wheat field


Genomic Approaches to Mitigate Fungal Threats to Crops (GeM-FTC). Fungal diseases threaten ecosystems and crops globally.Projects range from investigating genomic interactions of fungal disease causing agents, and the crops they infect, to the development of niche market products for Ontario farmers.


Under the lead of Dr. Saville, we have 1 Postdoctoral Researcher, 3 Ph.D. Candidates, 2 M.Sc. Candidates, 5 undergraduate students, one Research Technician and one Project Manager working at Trent. We also have postdoctoral fellows in Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Summerland BC, working at Agri-food Canada.


Controlling these pathogens is critical to averting ecological, agricultural and economic disaster.

Continued support of innovative collaboration among Canada's great research minds will provide solutions.

Backgroud of Project

Dr. Barry Saville established a Canada wide collaboration to investigate plant pathogens. This initiative is supported by an Ontario Research Fund Research Excellence award for a project titled Genomic approaches to Mitigate Fungal Threats to Crops (GeM-FTC). This project incorporates advances in genome analysis and builds on Canadian research strengths to pursue advances in knowledge of fungal organisms that cause plant disease.

Pathogens being investigated

There is a world food crisis and the limited global forest resources are under threat. Fungal diseases are a major contributor to this serious situation including their significant impact on crop and forestry losses. Our projects include Common Smut Smut of Corn (Ustilago maydis), Wheat Stem Rust (Puccinia graminis), Wheat Leaf Rust (Puccinia triticina), Sudden Oak Death (Phytophthora ramorum) and Root Rot (Pythium aphanidermatum).

Overall Project objective

The Saville Laboratory along with collaborators are developing groundbreaking methods to help fight the devastating affects of plant pathogens. The sequencing of DNA/RNA of each pathogen will provide a library of knowledge to mitigate plant pathogens. The long-term goal is to minimize economic loss and maximize food security within Canada and worldwide to overcoming potential crisis. Continued funding, research, and collaboration is needed.