AgriInnovation Program (AIP)
Industry-led Research and Development Stream – Flax Agronomy Research
Theme of research “Improving the Competitiveness of Flax through Agronomic, Breeding & Biotechnology Research”
Duration of research activity: 2014 to 2018
Six research activities are being conducted as a result of our AIP funding program. These activities are:
- Disease Management. Pasmo is the most prevalent flax disease in Canada. Pasmo increases the prevalence of lodging thereby reducing yield and quality of seed. This project will study virulence of pasmo and screen to identify genetic resistance for breeders.
- Seed Quality. The objective of this study is to determine whether there is a yield loss from the use of farm saved seed versus pedigreed seed. Seed size and seeding rate will be evaluated for seedling vigour and performance of flax varieties.
- Mitigating Soil Moisture Extremes. In the prairies, claims under crop insurance are most frequent for excess moisture (28% of claims) and drought (22% of claims). This study will evaluate adaptability of flax varieties to soil moisture extremes and to develop tillage options and strategies to mitigate and manage adverse soil moisture conditions.
- Abiotic Stress – Transcription Factors. This research work will identify transcription factors associated with heat and drought stress. Transcription factors are proteins that regulate expression of large number of genes (behave as master genes). Gene markers will be developed so that breeders can select for these factors in order to improve stress tolerance in future flax varieties.
- Optimizing Integrated Weed Management in Flax. Weed management is a major factor involved with yield and yield stability. Effective weed management should slow the spread of herbicide tolerant weeds. The objective of this study is to determine how effective combinations of agronomic practices impact weed growth and flax yield.
- Genetic Improvement for Drought. The purpose of this research project is to identify genes for drought tolerance. Gene markers will be identified that will help breeders accumulate drought tolerant genes into new flax varieties.