Enhancing the Beneficial Root Microbiome in Canola

Agronomic Practices 
Start Date
End Date
Principal Investigator
Chantal Hamel - AAFC (Swift Current)
Luke Bainard - AAFC (Quebec), Marc St-Arnaud - Institut de recherche en biologie végétale, Mohamed Hiriji - Université de Montréal, Chih-Ying Lay - Institut de recherche en biologie végétale
MCGA Funding
Total Project Funding
External Funding Partners
SaskCanola, Alberta Canola
Project Ongoing...

Research Objective

  • Study how the canola root microbiome is influenced by different crop rotations on Black and Brown soils
  • Study the efficiency of nitrogen cycling in the soil surrounding canola roots
  • Study and characterize root microbes related to efficient nitrogen use
  • Evaluate the potential of the root microbiome to increase the tolerance to abiotic stress and pathogen pressure

Project Description

Canola plants have a microbiome surrounding their roots that needs to remain healthy for optimal yield and efficiency. This project uses state-of-the-art molecular-based methods in two field experiments to study the canola root microbiome and determine which crop rotation system ensures a strong core microbiome. The best cropping systems and microbes will be identified using yield, functional microbial gene expression, and nitrogen use efficiency as plant performance indicators. Through root microbiome manipulation, this study expects canola yield to increase by at least 7% and N fertilizer efficiency to also increase by 50 to 60%. Other applications of microbiome manipulation include improving soil fertility and plant health, and improves production sustainability. This knowledge will allow the development of tools, biotechnologies, and techniques for the production of high yielding canola crops with reduced fertilizer inputs.

  • Canola Growers Newsletter

    Information & events to help you maximize net income on your farm through sustainable production.



  • Canola Eat Well Newsletter

    Recipes & stories to inspire you in the kitchen & connect you to the farm with Canada’s oil, canola.