CRISPR-based precision breeding of semi-dwarf high-performance hops

Traditional breeding of agricultural plants is based on repeated self fertilization of large number of parental plants followed by screening larger offspring populations to uncover random natural or induced genetic variants with a desired trait. This approach can take many years and considerable resources to complete. This approach cannot directly be applied to hops breeding as hops have separate female and male individuals, preventing self fertilization. As a consequence, hops breeding is relatively undeveloped.

Peer Information and Substance Use Decision Making in Street-Involved Youth

This research aims to learn more about the way that homeless and street-involved evaluate information regarding substance use from their peers. To this end, this research team will work with Operation Come Home, a non-profit organization supporting homeless and at-risk youth in downtown Ottawa. The research team will recruit and interview 40 – 50 youth at Operation Come Home to assess a number of factors relating the way that they evaluate peer information regarding drug use.

Predicting climate change resilience of mine site reclamation in Yukon’s boreal region: from site and ecosystem classifications to biological response

Research problem: Reclamation practices in regions known to be undergoing rapid climate change must consider what adaptive measures could be implemented to maximize short-term reclamation success and long-term resilience of reclaimed sites. Objectives: I will investigate how a multi-scale ecological classification system can be used to predict regeneration success of different forest tree species at reclamation sites in north-central Yukon.

Characterizing lytic bacteriophages against pathogenic E. coli: receptor specificity, efficacy in vivo, and genomic analysis

Many facets of human life are affected by bacterial pathogens. Bacteria can cause both animal and plant diseases. Extensive use of antibiotics to contend with pathogenic bacteria has resulted in an increase of multi-resistance to antimicrobials. Even when antibiotics are used vigilantly, their application in poultry or other fields of animal production can lead to increased spreading of drug resistance. Natural adversaries of bacteria - bacteriophages - are now considered as an alternative to antibiotics.

Evaluating effects of local, landscape, and regional factors on Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) nest survival

The bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) is a migratory songbird that is currently a species at risk in Canada due to steep population declines. Because bobolink nest on the ground in pastures, hayfields, and other grassland-type habitats, nest success and abundance may be influenced by various environmental factors. Our goal is to understand whether these factors directly or indirectly affect bobolink nest success. This is important as it will contribute to filling current knowledge gaps regarding bobolink breeding success.

Investigating the cell biology of cannabinoid synthesis in Cannabis sativa

Cannabis sativa is a plant well-known for its production of cannabinoids, which are lipids with unique pharmacological properties. These compounds are produced mainly in female floral buds in specialized epidermal outgrowths known as glandular trichomes. These structures consist of a long stalk supporting a disk of biosynthetically active cells that produce the cannabinoids.

Peptide-Based Environment Sensitive siRNA Delivery System for Cancer Treatment

In this project, the main objective is developing a peptide-based environment sensitive siRNA delivery system for cancer treatment. If this deliver system can be proved efficient both in vitro and in vivo, it could have potential feasibility to be further characterized and become a pharmaceutical drug eventually.

Phenotyping and genotyping collection of Cannabis sativa lines

Upcoming legalization of marijuana provides many opportunities for all Canadians. Licensed Producers (LPs) are the main providers of medicinal cannabis to patients and will be the main suppliers for recreational market. The significant disadvantage in the current environment is the limited number of strains available to LPs. Sundial Growers have acquired a collection of Cannabis sativa lines. There is little to no information on these lines.

Harnessing the power of horizontal gene transfer for yeast strain development - Year two

Yeast are used on a massive scale in many industrial settings, such as production of food and beverages, nutrient supplements, pharmaceuticals, and others, totaling over $5 billion dollars in annual market value. Most yeasts currently used for industrial purposes are taken directly from nature and not optimized for the specific process requirements of industry. Currently, many tools for strain improvements require genetic modification of organisms, which does not allow for a non-GMO “clean” labeling.

A novel home cage testing environment for frontal cortical neuronal recording in marmosets - Year two

Marmosets are a valuable model for investigating the neural bases of behaviour and cognition, and there has been a substantial increase in marmoset use in translational neuroscience research over the last few years. A comfortable environment is critical for marmoset neurophysiological testing. At Rogue Research the fellow will be involved in developing a unique apparatus that attaches to the monkeys’ homecage and will permit automated neurophysiological testing using a touchscreen, reward systems, variety of sensors, and physiological setups for recording brain activity during research tasks.