Research Poster Display

About the Poster Display

OFVC is proud to host the research poster display located just inside the main entrance to the trade show.

The goal of this display is to highlight research on fruit, vegetables and alternative crops in Ontario. Posters are displayed for both days of the convention, allowing growers and members of the ag-industry to see the excellent work being done in support of the many commodities they grow.

The OFVC Poster Session is an effective venue for researchers, industry and extension specialists to present new information pertinent to Ontario's horticultural industry. Posters that present results from research trials, including pest management, crop production, new cultivars, and opportunities for marketing Ontario horticulture are welcomed.

Student Poster Competition Entrants

All Natural High-Protein Snacking Crisps From Ontario Grown Imperfect Peaches, Strawberries and Carrots
Authors: Domenique Mastronardi, Ashutosh Singh
University of Guelph

Fruit and vegetables that are high in nutrition and taste are wasted due to imperfections or anticipated spoilage. Growers need a profit-generating alternative to discarding such produce. Peaches, strawberries, and carrots are revenue-generating farming commodities in Ontario that are discarded due to spoilage or imperfections. A Foam Mat Drying (FMD) process is proposed to upcycle these fruits and vegetables. FMD has a high economic potential due to its low energy requirements and its ability to produce shelf-stable products that appeal to customers. Based on our previous market research surrounding the product, creating a low-cost high-value product is important for processors, and the value of all natural, high-protein foods is high.

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Molecular Characterization of Neopestalotiopsis spp. in Different Counties in Southern Ontario
Authors: Komathy Prapagar, Katie Goldenhar, Erica Pate, Melanie Kalischuk
University of Guelph, OMAFRA

Strawberry is susceptible to a wide range of pathogens, causing severe disease and crop losses at all stages of the production cycle, from nursery to postharvest. Recently in 2017 strawberry season in Florida, a new fungal pathogen, Pestalotiopsis-like fungi, caused serious disease outbreaks. The new fungus was identified as Neopestalotiopsis spp., and it was found to be more aggressive on fruits and leaves than Neopestalotiopsis rosae (Baggio et al.,2021) . In southern Ontario, the disease outbreak was first identified in 2020 at a single location planted with cv. Albion. The incidence, severity, and spread of this disease were monitored in strawberry gardens in different counties of Ontario during the field season 2021. Symptoms on strawberry fruits include lesions, light tannish color and uneven in shape. On leaves, light to dark brown spots of different sizes are irregularly distributed and often produce blight-like necrosis. Despite this, these common symptoms are a sign of other strawberry diseases, hence the requirement for advanced molecular techniques to diagnose the disease is necessary.

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Insect Pests & Natural Enemies Associated with Outdoor Cannabis Production in Ontario
Authors: Lillian Auty, Rachael Vanstone, Jason Lemay and C. Scott-Dupree
University of Guelph, JC Green Inc.

• Following the 2018 legalization of recreational use of Cannabis sativa in Canada, the licensed area for outdoor cultivation has rapidly increased.
• Cannabis grown outdoors is threatened by economically damaging insect pests and pathogens that we know very little about (Figure 1).
• Monitoring the seasonal activity of cannabis insect pests and their associated natural enemies is required to determine peak population pressure and develop effective integrated pest management (IPM) practices

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Epidemiology of Grapevine Red Blotch Virus: A Meta-genomics Approach
Authors: Minh Vua, Tony Wanga, Wendy McFadden-Smith, Debbie Inglis and Sudarsana Poojari
Brock University, OMAFRA

• The Canadian grape and wine industry contributes significantly to Canada’s economy, generating over $9 billion dollars a year with Ontario being the largest contributor of over $4.4 billion. However, the rising epidemics of grapevine viral diseases is posing a serious threat to the industry.
• Grapevine Red Bloch Virus (GRBV), the causative agent of grapevine red blotch disease, is one of the most detrimental viruses, with economic impact up to $65,000 per hectare. Negative impacts of GRBV include, but is not limited to, reduced yield (up to 42%), reduced sugar and other soluble content, delayed ripening, reduced cold-hardiness, reduced vine longevity and alter wine’s flavor profile, resulting in wine of lesser quality.
• GRBV can spread through vegetative propagation (primary transmission) or through an insect vector (secondary transmission). Insect mediated transmission of GRBV in Ontario is still poorly understood, as it depends on various factors like regional insect populations, local flora and environmental conditions. Thus, in order to protect the local vineyards against GRBV, it is critical to understand the disease’s regional epidemiology, specifically the potential viral reservoirs host plants and the possibility of secondary transmission
• In this study, we have used sentinel vines to investigate the possible secondary spread of GRBV. For this we used highly sensitive and comprehensive high throughput sequencing (HTS) technology complemented with viral enrichment via double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) to screen grapevine viruses in and around a GRBV affected vineyard.

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Tomato Defenders: Evaluating Two Native PredatoryDicyphus Species as Novel Biocontrol Agents on Tomato Crop
Authors: Paige Desloges Baril, Lauren Des Marteaux, Rose Labbé, and Sherah Vanlaerhoven

Despite being one of the most produced vegetables in Ontario, growers still face the introduction and control of invasive pests. One species of concern is the tomato leafminer moth, Tuta absoluta
T. absoluta can decimate tomato crops
• Management tools are limited
• The range is expanding northward

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Putting Pressure on a Pepper Pest: How Jaliscoa hunteri Can Suppress the Pepper Weevil
Authors: Serena Leo, Cynthia Scott-Dupree, Roselyne Labbé
University of Guelph, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The pepper weevil (PW) is an economically damaging pest of pepper plants. It has a cryptic lifestyle with many of its life stages hidden inside of peppers. Consequently, insecticidal control is difficult. Jaliscoa hunteri is a parasitoid wasp which parasitizes PW and occurs in Canada. Past field studies show J. hunteri can reduce the number of PW infested fruit in field trials. Though it has great potential, studies on how the parasitoid searches for and what factors influence J. hunteri’s parasitism on PW is not clear.

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Better Disease Control with Fewer Sprays? Validating the Applicability of a Decision Support System in Ontario Vineyards
Authors: Bingyao Guo, Wendy McFadden-Smith, Sara Elisabetta Legler, Jim Willwerth
Brock University, OMAFRA

Downy mildew and powdery mildew are two common fungal diseases that can cause damage on grapevines and/or wine produced. In Ontario, fungicides are usually sprayed by following calendar-based schedule to control disease development. In order to reduce the risk of using excessive fungicides and better control the disease, disease models have been adapted to create decision support systems (DSS). is an expert system which was designed for vineyard management. The disease models in simulate the development of the pathogens and process involved in infection cycles using information about the biology of the pathogens and forecast weather. Growers can make spray decisions by checking the disease risk forecast, and residual protection from the latest spray based on “dashboards” of forecast infection risk and fungicide protection and forecast suitability of weather for spray applications created by We evaluated this expert system in 2020 and 2021 at the same sites.

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Development of Maillard Reaction-associated Compounds in Sparkling Wine with Different Dosage Sugar-types
Authors: Hannah Charnock, Gary Pickering, Belinda Kemp
Brock University

In this study, we investigated the influence of six dosage sugar-types in traditional method sparkling wine, and compared these results to zero-dosage wines (control without sugar addition) over an 18-month ageing period. Glucose, fructose, sucrose (cane-derived), sucrose (beet-derived), maltose, and rectified concentrated grape must (RCGM; approx. 1:1 glucose: fructose) were assessed as dosage sugars.

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The Sterile Insect Technique: A Novel Tool for Control of Pepper Weevil in Greenhouse Pepper Crops
Authors: Jacob Basso, Roselyne Labbé, Cynthia Scott-Dupree
University of Guelph, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The pepper weevil (PW; Anthonomus eugenii Cano) is a major pest of greenhouse and field pepper crops. Pepper weevil larvae feed on the insides of pepper fruit leading to premature fruit drop, which can cause yield losses upwards of 50% in severe infestations. The Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) is an established genetic strategy applied to control a diversity of insect pests worldwide. By releasing a large number of gamma (γ) or x-ray irradiated and sterilized male insects into infested areas, these individuals mate with wild females, which then produce non-viable eggs. This can result in a dramatic reduction or even eradication of a pest within a single generation. The goals of this research were to; a) determine the dose of gamma-radiation needed to achieve 100% sterilization of male and female PW, and b) assess the impacts of irradiation on adult longevity as well as other fitness parameters.

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Monitoring Spotted Lanternfly in Ontario, 2021
Authors: Karlie Haining and Wendy McFadden-Smith
Brock University, OMAFRA

• Invasive insect species from Asia
• Identified in 2014 in Pennsylvania
• Established populations in several US states
• Excellent “hitchhiker” with egg masses laid on wide range of surfaces – rail cars, tractor trailers, wheel wells, campers, shipping materials
• 60 hosts identified including roses, black walnut, grapevines, and tree of heaven
• Tree of heaven is preferred host for most of life cycle
• Feeds on sugars in phloem
• Heavy infestation resulted in yield and quality loss, and grapevine death

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Physicochemical and Nutritional Characterization of Sour Cherry Cultivars Grown in Ontario
Authors: Prabhjot Kaur, Jayasankar Subramanian, Ashutosh Singh
University of Guelph

• Ontario produces 84% of the total cherries grown in Canada, of which generating farm gate value of$7.425 millions for sour cherry.
• Sour cherries are mostly consumed in processed products while only a small portion is used for fresh consumption.
• Sour cherries provide various health benefits such as alleviate arthritis and gout pain, reduces the risk of cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
• There are no specific studies available on the physicochemical and nutritional characteristics of the sour cherry cultivars grown in Ontario.

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Utility of Mushroom-Derived Chitosan as a Fining Agent in Sparkling Wine Juice
Authors: Jacob Medeiros, Gary Pickering, Belinda Kemp
Brock University

• Chitosan, an analog of chitin, is a structural polymer found in crustacean exoskeletons and fungal cell walls
• Recently, chitosan has been commercialized for use in winemaking as an antimicrobial and clarification agent
• In model wine solutions, chitosan has been found to reduce polyphenol and metal content – thereby contributing to a reduction in non-enzymatic browning
• Currently, there are few studies that focus on the use of fungi-derived chitosan in winemaking applications, and none that have tested the compound on grape must.

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Regular Posters

Investigations on the Timing of Fruit Infection by Colletotrichum fioriniae Causing Bitter Rot of Apple.
University of Guelph, OMAFRA

Bitter rot is an emerging disease in Ontario apple orchards. Colletotrichum fioriniae is the prevalent pathogen causing this disease in Ontario. The hemibiotrophic life cycle of this pathogen allows it to live in host cells with no visible symptoms before inducing cell death leading to visible symptoms. This mechanism of infection leads to the sudden appearance of symptoms on apple fruit, especially in storage. The cryptic nature of this pathogen makes it challenging to control since the timing of fruit infection is not known under Ontario conditions. This project is focused on determining the timing of fruit infection and the results reported here are from the work completed in 2020 growing season.

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Investigating the Role of Root Lesion Nematodes in Ginseng
University of Guelph

Plant parasitic nematodes (PPNs) have a major direct and indirect impact on ginseng yield and quality. PPN damage can render ginseng roots unmarketable leading to estimated yield losses of 10% and an estimated industry-wide loss of $37 million in revenue annually. Additionally, due to the damage of PPN, an estimated 36% of the total marketable roots are sold at a lower value.

Among PPNs, root knot nematodes have been previously reported to cause damage on ginseng roots. Some studies from other countries have indicated the damage due to root lesion nematodes (RLNs) but there is limited information available for the role of this nematode in Ontario-grown ginseng. This project is focused on determining the role of root lesion nematode (Pratylenchus sp.) on ginseng.

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Do We Know What is in Our Own Backyard? Native V. riparia Rootstocks for the Norfolk Sand Plain
Authors: K.H. Fisher and A. Rahemi
University of Guelph, Virginia State University

The use of specific rootstocks is proposed as a means of mitigating winter injury susceptibility and thus production variability in the Norfolk sand plains. Results from two years (2020, 2021) point to Riparia Gloire de Montpellier (RGM) as potentially size controlling with good yield and good cropping balance (Ravaz index >6). Cold tolerance, as measured by LT50 using differential thermal analysis, is also greater with RGM in fall and mid-winter for Pinot noir and Cabernet franc, but less in spring, as expected. Fifteen new selections of V. riparia (native Ontario wild vines), with Pinot noir as the scion, are also being tested for the same parameters, with spring de-acclimation of particular interest. Data is preliminary.

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