Funding Program

Canadian Agriculture Partnership AgriScience Program – Horticulture 3 Cluster led by the Canadian Horticultural Council

Funding Sources

Principal Investigator and Collaborators

  • PI: Dr. Mario Tenuta (Professor of Applied Soil Ecology, University of Manitoba)
  • Khalil Al-Mughrabi (Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries)
  • Ryan Barrett (Prince Edward Island Potato Board)
  • Sebastian Ibarra (PEI Department of Agriculture and Fisheries)
  • Katrina Jordan (University of Guelph)
  • Mathuresh Singh (Agricultural Certification Services)
  • Dmytro Yevtushenko (University of Lethbridge)
  • Herve van der Heyden (Phytodata)
  • Dahu Chen (lead for AAFC team, Fredericton Research and Development Centre)
  • Tanya Arseneault (AAFC – Saint-Jean-sur Richelieu Research and Development Centre)
  • Louis-Pierre Comeau (AAFC – Fredericton Research and Development Centre)
  • Claudia Goyer (AAFC – Fredericton Research and Development Centre)
  • Benjamin Mimee (AAFC – Saint-Jean-sur Richelieu Research and Development Centre)
  • Oscar Molina (AAFC – Morden Research and Development Centre)
  • Judith Nyiraneza (AAFC – Charlottetown Research and Development Centre)
  • Cameron Wagg (AAFC – Fredericton Research and Development Centre)


This research program aims to reduce the severity of Potato Early Dying (PED), a major yield-limiting factor in all major potato production areas of Canada, by providing potato growers with the knowledge, tools and technologies to manage PED, and increase potato productivity and profitability in Canada.


The CanPEDnet research program consists of twelve projects, each with their own objectives. These projects aim to:

  1. Determine the species and population levels of the major causal agents of PED, that is Verticillium and root lesion nematode, in commercial potato fields and their impact on PED disease symptoms and yield
  2. Characterize isolates of V. dahliae and V. albo-atrum from the major potato producing provinces in Canada obtained in Project 1 for aggressiveness to cause PED in cv. Russet Burbank
Microsclerotia of Verticillium dahliae.
  1. Identify parasitic nematodes to the species level in major potato production provinces of Canada and determine if the population of Pratylenchus penetrans is genetically homogenous or if sub-populations​ could be related to PED disease symptoms
The root lesion nematode Pratylenchus penetrans
  1. Determine the population levels, distribution and co-distribution of other soil-borne diseases associated with the PED complex
  1. Validate the standardized polymerase chain reaction (PCR) protocol developed in Growing Forward 2 for quantification of Verticillium‘s deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in soil
  2. Develop a high through-put DNA-based platform for quantification of soil-borne pathogens using large sample sizes
  3. Assess the potential to control PED through newly registered fungicide and nematicide disease control products applied alone or in combination
  1. Assess the potential to control PED through improved cropping systems,
  2. Develop a cropping system whereby fields with heavy PED disease pressure are brought to high levels of sustained productivity through a one-time only fumigation followed by soil building practices
  1. Evaluate selected PED control practices at the field-scale in commercial fields to obtain realistic estimates of the benefits of these practices to growers, to identify any practical limitations to the implementation of these practices, and to demonstrate the use of these practices to other growers
  2. Assess 1) which properties of soil health (physical, chemical or biological) correlate with PED pathogen populations and disease severity in the major potato production regions of Canada (Project 1); and 2) how improved cropping systems and soil management practices (Projects 8 and 9) influence soil properties, as measured by soil health assessment, in relation to PED control
  1. Obtain samples from field sites for future studies characterizing soil microbial, fungal and micro-arthropod​ community responses to management practices used to control PED

Photo Gallery

Welcome to the Applied Soil Ecology Lab at the University of Manitoba