Mobilizing the beneficial microbiome of Ontario wheat against Fusarium

Scientists have been interested in the effects that microorganisms have on their host plants for over a century, however, recently researchers have been able to better tackle these questions with the advent of new technology. In particular, beneficial microorganisms associated with roots can increase crop resiliency against disease, pests and extreme weather events, making this avenue of research important for the protection of crops from climate change. Here we focus on identifying microorganisms and their communities, including an understudied group called protists, that will act as early diagnostic tools for farmers in defence against Fusarium head blight and root rot, which are widespread and common fungal diseases in Canada. In addition, we will test whether we can improve the outcome of wheat grown on diseased plants, soil and crop residue by applying a fungal eating protist isolated from disease resistant soils.

Faculty Supervisor:

Kari Dunfield


Heather Slinn


Syngenta Canada


Environmental sciences


Professional, scientific and technical services


University of Guelph



Current openings

Find the perfect opportunity to put your academic skills and knowledge into practice!

Find Projects