Improving the Petunia, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre and the University of Guelph Start First Project Together

    VINELAND, ON, Sept. 10 /CNW/ - Dr. Daryl Somers, Research Director of
Applied Genomics at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre with colleagues
Dr. Theo Blom from the University of Guelph and Wayne Brown from the Ontario
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs will begin work on the
development of new traits for one of Ontario's major ornamental species, the
petunia. This multi-year research program supported by Flowers Canada
(Ontario) and Ball Horticulture Co. sets into motion the Vineland Research and
Innovation Centre, University of Guelph Partnership Agreement, a five year
collaboration centered on industry-driven research priorities for Canadian
    The amount of water petunias require is a problem that causes
difficulties for retailers and unnecessary losses for growers. As Dr. Somers
stated, "Taking a genomics approach we will search for value added traits such
as drought tolerance and reduced dormancy to improve the quality and
production of ornamental species. This research will also position Vineland
Research and Innovation Centre and the University of Guelph for continued
success in breeding of both ornamental and vegetable species."
    "This is an important project to defining Vineland's industry value,"
said Dr. Jim Brandle, CEO, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. "Finding
solutions to horticultural challenges is exactly what drives our science. We
begin by working with industry partners from growers through to retailers to
better understand where the gaps are causing profit loss and frustration. By
utilizing research partnerships we are able to apply leading edge science to
tailor a solution."
    Vineland Research and Innovation Centre and the University of Guelph
concur that research must be responsive to industry in order to foster
innovation and improved competitiveness for Canadian agriculture. "The
University of Guelph is committed to building a research partnership with
Vineland Research and Innovation Centre that makes a difference to
horticultural businesses across the country. We also expect that the science
generated through this agreement will have impact within the international
research community," said Dr. Kevin Hall, VP Research, University of Guelph.

    About Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

    Vineland Research and Innovation Centre is an independent, not-for-profit
organization established as a world-class centre for horticultural science and
innovation. In its capacity to enable and foster relationships with industry,
academia and government, Vineland works to deliver premium horticultural
products and production innovations. Vineland brings a global perspective to
the horticulture industry and offers a broad range of lasting benefits both
locally and internationally. Vineland's research priorities align with
industry needs and its outcomes focus on the growth of the entire horticulture

For further information:

For further information: Isabel Dopta, Director, Stakeholder Relations,
Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, (905) 562-0320, Ext. 791,,

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Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

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