2002 Winner: Innovation in Agricultural Sciences
Understanding Plat Stressors To Improve Crop Health
Dr. Allen Good is a University of Alberta researcher who is helping farmers’ ability to improve their crops through his work to understand how plants adapt to environmental stresses such as drought, pest attacks, disease and nutrient limitation. Dr. Good has patented his technology, published more than 40 research papers, and made numerous presentations across Canada and Australia.
Recognizing that a lack of nitrogen is the most important factor limiting crop growth around the globe, Dr. Good is developing canola with an enhanced ability to use nitrogen. His canola research is supported by grants from NSERC and the Alberta Agricultural Research Institute. His early work focused on flooding stress, and he successfully cloned and characterized a number of genes that protect plants during floods. His current work involves using genetic engineering to increase stress tolerance in plants.
Recently, through his work on plant response to fungi and insect pests, Dr. Good has identified a number of DNA markers that are closely linked to a single dominant gene for blackleg resistance in canola. He is now in the process of cloning the gene based on its map location. With his considerable foresight in using biotechnology to reduce the amount of chemicals used by the agriculture industry, Dr. Good’s work will continue to benefit farmers not only in Alberta, but also around the world.