• May 24 2011

    Phaseolus Genomics project hires three Post Doctoral Fellows.

    By: Lori Wright, University of Guelph

    We welcome to the Applied Bean Genomics and Bioproducts project, in postdoctoral positions, Drs Gregory Perry, Weilong Xie and Marcus Shi. Both Weilong and Greg are now working out of the University of Guelph and Marcus is at the AAFC research center in Harrow, Ontario.

    We are pleased to introduce:

    Dr. Gregory Perry
    Greg was originally raised in Burlington, Ontario. He obtained his BSc and MSc from the University of Waterloo, examining the role of adenosine kinase in maintaining DNA methylation in Arabidopsis thaliana. He obtained his PhD at the University of Guelph, where he developed two genomic libraries from common bacterial blight (CBB) and resistant bean varieties (OAC-Rex and HR67). Greg used these libraries to identify regions of the genome associated with CBB resistance. His role in the applied bean genomics and bioproducts project is to develop the draft genome sequence for OAC-Rex, as well as coordinate with other researchers on marker development and breeding efforts. Greg will work with Dr. Pauls, and his research will be conducted predominantly at the University of Guelph.

    Outside of his research, Greg is an avid SCUBA diver, an accomplished martial artist, a casual musician, a self-taught computer technician and a voracious reader. Some selected publications of Dr. Perry's:

    1. Perry GE, Reinprecht Y, Chan J, and Pauls KP (2008). CBB Resistance In Phaseolus vulgaris: Towards The Identification Of A Resistance Gene. Summary Reports from the 7th Canadian Pulse Research Workshop. 21-22.
    2. Perry GE, Reinprecht Y, and Pauls KP (2007). Towards the Identification of Common Bacterial Blight Genes in Phaseolus vulgaris. The Annual Report of the Bean Improvement Cooperative 51:34-35.
    3. Perry GE (2004). Reduced Adenosine Kinase Activity is Associated with Reduced Nucleic Acid Methylation in Arabidopsis thaliana. M.Sc. Thesis, University of Waterloo.

    Dr. Weilong Xie
    Weilong was born in the Jiangxi province of China. She obtained her BSc from Jiangxi Agricultural University and her MSc from Sichuan Agricultural University, both in China. After receiving her PhD with honors from the University of Haifa in Israel, Weilong, attracted by the outstanding research being done at the University of Guelph, decided to join the department of Plant Agriculture as a post-doctoral fellow. Weilong is now a Visiting Fellow working with Dr. Ali Navabi in the joint AAFC/University of Guelph Bean Breeding Program. Within the applied bean genomics and bioproducts project, Weilong's work will focus on improving the disease resistance and nutritive value of beans.

    In her spare time, Weilong enjoys walking outdoors, spending time with her family and cooking Chinese food. For Weilong, cooking is a lot like lab work — requiring both art and skill and immensely rewarding. Some selected publications of Dr. Xie's:

    1. Xie W, Yu K, Pauls KP, Navabi A (2010) Image analysis for accurate quantification of common bacterial blight severity in common bean. The 8th Canadian Pulse Research Workshop, November 3-5, 2010, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, P18.
    2. Xie W, Shim YS, Garabagi F, Navabi A, Pauls KP (2010) Molecular characterization of key genes for folate synthesis in common bean. Annual Report of the Bean Improvement Cooperative 53:138-139.
    3. Xie W, Hao L, Goodwin PH (2008) Role of a xyloglucan-specific endo-beta-1,4-glucanase inhibitor in the interactions of Nicotiana benthamiana with Colletotrichum destructivum, C. orbiculare or Pseudomonas syringae pv. tabaci. Molecular Plant Pathology 9:191-202.

    Dr. Chun (Marcus) Shi
    Chun was born in the Chinese commercial capital, Shanghai, right after the end of the Culture Revolution. Marcus is his Canadian name.

    His early childhood was spent in the town of Hanwang, close to the epicentre of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. In grade Six, he migrated with his parents back to their hometown and were eye-witnesses to the spectacular economic boom in Yangtze River Delta. He graduated from Fudan University with a master's degree and holds a BA from Shanghai Fisheries University. Fascinated by the burgeoning field of genomics, Marcus went to Germany where in 2005 he received his PhD in Agricultural Biotechnology from the Technical University of Munich. He next immigrated to Canada and held a postdoctoral position with the Department of Cell and Systems Biology at the University of Toronto. Currently, he is an NESEC visiting fellow at the AAFC Harrow research station working with Dr. Kangfu Yu. His research focuses on providing the link between the genome sciences and dry bean breeding and translating bean genome sequence into useful markers for marker-assisted selection.

    Although biology is one of Marcus's lifelong passions he also makes time for extensive travel finding it interesting, enjoyable, fascinating and educational. He has already managed to travel to 15 different countries with two of his favourite destinations having been Egypt and the city of Paris. Marcus' last trip was to Los Angeles, California where he explored Hollywood and Beverly Hills.
    Some selected publications of Dr. Shi:

    1. Shi C., Chaudhary S., Yu K., Park S. J., Navabi A., and McClean P. E. (2011b) The identification of candidate genes associated with CBB resistance in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) using cDNA-AFLP. Molecular Biology Reports 38:75-81.
    2. Shi C., Uzarowska A., Ouzunova M., Landbeck M., Wenzel G., and Lübberstedt T. (2007) Identification of candidate genes associated with cell wall digestibility and eQTL (expression quantitative trait loci) analysis in a Flint × Flint maize recombinant inbred line population. BMC Genomics 8:22.
    3. Shi C., Koch G., Ouzunova M., Wenzel G., Zein I., and Lübberstedt T. (2006a) Comparison of maize brown-midrib isogenic lines by cellular UV-microspectrophotometry and comparative transcript profiling. Plant Molecular Biology 62: 697–714.

    We are fortunate to have Drs Perry, Xie and Shi join us.

    The Applied Bean Genomics and Bioproducts project is a multi-disciplinary, inter-institutional partnership between the University of Guelph, the University of Western Ontario, the University of Windsor and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada that is supported by the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, the Ontario Bean Producers Marketing Board and the Ontario Coloured Bean Growers Association. The research will provide information about the complete bean genome and will also allow for the development of molecular markers to select new bean varieties with enhanced disease resistance, higher levels of beneficial antioxidants and novel protein profiles for biofilm production.