price increases are predicted for the future.  To address these issues, Russian Dandelion, Taraxacum kok-saghyz is being bred and domesticated as a new crop for North America.  Objectives include increasing rubber yield and percentage, and adaptation to varying soil types.

Graduate student projects also support the breeding effort:

•    Development of methodology to select for improved germination under water stress
•    Genetic analysis of traits: male sterility, self-incompatibility, vernalization requirement

Please note Dr. Wolyn is not accepting graduate students at this time.


MBG*3100 Plant Genetics
MBG*4160 Plant Breeding
PLNT*6290 Physiological and Developmental Genetics in Plants
PLNT*6340 Plant Breeding

Relevant Links:

Selected Publications:

Hodgson-Kratky, K., O. Stoffyn and D.J. Wolyn. (2017). Recurrent selection for improved germination under water stress in russian dandelion. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. 142: 85-91.

Power, K.A., J.T. Lu, J.M. Monk, D. Lepp, W. Wu, C. Zhang, R. Liu, R. Tsao, L.E. Robinson, G.A. Wood and D.J. Wolyn. (2016). Purified rutin and rutin-rich asparagus attenuates disease severity and tissue damage following dextran sodium sulfate-induced colitis. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research 60: 2396-2412.

Panjtandoust, M. and D.J. Wolyn. (2016). Asparagus cultivars with varying adaptation to southern Ontario differ for induction of freezing tolerance in the fall. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 96: 252-264.

Panjtandoust, M. and D.J. Wolyn. (2016). Freezing tolerance attributes during spring deacclimation for three asparagus cultivars with varying adaptation to southern Ontario. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. 141: 22-33.

Hodgson-Kratky, K. and D.J. Wolyn. (2015). Cytoplasic male sterility in Russian Dandelion. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. 140: 580-586.

Hodgson-Kratky, K. and D.J. Wolyn. (2015). Inheritance of flowering habit in russian dandelion. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. 140: 614-619.

Hodgson-Kratky, K., M. Demers, O. Stoffyn and D.J. Wolyn. (2015). Harvest date, post-harvest vernalization and regrowth temperature affect flower bud induction in Russian dandelion (Taraxacum kok-saghyz). Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 95: 1221-1228.

Kim, J. and D.J. Wolyn. (2014). Genetic variation and heritability estimates for indirect measures of freezing tolerance during fall acclimation in asparagus. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. 139: 642-648.

Drinkwater, J., R. Tsao, R. Liu, C. Defelice and D.J. Wolyn. (2014). Effects of Cooking on Rutin and Glutathione Concentrations and Antioxidant Activity of Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) Spears. Journal of Functional Foods. 12: 342-353.