Identification of gene expression biomarkers for different biotic stress conditions in Arabidopsis thaliana and canola

Plants, like humans, sometimes get sick because of the activities of pathogens. When crops are diseased, their growth vigor will be severely damaged, leading to tremendous yield loss. To cure plant disease, farmers have been relying on synthetic pesticides for centuries; but the over-use of synthetic pesticides has caused pest resistance and serious environmental issues. To overcome this dilemma, companies like Terramera Inc. have been developing alternative powerful pest-managing products, namely biopesticides, which are eco-friendly bioactive agents derived from natural resources. To further accelerate their product development, the present MITACs project is aimed at identifying a set of gene expression biomarkers to be used as early diagnostic tools to reflect real-time plant health status and to quickly assess the efficacy of biopesticide treatment. These biomarkers will immensely speed up the development of novel agricultural products and bring huge profits to Canadian farmers.

Faculty Supervisor:

Yuelin Zhang


Di Wu


Terramera Inc


Visual arts






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