Asparagus contains rutin, a falconoid associated with anti‐carcinogenic properties and decreased cholesterol and heart disease. Ontario growers could benefit from value‐added or ‘branded’ asparagus products that can be marketed based on the health benefits of rutin, for example, fresh product in grocery stores, or asparagus flour as a supplement in bread and pasta, made from discards or seconds. The Guelph Millennium hybrid, developed at the University of Guelph, was found to contain the highest rutin levels among international cultivars in Japan.
The term ‘cosmeceutical’ represents the marriage of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals and is the new buzzword in the cosmetics industry. Cosmeceutical products are cosmetic products with a biologically active ingredient purporting to have medical or drug‐like benefits. Dermatological research suggests that the bioactive ingredients used in cosmeceuticals do indeed have benefits beyond the traditional moisturizer, but the term cosmeceutical remains a marketing term, as there are no requirements to prove that the products actually live up to their claims.
Fruits such as peaches and plums are highly perishable fruits with a very short shelf life and hence are aptly called ‘tender fruits’. This necessitates the growing of several varieties that ripen at different time slots to ensure that there is a continual supply of these fruits in the market during the short season of availability. It is interesting to note that, though all these diverse varieties flower at about the same time in spring, fruit ripening is extended by a few weeks in some varieties over the other.
Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is a unique technology that allows the preservation of the entire genome from an individual, thereby avoiding dilution of valuable alleles. This is an important criterion in endangered species preservation. Our interest in the Canadian wood bison, a threatened species, has brought us to consider the application of SCNT as a method for embryo production and genome preservation. This project will evaluate the developmental competence of bison embryos produced by interspecies SCNT, whereby a bison donor cell is transplanted into a domestic cattle oocyte.
Assisted reproductive technologies can provide unique alternatives for wildlife managers interested in preserving genetically valuable individuals. The Canadian wood bison, currently listed as threatened, will benefit greatly from the use of in vitro fertilization and embryo banking as a method for producing genetically healthy, disease‐free herds. However, minimal or non‐existent knowledge of the fundamental aspects of reproductive biology has limited the success of reproductive technologies in non‐domestic species.
This project is targeted at rehabilitating closed landfill sites to produce biomass energy crops as an alternative to traditional agricultural crops. The establishment of agricultural crops on brownfield lands like these present unknown risks of contamination from legacy materials in the landfill. Growing biomass energy crops on these sites eliminates that risk and provides a significant technical, economic and system related unknowns associated with producing biomass energy crops under this type of site condition.
One of the principle drawbacks to the production of biofuels is the competition that is created with traditional food crops for land. The potential for decommissioned municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills to support energy crop production has been left largely uninvestigated in Canada and other parts of North America. One of the primary obstacles to the establishment of crops on MSW landfills is the presence of high concentrations of landfill biogas in the plant root zone.
The intern will collaborate with MGS Horticultural, a major supplier of fertilizer and pest management controls, to study the relationship between scent and pollination success in commercial greenhouses. Previous (unpublished) research has suggested that scent is an integral component of pollination in greenhouse tomato, and that scent can be affected by growth conditions within a greenhouse. The research proposed will attempt to not only confirm this, but use it in developing a course of action for tomato crops which are experiencing a deficit of pollination.