Winter'14 Departmental Seminar Series


Title: Clubroot Resistance in Canola: Expression, Durability, and Metabolic Cost
Bruce Gossen - Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, Saskatoon Research Centre, Saskatoon, SK



Clubroot, caused by Plasmodiophora brassicae, can cause severe losses in yield of susceptible canola cultivars. Since its initial discovery on canola near Edmonton in 2003, the pathogen has spread rapidly across Alberta and into Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Recent studies have shown that large portions of the Canadian prairies could eventually be affected by clubroot, and management approaches used for vegetable production are not cost-effective on canola. Genetic resistance is effective, but the number of known genes for resistance is limited and resistance may not be durable. Recent studies indicate that pathogen recognition occurs initially during root hair infection, and that the jasmonic and ethylene pathways (but not salicylic acid) are up-regulated by one resistance gene and two biocontrol agents. Resistance to high levels of resting spores may carry a metabolic cost, resulting in delayed maturity and reduced yield.

Biography:  Dr. Gossen received a PhD in Plant Pathology from the University of Saskatchewan in 1985. Since that time, he has conducted research in plant disease management with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at the Saskatoon Research Centre . His research interests focus on epidemiology and disease management of field crops, with projects on stand longevity in alfalfa, seed production in grasses, foliar and root diseases of pulse crops, and most recently, clubroot of canola. Dr. Gossen has published more than 135 scientific papers, 2 books and numerous book chapters, in collaboration with more than 100 co-authors. He has had a leadership role in professional organizations, including Chair of the Western Forum on Pest Management, President of the Canadian Phytopathological Society, and member of the International Epidemiology Committee of the International Society of Plant Pathology. Finally, Dr. Gossen is a recipient of the award for 'Achievement in Plant Disease Management' and the 'Award for Outstanding Research' from the Canadian Phytopathological Society and the 'Gold Harvest Award' from AAFC.