Corncob Silks Could Have Crop Protection Powers, U of G Researchers Discover

That silky, gold-coloured tuft you normally discard along with your corncob husks is worth more than you think.

For the first time, an Alliance research team has shown corn silks naturally contain diverse microbes, a finding that may point to a new strategy to protect the cob from fungal infections.

Their discovery of this corn silk microbiome may help improve breeding and farming practices to avert costly and harmful fungal outbreaks, protect one of the world’s three most important food crops and increase food security globally.

Gryphon statue on the U of G campus

Introducing the 2021 Gryphon’s LAAIR grant recipients

Since 2014, the Gryphon’s LAAIR (Leading to the Accelerated Adoption of Innovative Research) program has offered researchers who identify market potential in their agri-food inventions an opportunity to understand how their ideas can contribute to Ontario’s $37 billion agri-food industry.

Social Media Prove a Reliable Predictor of COVID-19 Waves: U of G Study

A veterinary and computer science research team led by professors Dr. Rozita Dara (School of Computer Science) and Dr. Shayan Sharif (Department of Pathobiology) has developed a system using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to detect outbreak locations and predict infectious diseases’ capacity to spread further.

Originally focused on tracking global outbreaks of avian influenza, the research has recently expanded to use social media to predict waves of COVID-19.

Conceptual image of cows in a barn with data icons pointing to sensors on the cow and equipment

Join us for a webinar on harvesting data at Ontario's agri-food research centres

Join University of Guelph researchers on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. for a webinar on harvesting data at Ontario's agri-food research centres. The panel will focus on the new research station data access portal at the Elora Research Station and discuss how new data resources are being used to inform and advance dairy and beef research. Register here.

New growth: Hands holding soil that is sprouting a seedling.

Projects funded by the Alliance in 2020

Research funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance solves real-world challenges and yields meaningful innovations that contribute to the success of the province’s agri-food sector and promote rural economic development throughout Ontario. See the list of projects that were approved in 2020 for Alliance programs.

Illustration of the future Ontario Swine Research Centre with one large central barn and one smaller barn connected via a hallway to either side of it.

Update on the Ontario Swine Research Centre

The University of Guelph, in partnership with the Government of Ontario and the Ontario swine industry, is overseeing the construction of a new swine research centre at the Elora Research Station. The new centre will enhance existing capacity for research, innovation and development of new technology. The tender has been issued and construction expected to begin this year. Read more about the project underway >

Return to the LAAIR campaign image noting date: May 19, 2021 and time: 1 p.m. EDT

Gryphon's LAAIR Innovation Showcase and Pitch Competition returns May 19

The University of Guelph's Research Innovation Office will highlight innovative companies that had their genesis in the Gryphon's LAAIR (Leading to the Accelerated Adoption of Innovative Research) program. On May 19, a team of international judges will decide which contestant will win $10,000, and starting at noon on Friday, May 15, everyone will have a chance to vote for the People’s Choice Award – worth $2,500. Voting will close at 12:59 p.m. EDT on May 19.