Leveraging genomic information to better understand the biological effect of major genes on reproduction and health traits in dairy cattle

The main objective of the study is to increase the discovery of important reproduction and health genetic variants in dairy cattle. This could help improve reproduction and health of dairy herds through genomic selection or editing of the genome. In order to find the causative variants affecting reproduction and health traits, a review of the literature will be performed and new and cutting-edge genomic technology will be used.

Genomic and metabolomic approaches to improving new economically important traits in pigs

Consumers are increasingly interested in how their pork is raised especially in terms of welfare (the five freedoms) and the use of antibiotics (in relation to antimicrobial resistance). This project will focus on pig behavioural traits such as aggressiveness, tail biting and social interaction and seek to develop new tools to allow these traits to be included within selection programs.

An antioxidant nutraceutical from apple peels

Exposure to diagnostic imaging techniques such as X-ray and CT scan could cause DNA damage in our body leading to cancer. We wish to develop a unique antioxidant formula to avoid the risk of cancer. Apple peel has some unique and strong antioxidants called flavonoids. Our aim of this project is to examine whether apple flavonoids could contribute to the protection against DNA damage. We will use a carcinogen-induced experimental method using human cells to assess test compounds for protecting DNA damage.

Increasing harvestable berry yield using precision agriculture technologies

The overall objective of the proposed initiative is to develop a novel, berry harvesting system that will identify the root causes of increased loses; increase berry picking efficiency and product quality. Currently, there are 15 to 25% fruit yield losses during the harvesting. The wild blueberry growers set a goal increase the harvestable yields by 33%.

Chemically Modified Graphene-Like Carbon for Water Purification and Charge Storage Applications

This internship will focus on the chemical modification of a graphene-like material developed by 3M Canada towards membranes for the removal of divalent cations from water and charge-storage materials (supercapacitors). The need for improved purification technologies, specifically those that target the removal of divalent cations, such as calcium and magnesium, which are found in hard water, has never been greater due to the growth of our population and the related industrial and agricultural sectors of the Canadian economy.

Development of Feed Blocks for Livestock

BNTrading Inc., located in Alberta, is interested in developing a more efficient form (block) of densified feed material compared to small-size cubes and pellets currently available. This new form of densified material is to provide an easier handling, storage, and transportation. The target is firstly to convert the pellet or cube forms to block in trials. If there is a possibility of this transformation to blocks, the work will be conducted for the conversion of these conventional densified feed to feed blocks. Otherwise, the crushed form of feed will be used for production of feed blocks.

Minimizing crop stress with micronutrients: Agronomics

When plants are stressed they produce "reactive oxygen species" (ROS). Plants manage ROS with specific enzymes, many of which require micronutrients for activity. In the case of herbicide tolerant crops, the application of herbicide kills weeds in the crop but also stresses the crop for a time. The proposed work will test the hypothesis that crop plants will be better able to deal with stress resulting from herbicide application, when they are given additional micronutrients, in the form of Axter products spray-applied to crop leaves. The crops used in this work will be soybean and corn.

Characterizing microflora composition during the spontaneous fermentation of cassava flour

Quejos Ancient Foods (QAF) Inc. manufactures a line of dough-based food products that are gluten-free, grain-free, yeast-free, sugar-free. The dough is made from cassava flour, which has high concentration of carbohydrates and is rich in micronutrients. Traditionally, the cassava flour undergoes fermentation without the addition of yeast before the dough is made, and this process is not strictly regulated.

Sensory Characteristics and Metabolomics for Flavour Selection in Pork

The hog industry in Manitoba is a very efficient means of converting grains and pulses into high quality protein. Fresh pork is a healthy and nutritious source of protein, yet demand remains static. One of the main reasons cited by consumers for not choosing pork is the absence of good taste in modern pork. The objective of this project is to get fresh pork back on the dinner table by restoring its flavour. The process in which to achieve this goal will include the use of sensory analysis to test the flavour of 1,350 pork tenderloin samples from an array of breeds supplied by Maple Leaf.

Mathematical modelling and numerical simulation for efficient sprinkler system

InteliRain Inc. has developed an effective sprinkler system producing excellent uniformity water distribution for regular or irregular areas but using 30% less water compared to most existing standard industry system. However, the performance of the InteliRain system deteriorates rapidly when it is tested in an open field with wind effect. In this project, the intern will develop a mathematical model and computational algorithm to simulate the InteliRain system for cases with wind effect.

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