B.Sc. University of Guelph;
M.Sc. University of Guelph;
Ph.D. University of Guelph
Phone: 519-824-4120 x. 52792
Fragaria, Rubus breeding, genotype x environment, interspecific hybridization, fall-bearing
Research Interests:The research program focuses on the breeding, genetics and physiology and management of ornamental species. Flowering species native to Canada are the subject of our investigations. Research is also conducted on cultivar testing of potato, interspecific hybrids in Fragaria (strawberry) and viticulture in cool climate region (with Dr. Helen Fisher, Vineland).
Breeding, genetics and physiology of ornamental species. The research program is progressing with financial support from Flowers Canada and OMAFRA-SPS grants. Native flowering species have been identified for continued emphasis in the breeding program. Selections have been made from crossing programs. Germplasm collection continues for candidate species. During breeding selection will emphasize genotypes adapted to low-input environments. To this end, a large study to examine the drought tolerance of Aquilegia species (Columbine) was started with my MSc student. Under three different watering regimes, and two growing cycles extreme differences between species were observed (Clark and Sullivan, 2008). Selections were made within each species and crosses were made. These results have provided a model for the evaluation of other native species for low input environments. This is the first study to provide a quantitative assessment of growth and flowering for the genus and provides a sound basis for parental selection for the breeding program. Net carbon exchange rates and light response curves were produced for other native species. These data will be used as part of our low input system to identify genotypes/species capable of growing well under lower light conditions associated with winter greenhouse production. The influence of native habitat on response to light and water is developing into an important aspect of the project.
Breeding and genetics of strawberry (Fragaria sp) and raspberry (Rubus sp). The work on interspecific hybrids of Fragaria (called Synthetic Octoploids) (Bors and Sullivan, 2005 a, b) has been a significant contribution to germplasm enhancement in understanding Fragaria species. An exclusive licensing agreement is pending with a US breeding company to utilize this germplasm. Unique flavour is an attribute of advanced selections with this germplasm in their parentage. We now believe that this germplasm may be a source of polyphenolics and antioxidant activity. It will be more carefully studied with the funding from AAFC-ABIP program. An invention disclosure has been filed for the Synthetic Octoploids. The Synthetic Octoploids demonstrated heterosis for net carbon exchange rates, vegetative growth and reproductive components. Heterosis in a perennial fruit crop is a major discovery and can be exploited in breeding programs with this germplasm for many traits including phytochemical value.
Two new strawberry cultivars, Clė des Champs and Saint-Laurent d’Orleans, have been released with AAFC at St. Jean, Quebec. These cultivars have high yields with fruit that stores for long periods. This makes both cultivars ideally suited for shipping to the fresh market. In 2006, a new selection SJ942-7 was identified as having excellent performance and fruit quality at several locations in Eastern Canada. A new strawberry cultivar, 2V55 has been disclosed with Adam Dale. It is an early high yielding cultivar with excellent quality.
Two raspberry selections, GU88-18 and GU 88-117 were identified in 2005 and 2006 for potential release after several years of testing in Ontario and Quebec. In 2006, these two selections were determined to have higher levels of antioxidant compounds compared to commonly grown cultivars. This may be exploited as a marketing tool.
Genotype by Environment Interactions and Cultivars Testing in Potato. Results from Ian Affleck’s thesis have significant implications for potato breeding, quality and yield stability. Cultivars with a high percentage of medium sized tubers had the highest yield stability. This has implications for selection for yield components during breeding. The tuber sugar levels during development could be used to predict post-harvest storage quality. Using this type of information the industry could determine which potatoes have the greatest potential to maintain high quality during storage. This study also identified those cultivars/selections that could be processed for high quality French fries in Ontario. In 2007, a large study was completed that assessed the nutritional quality of Ontario grown potatoes. There was significant variation for nutritional components (eg. Protein, fiber, vitamins, etc) due to cultivar and location. The Ontario Potato Board is now using this information to promote the health aspects of potatoes. These results will be combined with the collaborations with Harvey Anderson’s research (Univ. of Toronto) on short-term food intake, satiety and glycemic index for potato consumption.
The cultivar/selection testing program has provided consistent data used to identify new cultivars for the Ontario (and Eastern Canada) potato industry. The new cultivars have brought new standards of quality and yield to the Ontario grower.
Undergraduate Teaching Activities:
- HORT*4420 - Fruit Crops
- AGR*4010 - Special Studies in Agriculture II, Belize
- HORT*4900 - Plant Agriculture Special Project I
Graduate Teaching Activities:
- HORT*6500 - Seminar
- HORT*6220 - Advanced Studies in Pomology
Dr. Sullivan chairs committees on curriculum development, awards, and admissions and progress within the Department of Plant Agriculture. He is currently Chair of the Board of Graduate Studies within the University.Currently seeking graduate students in the following areas:
- Characterization of synthetic octoploids in Fragaria.
- Introgression of synthetic octoploids into cultivated strawberry (Fragaria ananassa Duschene)
For further information please visit: http://www.plant.uoguelph.ca/research/potato/
Affleck, I., J.A. Sullivan, R. Tarn, and D.E. Falk. (2008). Genotype by environment effect on yield and quality of potato. Can. J. Pl. Sci. (in press).
Ehsani-Moghaddam, B., S. Khanizadeh, and J.A. Sullivan. (2008). Biochemical components of advanced selections and raspberry cuiltoivars. Can. J. Pl. Sci. 8(1):175-178.
Bors, R.H. and J.A. Sullivan. (2005). Interspecific hybridization of Fragaria moschata with two diploid species, F. nubicola and F. viridis. Euphytica 143:201-207.
Bors, R.H. and J.A. Sullivan. (2005). Interspecific hybridization of Fragaria vesca subspecies with F. nilgerrensis, F. nubicola, F. pentaphylla and F. viridis. J. Am. Soc. Hort. Sci. 130(3):418-423.
Harbut, R., and J.A. Sullivan. (2004). Breeding potential of lower ploidy Fragaria species. J. Am. Pomological Soc. 58(1):37-41. Hedrick Award
Sullivan, J.A., Weikai Yan and J.P. Privé. (2002). Genotype/genotype x environment biplot analysis for cultivar evaluation and mega-environment investigation in primocane-fruiting red raspberry. J. Am. Soc. Hort. Sci. 127(5).
Percival, D.C., J.T.A. Proctor and J.A. Sullivan. (2001). Cultivar differences in carbon assimilation and partitioning of primocane-fruiting raspberry during the establishment year. J. Am. Pomological Soc. 55:82-89.
Sangiacomo, M.A. and J.A. Sullivan. (1994). Introgression of wild species into the cultivated strawberry using synthetic octoploids. Theor. Appl. Genet. 88(2):349-354.