Plant Biotechnology Seminar Session: April 16, 2012

The OGIRC was pleased to welcome members of the Department of Plant Biology from Michigan State University to Western on April 16 and 17, 2012.  Dr Robin Buell, Blair Harlan and Brieanne Vaillancourt visited the facilities at Western, were introduced to representatives of our partners from AAFC, the OGGA and OMAFRA, and participated in an afternoon workshop.  The event was well attended and resulted in many thoughtful questions and interesting discussions relating to the workshop presentations.


Dr Dan Brown, OGIRC / Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada  (via Skype)
Germplasm evaluation and improvement of NA ginseng

Dr Di Wu, OGIRC / Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
The transcriptome of NA ginseng root

Dr Robin Buell, Michigan State University
Use of transcriptomics to access recalcitrant genomes of medicinal plant species

Blair Harlan presenting for Dr Mary Hausbeck, Michigan State University
Pathogens that impact ginseng quality and yield


2011 Autumn Retreat


The OGIRC 2011 Autumn Retreat was a two day meeting held on 27 and 28 November at Windermere Manor in London, Ontario.  The Retreat was well attended by 60 or more participants with all Platform Technology Groups represented by researchers, trainees and technicians as well as representatives from our private sector partners.  We were pleased to have many undergraduate and exchange students with us, as well as proud parents.

As the project is in its fourth year, the Retreat focused on up-dates from individual researchers that would provide evidence of what each project has accomplished to date and to help determine where resources need to be directed to meet the objectives and deliverables of the grant by the end of Year 5. 

Sunday’s session consisted of presentations from researchers in the Pre-Clinical, Plant Biotechnology and Agriculture groups.  A poster session featuring ten trainees wrapped up the afternoon and everyone in attendance enjoyed an early evening reception and poster viewing.

Monday began with presentations from researchers in the Safety, Phytochemistry and Advanced Processing groups.  The OGIRC Annual Report - April 2010 to March 2011 - was made available to members to provide them with information prior to the Annual General Meeting (AGM).  The AGM was held just prior to lunch and provided participants with an overview and highlights of Year 3.  Dr. S. Chakrabarti was thanked for his work on the Education & Training Committee, and Dr. P. Charpentier was introduced as the new co-chair of the committee with Dr. Q. Feng.  Reports from Dr. Ed Lui, Scientific Director; Dr. JT Arnason, Chair - Research Committee;  Wendy Ambrose-Hope on behalf of Education and Training (Outreach) Committee and Management Committee (financials) completed the AGM.  Lunch hour provided an opportunity for both OGIRC researchers and trainees to discuss further collaborations and interests.

It was our pleasure to have OGIRC private-sector partners participate in the retreat and to have an opportunity to hear their perspectives through presentations from:  Marvin Karges, Ontario Ginseng Growers’ Association; Megan Thomas, Jamieson Laboratories; and, Keri Wang, A&L Laboratories Canada.  

A second poster session on Monday afternoon featured the work of nine additional trainees.  Posters were viewed during the break and then all trainees were brought together for an informal Question & Answer session ably facilitated by Dr Marica Bakovic.  Trainees gave short summaries of their research, and the group engaged in lively discussion following the summaries.
The full retreat program is available here.