Vineland, ON – Three new research scientists have joined Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. Dr Bernard Goyette, post-harvest technologies, Dr Valerio Primomo, vegetable breeder, and Dr Anissa Poleatewich, plant pathology, bring their respective research expertise and experience to Vineland.
“So much of horticulture is focused on the fresh market,” said Dr Jim Brandle, Vineland CEO. “Having a differentiated product particularly with healthy, local or sustainable attributes is essential to meeting market demand and creating a favourable price point for the grower. The work of Dr Goyette, Dr Primomo and Dr Poleatewich in areas of storage, handling, packaging, biocontrol and variety breeding will also positively influence the national discussion on Canadian food security and food sovereignty.”
Dr Goyette previously worked with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. He is concerned with post-harvest handling including pre-cooling, storage and packaging to maximize quality. He is also studying the effects of physical treatments on vegetables to enhance quality attributes of fresh produce. Initial work in tomatoes has proven highly successful in increasing levels of lycopene.
Dr Primomo comes from Pioneer Hi-Bred as a molecular breeder for several crops. At Vineland he will deliver germplasm, varieties and traits to the vegetable industry that will have commercial value to Canadian growers. He will begin his work with an assessment of worldwide breeding programs and genetic seed banks that could have value for breeding varieties adapted to Canadian growing regions.
Dr Poleatewich comes from Penn State University. Her research will include development of biocontrols and other alternatives to chemical pesticides for control of plant diseases and weeds with an emphasis on integrated pest management in vegetable, fruit and ornamental crops grown in Ontario. Diseases in these crops continue to be a major challenge for growers. She will start work immediately in assessing plant pathogen threats to local varieties of ethno-cultural vegetables, and more broadly diseases in storage.