Plant Ag graduate student Jennifer Wilker won the competition for best oral presentation at the Canadian Pulse Research Workshop. The meeting, held in Winnipeg on October 25-28, 2016, attracted over 180 participants from across Canada to discuss pulse breeding, agronomy, pathology, food science, nutrition, and health-related topics.
Jennifer's presentation was entitled "Performance and nitrogen fixation of heirloom dry bean varieties under low-input field conditions". It examined the agronomic performance and symbiotic nitrogen fixation (SNF) capacity, under low-nitrogen conditions, of a set of 42 heirloom North American dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) varieties and standard commercial varieties. The heirloom varieties were genetically characterized by SNP genotyping to determine their relatedness to modern Mesoamerican and Andean beans. Differences were found among the varieties for days to maturity (DTM), leaf greenness as measured with a SPAD meter, yield, harvest index, and % nitrogen derived from the atmosphere (%Ndfa).