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Proposal By: Vanessa Paz-Barreiras, Andrew Lam, Mahad Omar & Daniela Araujo Department of Chemistry and Biology, Ryerson University.

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Presentation on theme: "Proposal By: Vanessa Paz-Barreiras, Andrew Lam, Mahad Omar & Daniela Araujo Department of Chemistry and Biology, Ryerson University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Proposal By: Vanessa Paz-Barreiras, Andrew Lam, Mahad Omar & Daniela Araujo Department of Chemistry and Biology, Ryerson University

2 The Blueberry & Canada Berry cultivation- the growing industry in Canada  British Columbia houses more than twenty-five thousand acres worth of berry crops  $153 million in cash receipts from harvest-on-schedule-for-mid-july BRITISH COLUMBIA AGRIFOOD INDUSTRY YEAR IN REVIEW. (2013, January 1). Ministry of Agriculture.

3 Spotted Wing Drosophila- the menace to blueberry crops SWD is an invasive pest that feeds on more than 20 different types of berry plant species Female SWDs use a serrated ovipositor to pierce and deposit their eggs into berry flesh Most active when fruits begin to ripe and change colours Walsh, D et. al (2011). Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae): Invasive Pest of Ripening Soft Fruit Expanding Its Geographic Range and Damage Potential. Journal of Integrated Pest Management,Entomological Society of America, 1-8

4  Infestations are characterized by softening in the area of feeding, fruit collapse, and the formation of tiny holes  Rapid spread attributed to a short incubation time of two weeks and female flies can deposit up to a hundred eggs per day. Isaacs, R. (2011). First Detection and Response to the Arrival of Spotted Wing Drosophila in Michigan. NEWSLETTER of the MICHIGAN ENTOMOLOGICAL SOCIETY, 56,

5 Pest Control Strategies  Insecticides are a common method of management that targets female D. suzukii  Contributes to overall environmental pollution, a loss of biodiversity and contamination of city effluent  New Strategy: to incorporate the use of Genomics to develop an alternative method of pest control!

6 SWD’s attraction to ripening blueberries  SWD are attracted to ripened berries because of the distinctive smell and colour changes associated with ripening.  The Goal: breeding berry plants with altered physical properties, namely changing the colour of their skin.  Knowing that the blue colour of blueberries is due to the presence of anthocyanin, a gene will be introduced and prevent blue colouration; the resulting white blueberries will resemble their unripe forms.

7 Using Genomics to Improve the Natural Resource Process  Gene Insertion and the Agrobacterium Transformation System will be used common genomic tool in which the material from one chromosome is inserted into another non-homologous chromosome  Electroporation will then be used to transport the modified plasmids back into the Agrobacteria cells  modified plasmids containing the pigment inhibiting gene will be delivered & incorporated into the bacteria genome Gelvin, S. (2003). Agrobacterium-Mediated Plant Transformation: The Biology behind the “Gene-Jockeying” Tool. American Society for Microbiology, 67, Retrieved from

8 Agrobacterium tumefaciens

9 Napoli, C., Lemieux, C., & Jorgensen, R. (1990). Introduction of a Chimeric Chalcone Synthase Gene into Petunia Results in Reversible Co-Suppression of Homologous Genes in trans. American Society of Plant Biologists, 2(4), Retrieved from

10 Impact to Canada- Goals of the Experiment  To reduce the reliance of chemical pesticides & increase crop yields previously dampened by pests and diseases  Reducing the probability of pest infestations by altering characteristic blue peel in ripe blueberries, to resemble their unripe stages Lohachoompol, V., Srzednicki, G., & Craske, J. (2004). The Change of Total Anthocyanins in Blueberries and Their Antioxidant Effect After Drying and Freezing. BioMed Research International, Retrieved from /content/2/4/279.short

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