Gale Bozzo

Gale Bozzo

Assistant Professor.  Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph.
Expertise in postharvest biochemistry and physiology, and plant secondary metabolism including the biochemistry of flavanols and phenylpropanoids and their role in post-harvest darkening of dry bean seed.

Research Interests:

Postharvest Biochemistry
My lab is interested in the relationship between oxidative stress metabolism and the onset of physiological disorders in bulky fruit (e.g. apples and pears) during controlled atmosphere (CA) storage.  CA storage is a postharvest management technology designed to limit respiration and ethylene-mediated processes leading to the loss of fruit quality, and also serves to maintain the freshness and increase the marketability of climacteric fruit.  For some pome cultivars, CA storage may also result in the development of physiological disorders of the fruit surface and/or flesh. Currently, my lab is focused on developing cultivar-specific strategies for prolonged CA storage of traditional and newly developed pome fruits cultivated in Ontario. To date, the biochemical processes promoting the onset of physiological disorders in fruit during CA-storage are unknown. To address this, we are conducting studies to determine whether an imbalance in whole fruit redox metabolites (i.e. ascorbate, glutathione, and pyridine dinucleotides) precedes physiological disorders in apple and pears during CA storage.
Secondary Metabolism
An on-going interest in the laboratory is to define biochemical signatures that are pivotal for the modification and/or catabolism of phenylproapnoid pathway end products in planta. Briefly, we are studying the metabolism of the following phenylpropanoid derived products: flavonols, potential human health promoting compounds; anthocyanins, red, blue and purple pigments formed in fruits, flowers and seeds; and proanthocyanidins.
Evidence for Flavonol Catabolism in Plants
My laboratory is investigating the key biochemical and molecular determinants promoting the loss of flavonols, specifically quercetin diglycosides in vegetative plant tissues of Arabidopsis thaliana. These diglycosides accumulate in leaves and roots in response to abiotic stress, and have been shown to rapidly disappear within a few days of stress recovery. To date, the catabolic products of quercetin diglycosides, as well as the enzymes promoting their loss in Arabidopsis are scantly described. We are using biochemical analyses together with functional genomics to elucidate the major enzymatic steps required for the degradation of stress-inducible quercetin diglycosides.
Seed Coat Darkening and the Phenylpropanoid Pathway
Research aims to determine the key structural and regulatory steps of the phenylpropanoid pathway underlying the seed coat darkening phenomenon in edible dry beans (Phaseolus vulgaris). The oxidation of seed coat proanthocyanidins during the postharvest handling of dry beans culminates in the browning of the seed coat. We are using RNAseq technology to determine the difference in phenylpropanoid pathway gene expression in darkening relative to non-darkening cranberry beans. In addition, we are performing biochemical analyses of the following proanthocyanidin genes from developing cranberry beans: leucoanthocyanidin reductase, anthocyanidin reductase and polyphenol oxidase, in order to determine their relative contribution to the seed coat darkening phenomenon of edible dry beans.
B.Sc. York University;
M.Sc. York University;
Ph.D. Queen’s University
Recent Publications:

  • Roepke, J., T. Jean, K.J. Perkel, T. Blom and G.G. Bozzo (2012) Daminozide alters anthocyanin metabolism in ray florets of bronze chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat.) Submitted to Journal of Plant Growth Regulation.
  • Shelp, B.J., G.G. Bozzo, A. Zarei, J.P. Simpson, C.P. Trobacher and W.L. Allan. (2012) Strategies and tools for studying the metabolism and function of γ-aminobutyrate in plants: II. Integrated analysis. Botany In press.
  • Shelp, B.J., G.G. Bozzo, C.P. Trobacher, G. Chiu, and V.S. Bajwa. (2012) Strategies and tools for studying the metabolism and function of γ-aminobutyrate in plants. I. Pathway structure. Botany In press.
  • Shelp, B.J., G.G. Bozzo, C.P. Trobacher, A. Zarei, K.L. Deyman and C. J. Brikis. (2012)  Hypothesis/review: Contribution of putrescine to 4-aminobutyrate (GABA) production in response to abiotic stress. Plant Science 193-194: 130-135.
  • Brauer, E.K., A. Rochon, Y.M. Bi, G.G. Bozzo, S.J. Rothstein and B.J. Shelp. (2011) Reappraisal of nitrogen use efficiency in rice overexpressing glutamine synthetase1. Physiologia Plantarum  141: 361-372.
  • Eudes, A., G.G. Bozzo, J.C. Waller, V. Naponelli, E.K. Lim, D.J. Bowles, J.F. Gregory 3rd and A.D. Hanson. (2008) Metabolism of the folate precursor p-aminobenzoate in plants: Glucose ester formation and vacuolar storage. Journal of Biological Chemistry 283: 15451-15459.
  • Bozzo, G.G., G.J. Basset, V. Naponelli, A. Noiriel, J.F. Gregory 3rd and A.D. Hanson. (2008) Characterization of the folate salvage enzyme p-aminobenzoylglutamate hydrolase in plants. Phytochemistry 69: 29-37.
  • Orsomando, G., G.G. Bozzo, R.D. de la Garza, G.J. Basset, E.P. Quinlivan, V. Naponelli, F. Rébeillé, S. Ravanel, J.F. Gregory 3rd and A.D. Hanson. (2006) Evidence for folate-salvage reactions in plants. Plant Journal 46: 426-435.
  • Bozzo, G.G., E.L. Dunn and W.C. Plaxton. (2006) Differential synthesis of phosphate-starvation inducible purple acid phosphatase isozymes in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) suspension cells and seedlings. Plant Cell & Environment 29: 303-313.
  • Klaus, S.M., E.R. Kunji, G.G. Bozzo, A. Noiriel, R.D. de la Garza, G.J. Basset, S. Ravanel, F. Rébeillé, J.F. Gregory 3rd and A.D. Hanson. (2005) Higher plant plastids and cyanobacteria have folate carriers related to those of trypanosomatids. Journal of Biological Chemistry 280: 38457-38463.




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Alireza Navabi

Alireza Navabi

AAFC Research Scientist and adjunct faculty at the University of Guelph.
Expertise in bean breeding with a focus on biotic and abiotic stress, Common Bacterial Blight resistance, anthracnose resistance and nitrogen-fixation.

Alireza Navabi, PhD (Bean Breeding and Genetics)
c/o Department of Plant Agriculture
Crop Science Building
University of Guelph
53 Stone Road
Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1

Phone: 519-824-4120 ext. 56829
Fax: 519-763-8933

The program is involved in breeding dry beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) to develop high yielding, high quality, disease resistant cultivars of different Canadian market classes, targeted mainly for the bean production areas of southwestern Ontario. Our research activities in support of the breeding program are focused on: 1) genetic and genomic studies of economically important traits including resistance to biotic and abiotic stress factors such as resistance to common bacterial blight (caused by Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. Phaseoli) and anthracnose (caused by Colletotrichum lindemuthianum) and tolerance to low-nutrient availability, 2) Improving symbiotic Nitrogen fixation ability in dry beans, and 3) development and optimization of phenotypic and genotypic selection strategies for traits of major importance for the breeding program.
Selected Publications:

  • Shi, C., Chaudhary, S., Yu, K., Park, S.J., Navabi, A., and McClean, P.E. (2011). "Identification of candidate genes associated with CBB resistance in common bean HR45 (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) using cDNA-AFLP.", Molecular Biology Reports, 38(1), pp. 75-81. doi: 10.1007/s11033-010-0079-1
  • Shi, C., Navabi, A., and Yu, K. (2011). "Association mapping of common bacterial blight resistance QTL in Ontario bean breeding populations.", BMC Plant Biology (E-journal), 11:52. doi: 10.1186/1471-2229-11-52
  • Navabi, A., Mather, D.E., Bernier, J., Spaner, D.M., and Atlin, G.N. (2009). "QTL detection with bidirectional and unidirectional selective genotyping: marker-based and trait-based analyses.", Theoretical and Applied Genetics (TAG), 118(2), pp. 347-352. doi: 10.1007/s00122-008-0904-2
  • Iqbal, M., Navabi, A., Salmon, D.F., Yang, R.-C., Murdoch, B.M., Moore, S.S., and Spaner, D.M. (2007). "Genetic analysis of flowering and maturity time in high latitude spring wheat.", Euphytica, 154(1-2), pp. 207-218. doi: 10.1007/s10681-006-9289-y
  • Iqbal, M., Navabi, A., Salmon, D.F., Yang, R.-C., and Spaner, D.M. (2007). "Simultaneous selection for early maturity, increased grain yield and elevated grain protein content in spring wheat.", Plant Breeding, 126(3), pp. 244-250. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0523.2007.01346.x
  • Iqbal, M., Navabi, A., Yang, R.-C., Salmon, D.F., and Spaner, D.M. (2007). "Molecular characterization of vernalization response genes in Canadian spring wheat", Genome/Génome, 50(5), pp. 511-516. doi: 10.1139/G07-028
  • Iqbal, M., Navabi, A., Yang, R.-C., Salmon, D.F., and Spaner, D.M. (2007). "The effect of vernalization genes on earliness and related agronomic traits of spring wheat in northern growing regions.", Crop Science, 47(3), pp. 1031-1039. doi: 10.2135/cropsci2006.09.0618
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Kangfu Yu

Kangfu Yu

Research Scientist at GPCRC, AAFC; Adjunct Professor, Biological Science Department, the University of Windsor.

B.Sc. Gansu Agricultural University, P.R. China
M.S.c, University of Guelph
Ph.D. University of Guelph

Greenhouse and Processing Crops Research Centre (GPCRC)
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)
2585 County Road 20, Harrow, Ontario, N0R 1G0

Phone: 519-739-1207
Fax: 519-738-2929

Bean (Phaseolus, vulgaris L.) and Soybean (Glycine, max L.) Genomics, Plant-microbe Interactions

Research Interests:
Structural and functional genomics of bean and soybean
Development of molecular markers and Marker-assisted selection
Plant-microbe interactions

Current Research:
•    Genomics of resistance to Xanthamonas axanopodis pv. Phaseoli in Common Bean
•    Map-base cloning of the major gene and/or quantitative trait loci (QTL) underlying resistance of bean to common bacterial blight (CBB) incited by Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. phaseoli (Xap).
•    Functional analysis of candidate genes for disease resistance and quality traits in both bean and soybean through quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR)
•    Development of molecular markers for disease resistance and quality traits and application of molecular markers in marker-assisted breeding of bean and soybean
•    Validation of candidate genes for disease resistance and quality traits through virus induced gene silencing (VIGS)

Recent publications:
2011 Shi, C. Navabi, A. Yu, K. 2011. Association mapping of common bacterial blight resistance QTL in Ontario bean breeding populations. BMC Plant Biology (accepted)

2011 Shi, C., Chaudhary, S., Yu, K., Park, S.J., Navabi, A., and McClean, P. 2011. Identification of candidate genes associated with CBB resistance in common bean HR45 (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) using cDNA-AFLP. Molecular Biology Reports. 38:75–81.

2011 Yarmilla Reinprecht , Shun-Yan Luk-Labey , Kangfu Yu , Vaino W. Poysa , Istvan Rajcan , Gary R. Ablett , K. Peter Pauls Molecular basis of seed lipoxygenase null traits in soybean line OX948. Theor Appl Genet

2011 Yi Wang • Quan Xie • Kangyu Yu • Vaino Poysa • Lijuan Lin • Houyang Kang • Xing Fan • Lina Sha • Haiqin Zhang • Yonghong Zhou Development and characterization of wheat-Psathyrostachys huashanica partial amphiploids for resistance to stripe rust. Biotechnol Lett.

2010 Jegadeesan, S., Yu, K., Poysa, V., Gawalko, E.J., Morrison, M.J., Shi, C., Cober, E.R.  Mapping and validation of simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers linked to a major gene controlling seed cadmium accumulation in soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr]. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 121:283-294.

2010 Liu, S., Yu, K., Haffner, M., Park, S.J., Banik, M., Crosby, W.L., and Pauls, K.P. Construction of a BAC library and a physical map of a major QTL for CBB resistance of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Genetica. 138:709-716

2010 Li, X., Han, Y., Teng, W., Zhang, S., Yu, K., Poysa, V., Anderson, T.R., Ding, J., and Li, W.B. (2010). Pyramided QTL underlying tolerance to Phytophthora root rot in mega-environments from soybean cultivars ‘Conrad’ and ‘Hefeng 25’. Theoretical and Applied Genetics (TAG). 121:283–294. DOI: 10.1007/s00122-010-1337-2 (Available online)

2010 He, C., Poysa, V., Yu, K., and Shi, C. Inheritance of resistance to powdery mildew (Oidium lycopersicum) and its linkage to an SSR marker in tomato hybrid DRW4409.  Canadian J.  of Plant Sci.. 90: 803-807.

2010 Poysa, V. Woodrow, L. and Yu, K. Mersea soybean. Canadian J. of Plant Sci. 90:873-875.

2010 Souframanien, J., Yu, K., and Poysa, V. (in press). "Development and application of  molecular markers for breeding resistance against viral diseases.", in Wang, A. (ed.) - Principles and practice of advanced methods in plant virology, Research Signpost, Kerala, India, Chapter 15.

2009 Reinprecht, Y.,  Luk-Labey  S.,  Larsen, J., Poysa, V.,  Yu, K.,  Rajcan, I.,   Ablett, G., and Pauls, P.  Molecular Basis of the low linolenic acid trait in soybean EMS mutant line RG10. Plant Breeding  128(3):253-258.

2009 Park, S.J., Rupert, T., Yu, K., and Navabi, A. Red rider common bean. Canadian Journal of Plant Sci. 89: 925-927.

2009 Liu, S., Yu, K., and Park, S.J. (in press). "Marker-assisted breeding for resistance to common bacterial blight in common bean.", in Columbus, F. (ed.) - Plant Breeding, Nova Science Publishers Inc.

2008 Liu S., Yu, K., & Park, SJ. Development of STS markers and QTL validation for common bacterial blight resistance in common bean. Plant Breeding :127: 62-68.

2008 Han, Y., Teng, W., Yu, K., Poysa, V., Anderson, T., Qiu, L., Lighfoot, D., & Li, W.  Mapping QTL tolerance to phytophthora root rot using microsatellite and RAPD/SCAR derived  markers. Euphytica 162: 231-239.

2008 Poysa, V., Woodrow, L., and Yu, K. Tourco Soybean. Can. J. Plant Sci. 88: 519-521.

2008 Yang D, Conner, RL., Yu, K., Balasubramanian, P.,  Penner WC., & Yager, LM. Phenotypic and genotypic identification of anthracnose resistance for kidney bean cultivars grown in western Canada. Can. J. Plant Sci. 88:771-781.

2008 Poysa, V., Woodrow, L., and Yu, K.  Nature Soybean. Can. J. Plant Sci. 88(5):929-931.

2008 Gepts, P., Francisco, JL., Aragão, F., Barros E de, Blair, MW., Brondani, R., Broughton, W., Galasso, I.,  Hernández, G., Kami,J., Lariguet, P., McClean, P., Melotto, M., Miklas P., Pauls P., Pedrosa-Harand, A., Porch T., Sánchez F., Sparvoli F., Yu K. Genomics of Phaseolus beans, a major source of dietary protein and micronutrient in the Tropics. In: Moore PH, Ming R (eds) Genomics of Tropical Crop Plants, Springer, Berlin: pp. 113-143.

2007 Weng,  C.,Yu, K., Anderson, T.,  and Poysa, V. A quantitative trait locus influencing tolerance to phytophthora root rot in the soybean cultivar Conrad. Euphytica 58:81-86.

2007 Park, S., Rupert, T.,  Kiehn, F., & Yu, K. 2007. Registration of “Kippen” Common Bean. J. of Plant Registration. 1: 107-108.

2007 Park S.J., Ruper, T., & Yu, K.  Galley Common Bean. Can. J. Plant Sci.87: 309-311.

2007 Park S.J., Ruper, T., & Yu, K.  Harohawk Common Bean. Can. J. Plant Sci.87: 313-315.

2007 Yang D,  Conner, RL.,  Balasubramanian, P., Yu, K., Park, SJ., Penner. WC., & Yager, LM. Phenotypic and genotypic identification of anthracnose resistance for kidney bean cultivars grown in western Canada. Can. J. Plant Sci. 87: 405-412.

2007 Banik, M. Liu, S. Yu, K., Poysa, V., Park, SJ.Molecular TILLING and EcoTILLING:EffectiveTools for Mutant Gene Detection in Plants. Genes,Genomes and Genomics 1(2)123-132.

2007 Liu, S. Banik, M. Yu, K., Park, SJ., Poysa, V. Marker-Assisted Selection (MAS) in Major Cereal and Legume Crop Breeding: Current Progress and Future Directions. International Journal of Plant Breeding 1(2) 74-78.

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Krista Power

Krista Power

Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada
Adjunct Professor, Department of Human Health and Nutritional sciences, University of Guelph
Adjunct Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto.
Expertise includes the role of beans in the human diet with respect to colonic inflammation and colon cancer development.

Research interests: My research program involves the study of food and food components on the prevention and treatment of various diseases, including, breast and colon cancer, and osteoporosis. Using both in vitro and in vivo model systems, we investigate how food bioactives modulate disease processes (i.e. inflammation), the cellular pathways involved, and their interactions with other components of whole foods. 
We are currently studying the role of Ontario grown common beans on colonic inflammation and colon cancer development. Common beans contain an array of phytochemicals, which, depending on the bean variety (e.g. kidney, navy, cranberry) and phytochemical profile, may result in very distinct and diverse effects on the inflammatory and carcinogenesis processes. Our interest is in determining the component(s) of beans involved in promoting gut health and their mechanisms of action.

Contact info:
Guelph Food Research Centre
Agriculture and Agri-food Canada
93 Stone Road West
Guelph, ON, N1G 5C9
(519) 780-8102

Post-doctoral Fellow: University of Turku, Finland; Karolinska Institute, Sweden.
PhD: Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto
MSc: Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto
BSc (Hons): Memorial University of Newfoundland

Graduate Students: Claire Zhang, Leila Zarepoor, Jenifer Lu
Technical Assistance:  Wendy Wu
Selected publications:

  • Power, K.A., O. Zierau, O’Dwyer S. Chapter 5: Phytoestrogens: Naturally Occurring, Hormonally Active Compounds in Our Diet. Hormone-Disruptive Chemical Contaminants in Food, The Royal Society of Chemistry; 2012: 70-92.
  • Thompson LU and Power KA. The Potential Roles of Seeds and Seed Bioactives on the Prevention and Treatment of Breast and Prostate Cancer. In: Vegetables and Derivatives in Cancer Prevention. (Mutanen M and Pajari AM; Eds) Springer; 2011, Volume 2, 173-203.
  • Power K.A. and Zierau O. Lifelong and prenatal effects of phytoestrogens. Curr Bioactive Comp. 2011; 7(3): 172-9.
  • Swedenborg E, Power KA, Cai W, Pongratz I, Rüegg J. Regulation of estrogen receptor beta activity and implications in health and disease. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2009; 66(24):3873-94.
  • Penttinen-Damdimopoulou PE, Power KA, Hurmerinta TT, Nurmi T, van der Saag PT, Mäkelä SI. Dietary sources of lignans and isoflavones modulate responses to estradiol in estrogen reporter mice. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2009;53(8):996-1006.
  • Power KA, Chen J, Saarinen NM, Thompson LU. Changes in biomarkers of estrogen receptor and growth factor signaling pathways in MCF-7 tumors after short and long term treatment with soy and flaxseed. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2008;112:13-9.
  • Power KA, Saarinen NM, Chen J, Thompson LU. Mammalian lignans enterolactone and enterodiol, alone and in combination with the isoflavone genistein, do not promote the growth of mcf-7 xenografts in ovariectomized athymic nude mice. International Journal of Cancer. 2006;118:1316-20.


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Rong Cao

Rong Cao

Research Scientist, AAFC Guelph
Expertise on the role of phyotchemical antioxidants, including polyphenols and carotenoids, in human and animal health including their anticancer activities. Development of functional foods and nutraceuticals.

Research Interests
Increasing evidence has shown that diets rich in phytochemical antioxidants play important roles in maintaining human health and preventing chronic diseases, and the identitiess and antioxidant activities of individual or a group of phytochemicals such as polyphenols and carotenoids have been confirmed albeit mostly by in vitro models.  However, many factors can affect the physiological efficacy of bioactive phytochemicals. In addition to genetics and environmental conditions, food processing and microbial digestion in vivo can all affect the outcome.  My research interests are focused on the chemistry and biochemistry of phytochemical antioxidants.  We are not only developing methods for detection and identification of phytochemicals in various foods, but more importantly these bioactives and their metabolites in animals or humans fed phytochemicals rich diets.  Another area of my research is in the interactions of phytochemicals.  We have recently found that depending on the source of the phytochemicals, mixing two or more can result in synergistic, antagonistic and additive antioxidant and anticancer activities.  My main research activities include separation, characterization and analysis of polyphenols, carotenoids and other bioactives in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and biological fluid and tissue samples; assessment of antioxidant activities using various in vitro and cell-based models. Using state-of-the-art techniques, we hope to understand better the bio-accessibility, bioavailability and metabolism of phytochemicals; mechanism of action of phytochemicals and their metabolites in antioxidant activity and in regulating other biomarkers; and development of functional foods and nutraceuticals (FFN).  My close collaborators are plant breeders, human nutritionists and the food industry.  

Current Research
•    Antioxidant/anticancer synergism and antagonism of phytochemicals from different foods
•    Role of phytochemicals in common beans produced in Ontario in human health and in bean quality (darkening). This is a multi-year, multi-disciplinary project co-funded by ORF.
•    Occurrence, antioxidant activity and potential health benefits of highly pigmented Ontario foods (rich in anthocyanins and carotenoids)
•    Occurrence and potential health benefits of phytochemicals, particularly polyphenols of Canadian grains/leguminous seeds (flax, common beans, soybean)
•    Bioactives in locally grown plant or fungal foods (e.g. high rutin and protodioscin asparagus and high vitamin D mushroom)
•    Development of value-added FFN from processing by-products (e.g. pomace, peels)

Selected Publications

  • Shao, S.; Tsao, R. Systematic evaluation of pre-HPLC sample processing methods on total and individual isoflavones in soybeans and soy products. Food Research International 2011 (in press).
  • Wang, S.; Meckling, K.; Marcone, M.; Kakuda, Y.; Tsao, R. Synergistic, additive and antagonistic effects of food mixtures on total antioxidant capacities. J. Agric. Food Chem., 2011, 59 : 960–968.
  • Wang, S.; Melnyck, J. P.; Tsao, R.; Marcone, M. How natural dietary antioxidants in fruits, vegetables and legumes promote vascular health.  Food Res. Int. 2011, 44: 14–22
  • Tsao, R. Chemistry and Biochemistry of Dietary Polyphenols.   Nutrients 2010, 2, 1231-1246; doi:10.3390/nu2121231
  • Shao, S.;  Hernandez, M.; Kramer, J. K. G.; Rinker, D.L.; Tsao, R. Ergosterol Profiles, Fatty Acid Composition, and Antioxidant Activities of Button Mushrooms as Affected by Tissue Part and Developmental Stage. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2010, 58, 11616–11625.
  • Tsao, R.  Phytochemical Profiles of Potato and their Role in Human Health and Wellness, Food, 2009, 3, 125-135.
  • Shao, S.; Duncan, A.M.; Yang, R.; Marcone, M. F.; Rajcan, R., Tsao, R. Tracking isoflavones: From soybean to soy flour, soy protein 3 isolates to functional soy bread. Journal of Functional Foods 2009, 1, 119-127.
  • Li, H., Song, F., Xing, J., Tsao, R., Liu, Z., Liu, S. Screening and Structural Characterization of α-Glucosidase Inhibitors from Hawthorn Leaf Flavonoids Extract by Ultrafiltration LC-DAD-MSn and SORI-CID FTICR MS. J. Amer. Soc. Mass Spectrom., 2009, 20, 1496-1503.  
  • Tsao, R. and Liu, Z.Y. Exploration and characterization of bioactive phytochemicals in native Canadian plants for human health. Canadian Journal of Plant Science, 2008, 87(5), pp. 1045-1053.
  • Jason L. McCallum, Raymond Yang, J. Christopher Young, Judith N. Strommer and Rong Tsao.  Improved high performance liquid chromatographic separation of anthocyanin compounds from grapes using a novel mixed-mode ion-exchange reversed-phase column. J. Chromatogr. A,  2007, 1148, 38-45.
  • Tsao, R.; Papadopoulos, Y.; Yang, R.; Young, J. C.; McRae, K.  Isoflavone Profiles of Red Clovers and Their Distribution in Different Parts Harvested at Different Growing Stages. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2006, 54, 5797-5805.  
  • Wang, M., Tsao, R., Zhang, S., Dong, Z., Yang, R., Gong J., and Pei, Y.  Antioxidant activity, mutagenicity/anti-mutagenicity, and clastogenicity/anti-clastogenicity of lutein from marigold flowers.  Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2006, 44, 1522-1529.
  • Tsao, R. and Yang, R.  Lutein in Selected Canadian Crops and Agri-Food Processing By-products and Purification by High-Speed Counter-current Chromatography.  J. Chromatogr. A. 2006, 1112, 202-208.
  • Tsao, R., R. Yang, S. Xie, E. Sockovie, and S. Khanizadeh. Which Polyphenolic Compounds Contribute to the Total Antioxidant Activities of Apple? J. Agric. Food Chem. 2005, 53, 4989-4995.
  • Tsao, R., and Deng, Z., 2004, Separation Procedures for naturally occurring antioxidant phytochemicals. J. Chromatogr. B 812: 85-99.
  • Tsao, R., Yang, R., Young, J. C., Zhu, H. and Manolis, T. Separation of Geometric Isomers of Native Lutein Diesters in Marigold (Tagetes erecta L.) by High Performance Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry, J. Chromatogr. A. 2004,1045:65-70.

    B.Sc. China Agricultural University, China
    M.Sc. Kyushu University, Japan
    Ph.D. Kyushu University, Japan

    Graduate Students/Postdoctoral Fellows
    Currently accepting applications for graduate (M.Sc. and Ph.D.) positions through collaborators at the University of Guelph.

    Contact Information
    Guelph Food Research Centre
    Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
    93 Stone RD W
    Guelph, Ontario, Canada
    N1G 5C9
    Telephone: 519-780-8062
    Fax: 519-829-2600


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Alfons Weersink

Alfons Weersink

Professor: Agri-environmental Policy, Farm Structure,Production Economics. University of Guelph.

Alfons Weersink was raised on a cash crop/dairy farm near St. Mary's, Ontario and he continues to be involved with the farm. He is married to Maureen and they have 4 kids, Erin, Kristen, Marc and Bryan.

Alfons is past president of the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society and is a panel member of the Agricultural Management Institute.
Research Interests
Present research projects can be categorized into two main themes:
a) Evaluating the consequences of bio-product development on farmers;
This project started by examining whether local bioproduct efforts by provincial governments would benefit Ontario crop farmers experiencing low output prices. The types of efforts include MSc thesis work on the comparative advantage of vegetable oils (K Eckstrom), the financial feasibility of a facility to extract an enzyme from soybean hulls (F. Chalik), and the form of business organization best suited for farmers to pursue value-added activities (G. Pate). However, the rapid rise in crop prices stemming from global macroeconomic changes has shifted the focus to explaining the reasons for these dramatic changes and their implications for the agricultural sector.
b) Assessing the effectiveness of environmental policies within the agricultural sector.
This has been my main area of research over the last decade. One part involves assessing the profitability of farming systems and the reasons for their use by farmers. Examples of this work include the study Pannell et al on the use of future markets, the work by Rajsic and Weersink on the profitability of alternative fertilization treatments, and the paper by Tiriwi et al estimating production losses from a disease in a dairy herd. A second component assesses the tradeoffs between environmental quality and farm profitability between farming systems. This work involves calibrating a biophysical simulation model to predict residual levels and combining it with a farm optimization model. Examples of this work include the MSc thesis by deLaporte and PhD dissertation by Jatoe. The final part examines the effectiveness of policies to achieve environmental quality goals. Examples include the work by To et al on water allocation policy, deLaporte et al on wetland policy and Young et al on carbon policy.
Teaching Interests
AGR*125 Agrifood Trends and Issues AGEC*303 The Firm and Markets AGEC*640 Readings in Agricultural Economics
Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Honours), University of Guelph , 1982. 
Master of Science in Applied Economics, Montana State University , 1984. 
Doctorate Cornell University , January 1989
Select Publications
Cabas, J., A. Leiva and A. Weersink. 2008. “Modeling Exit and Entry of Farmers in a Crop Insurance Program” Agricultural and Resource Economics Reviews. 37(1):92-105.
Herath, Deepananda, and Alfons Weersink. 2008. “The Role of Transaction, Production, and Management Costs in the Vertical Coordination Changes of Post-Colonial Plantation Agriculture” World Development. forthcoming.
Jatoe, John, Emmanuel Yiridoe, Alfons Weersink, and J. Stephen Clark. 2008. “Economic and Environmental Impacts of Introducing Land Use Policies and Rotations on Prince Edward Island Potato Farms.” Land Use Policy. 25:309-319.
Pannell, D., G. Hailu, A. Weersink and A. Coad. 2008. “More Reasons Why Farmers Have So Little Interest in Futures Markets.” Agricultural Economics. 39(1):41-50.
Rajsic, P., and A. Weersink. 2008. “Do Farmers Waste Fertilizer?: A Comparison of Ex Post Optimal Nitrogen Rates and Ex Ante Recommended Rates by Model, Site and Year.” Agricultural Systems. 97(1-2):56-67
Rajsic, P., and A. Weersink. 2008. “Risk and Nitrogen Application Levels.” Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics. forthcoming.
Tiwari, A., J.A. VanLeeuwen, I.R. Dohoo, G.P. Keefe, and A. Weersink. 2008. “Estimate of the Direct Production Losses in Canadian Dairy Herds with Subclinical Mycobacterium Avium Subspecies Paratuberculosis Infection.” The Canadian Veterinary Journal. 49(6):569-76.
Banjaree, Anurag. Johan Swinnen, and Alfons Weersink. 2007. “Skating on Thin Ice: Rule Changes and Performance in the NHL” Canadian Journal of Economics 40(2): 493-514.
Herath, Deepananda, and Alfons Weersink. 2007. “Peasants and Plantations in the Sri Lankan Tea Sector: Causes of the Change in their Relative Viability.” Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics. 51(1): 73-89.
Jayasinghe-Mudalige, Udith, Alfons Weersink, Brady Deaton, and Mike Trant. 2007. “Effect of Urbanization on the Adoption of Environmental Management Systems in Canadian Agriculture.” International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology. 6(3):316-325.
Weersink, Alfons and Mark Raymond. 2007. “Environmental Regulations Impact on Agricultural Spills and Citizen Complaints.” Ecological Economics. 60(3): 654-660.
Young, Linda, Alfons Weersink, Murray Fulton, and Brady Deaton, 2007. “Carbon Sequestration in Agriculture: EU and US Perspectives.” EuroChoices. 6(1): 32-37, 04.
Esuola, Adeyemi G. and Alfons Weersink. 2006. “Carbon Banks: An Efficient Means to Address to Exchange Sequestered Carbon.” Journal of Environmental Quality. 35(4):1525-1532.
Meyer-Aurich, A., K. Janovicek, W. Deen, and A. Weersink. 2006. “Impact of Tillage and Rotation on Yield and Economic Performance in Corn-Based Cropping Systems” Agronomy Journal. 98(5):1204-1212.
Meyer-Aurich, A., A. Weersink, K. Janovicek, and W. Deen. 2006. “Cost-Efficient Rotation and Tillage Options to Sequester Carbon and Mitigate GHG Emissions from Agriculture in Eastern Canada.” Agriculture, Ecosystems and the Environment 117 (2-3):119-127
Turvey, Calum G., Alfons Weersink and Celia Chang. 2006. “Pricing Weather Insurance with a Random Strike Price: An Application to the Ontario Ice Wine Harvest.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 88(3):696-709.
Weersink, Alfons and Christine Eveland. 2006. “The Siting of Livestock Facilities and Environmental Regulations” Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics. 54(1):159-174.
Weersink, Alfons. 2006. “Agricultural Economics in Canada: Ready to Step Up or Fall Back?” Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics. 54(1):1-9. (invited).
Herath, Deepananda, Alfons Weersink and Chantal Line-Carpentier. 2005. “Spatial Dynamics of the Livestock Sector in the United States: Do Environmental Regulations Matter?” Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics. 30(1): 45-68.
Weersink, Alfons, R.S. Llewellyn and D.J. Pannell. 2005. “Economics of Pre-emptive Management to Avoid Weed Resistance to Glyphosate in Australia”. Crop Protection. 24: 659-665.
Weersink, Alfons, and Ada Wossink. 2005. “Lessons from Agri-Environmental Policies in Other Countries for Dealing with Salinity in Australia”. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture. 45(11): 1481-1494.
Weersink, Alfons, David Pannell, Murray Fulton and Andreas Meyer-Aurich. 2005. “Agriculture's Likely Role in Meeting Canada's Kyoto Commitments”. Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics. 53(4): 425-441.


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Frédéric Marsolais

Frédéric Marsolais

Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Southern Crop Protection and Food Research Centre, London, ON
Adjunct Research Professor, Department of Biology, University of Western Ontario
Expertise in protein composition in dry bean for nutrition, health, and bioproduct development as well as general protein chemistry of pulses, plant nitrogen, amino acid and protein biochemistry, molecular genetics, enzymology, and proteolytic processing
Member of the Ontario Pulse Research & Planning Subcommittee:
Member of the Centre Management Committee, Southern Crop Protection and Food Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada:


B. Sc. Laval University
M. Sc. Laval University
Ph. D. Concordia University

Southern Crop Protection and Food Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 1391 Sandford St., London, Ontario, Canada, N5V 4T3
Phone: 519-457-1470 x. 311
Fax: 519-457-3997

Current Projects:

  • Molecular characterization of two cytokinin-inducible cytochrome P450s from Arabidopsis.
  • Regulation of N supply and assimilation in developing seeds of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris).
  • Proteomic analysis of seed protein composition in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris

Research under the bean project
Responsible for project  4, Phaseolus Storage Protein Genomics. Variation in seed protein composition influences the functional properties of protein from common bean for food and biomaterials applications. Such variation can also improve “protein quality”, or the balanced composition of nutritionally essential amino acids. The composition of lectins determines agriculturally important traits such as resistance to seed-borne insect pests. 

Selected Publications        
Yin, F., Pajak, A., Chapman, R., Sharpe, A., Huang, S., Marsolais, F. (2011). “Analysis of common bean expressed sequence tags identifies sulfur metabolic pathways active in seed and sulfur-rich proteins highly expressed in the absence of phaseolin and major lectins”. BMC Genomics (revised manuscript submitted)

Marsolais, F., Pajak, A., Yin, F., Taylor, M., Gabriel, M., Merino, D.M., Ma, V., Kameka, A., Vijayan, P., Pham, H., Huang, S.Z., Rivoal, J., Bett, K.E., Hernández-Sebastià, C., Liu, Q., Bertrand, A., and Chapman, R.A. (2010). "Proteomic analysis of common bean seed with storage protein deficiency reveals up-regulation of sulfur-rich proteins and starch and raffinose metabolic enzymes, and down-regulation of the secretory pathway." Journal of Proteomics, 73(8), pp. 1587-1600. doi: 10.1016/j.jprot.2010.03.013

Taylor, M., Chapman, R.A., Beyaert, R.P., Hernández-Sebastià, C., and Marsolais, F. (2008). "Seed Storage Protein Deficiency Improves Sulfur Amino Acid Content in Common Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.): Re-Direction of Sulfur from gamma-Glutamyl-Smethyl-Cysteine.", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 56(14), pp. 5647-5654. doi: 10.1021/jf800787y


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