André Laroche Ph.D.

Image André Laroche
Research Scientist in Functional Genomics of Cereals


I am a plant molecular biologist with activities in identification of novel stripe rust resistance genes, in modification of a known defeated stripe rust resistance genes to engineer its functionality against novel isolates of stripe rust, in measuring wheat transcripts when modifying circadian clock genes in wheat toward improving its response to abiotic stresses under a climate change reality and in pyramiding a collection of different disease resistance genes in elite winter wheat germplasm using marker assisted selection.

Current research and/or projects

I use molecular genetic techniques to study plant response to fungal pathogens and to to environment, plant development and organization of plant fungal pathogens toward protecting yield of cereal crops.  

Upcycling a defeated R gene of wheat, 2019-22      

Circadian clock editing in wheat-ccWheat, 2019-23

Stomata signalling for wheat yield, 2019-23

A3GP disease forecasting, 2019-22                              

Nanocarrier technology for cereal seed treat, 2019-22

Improved Winter Wheat for Western Canada, 2018-23

Crop and Environment Interactions, 2018-21

Fungal and Bacterial Biosystematics, 2019-24

Research and/or project statements

  • Modification of known genes to improve cereal resistance against pests and abiotic stress
  • Identification of novel genes to improve cereal resistance to pathogens
  • Identification and quantification of crop pathogens using highly sensitive and specific techniques
  • Pyramiding many different disease resistance genes in elite winter wheat germplasm
  • Participating in mutlidisciplinary teams to improve diagnostic of pest impact on crops

Professional activities / interests

  • Cereal interaction with fungal pathogens
  • Cereal development and interaction with environment
  • Transcriptome analysis and gene identification of plant interactions with pathogens and environment
  • Training of undergraduate and graduate students in plant molecular genetics


Education and awards

Ph.D. 1987 Plant Sciences Western

M.Sc. 1983 Biology (Plant Physiology & Biochemistry) Sherbrooke

B.Sc. 1979 Biology (Physiology & Biochemistry) Sherbrooke


1989 - present: Wheat Molecular Geneticist, Lethbridge Research & Development Centre. Functional genomics of cereals.


1992 - present: Adjunct Professor, Department Of Biological Sciences (1992-1997 and 2005-present), Department Of Chemistry And Biochemistry (1997-2005), University of Lethbridge.


1987 - 1989: Visiting Fellow with Dr. J. Singh, Plant Research Centre, AAFC Ottawa. Molecular mechanisms of freezing tolerance in members of the Cruciferae

International experience and/or work

  • Co-supervisor of International Graduate Students

Key publications

  1. Michele Frick, Eric Amundsen, André Laroche. 2022. Distinguishing Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici isolates using genomic sequencing: A case study. Methods in Molecular Biology (In Press)

    2022 - View publication details

  2. Laurie JD, Laroche A. 2021. COP26 Open Mic. Alberta Project Leads Science Conversations Series – Climate Change Focus. December 15, 2021.

    2021 - View publication details

  3. Harvey C, Araujo GT, Frick M, Laroche A, Laurie JD, Graf RJ, Bilichak A. A genetic approach to improve wheat resilience to emerging stripe rust isolates using novel R gene sequences from Thinopyrum intermedium. Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Meeting (Virtual) of the Plant Pathology Society of Alberta, Edmonton, AB 2021/11/04 - 2020/11/05. Oral presentation T1.

    2021 - View publication details

  4. Thirugnanasambandam I, Vucurevich T, Shelton T, Watt C, Kav N, Laroche A. Validation of polyclonal antibodies against fungal pathogens of wheat: tan spot and Fusarium head blight. Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Meeting (Virtual) of the Plant Pathology Society of Alberta, Edmonton, AB 2021/11/04 - 2020/11/05. Oral presentation S7.

    2021 - View publication details

  5. Frick M, Bodell K, Masic T, Harvey C, Cradduck M, Jiang F, Foroud F, Graf RJ, Laurie JD, Laroche A. 2021. The circadian clock and regulation of plant growth factors in wheat Plant Biology 2021 Worldwide Summit Virtual Meeting. Poster # 404377

    2021 - View publication details

  6. Frick M, Bodell K, Masic T, Harvey C, Cradduck M, Jiang F, Foroud F, Graf RJ, Laurie JD, Laroche A. 2021. Identification of circadian clock regulated immune response genes in wheat. Canadian Society of Plant Biologists – Société canadienne de biologie végétale 2021 Virtual Meeting. Invited Oral presentation Abstract #101

    2021 - View publication details

  7. Thirugnanasambandam I, Vucurevich T, Shelton T, Watt C, Kav N, Laroche A. 2021. Development of a multiplex real-time immuno-PCR assay for the simultaneous detection of three wheat fungal pathogens. Fifth Annual Graduate Research Symposium (virtual) Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences (ALES) Graduate Students Association (GSA), University of Alberta, March 29-30, 2021. Poster

    2021 - View publication details

  8. Laurie JD, Laroche A. 2021. The circadian clock in the time of changing climate: Using biotechnology to accelerate wheat adaptation. Alberta Project Leads Science Conversations Series – Climate Change Focus. February 10, 2021.

    2021 - View publication details

  9. M. Frick, G.T. Araujo, K. Fujita, D. Van Essen, C. Harvey, J.D. Laurie, R.J. Graf and A. Laroche. 2021. Remodeling the functionality of the stripe rust resistance gene Yr10 against current virulent fungal isolates. UBC-STEM Appreciation Night, January 21, 2021.

    2021 - View publication details

  10. Araujo, G.T., Amundsen, E., Frick, M., Gaudet, D.A., Aboukhaddour, R., Selinger, B., Thomas, J., Laroche, A. (2021). Detection and quantification of airborne spores from six important wheat fungal pathogens in southern Alberta. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology, [online] 43(3), 439-454.

    2021 - View publication details

  11. Wei, C., Fan, R., Meng, Y., Yang, Y., Wang, X., Laroche, A., Liu, D., Zhao, W., Yu, X. (2020). Molecular identification and acquisition of interacting partners of a novel wheat F-box/Kelch gene TaFBK. Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology, [online] 112

    2020 - View publication details

  12. Smith MB, Ryabova D, Roy S, Tricker P, Lawson T, Laurie J, Laroche A,*Foroud NA. Cloning a mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase YODA from Triticum aestivum for transgenic expression in wheat. 41st Annual Meeting of the Plant Pathology Society of Alberta. On-line meeting, November 4-5, 2020. (Poster Presentation)

    2020 - View publication details

  13. Li, H., Wei, C., Meng, Y., Fan, R., Zhao, W., Wang, X., Yu, X., Laroche, A., Kang, Z., Liu, D. (2020). Identification and expression analysis of some wheat F-box subfamilies during plant development and infection by Puccinia triticina. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, [online] 155 535-548.

    2020 - View publication details

  14. Zaidi, M.A., O’Leary, S.J.B., Gagnon, C., Chabot, D., Wu, S., Hubbard, K., Tran, F., Sprott, D., Hassan, D., Vucurevich, T., Sheedy, C., Laroche, A., Gleddie, S., Robert, L.S. (2020). A triticale tapetal non-specific lipid transfer protein (nsLTP) is translocated to the pollen cell wall. Plant Cell Reports, [online] 39(9), 1185-1197.

    2020 - View publication details

  15. Geddes G. 2020. Research, Review, Repeat: When farmers have questions about how to improve crop quality and yields, researchers can usually help to find the answers. Better Farming May/June Issue p.12-18.

    2020 - View publication details

  16. Laroche A, Singer S, Foroud N, Laurie J, Pittman A. 2020. Modern studies in Crop Sciences / Études Contemporaines chez les Grandes Cultures. Lethbridge AgExpo 2020, Lethbridge, AB, February 26-28, 2020.

    2020 - View publication details

  17. Graf, R.J., Larsen, R.J., Beres, B.L., Aboukhaddour, R., Laroche, A., Randhawa, H.S., Foroud, N.A. (2020). AAC network hard red winter wheat. Canadian Journal of Plant Science, [online] 100(6), 737-746.

    2020 - View publication details

  18. Laroche, André, Michele Frick. 2019. Gene expression regulation in grass, wheat and a fungal pathogen. AAFC Bioinformatics conference and workshop, September 19-20, 2019 - Lethbridge Research Development Centre, AB, Canada.

    2019 - View publication details

  19. Bahrani, H., Thoms, K., Båga, M., Larsen, J., Graf, R., Laroche, A., Sammynaiken, R., Chibbar, R.N. (2019). Preferential accumulation of glycosylated cyanidins in winter-hardy rye (Secale cereale L.) genotypes during cold acclimation. Environmental and Experimental Botany, [online] 164 203-212.

    2019 - View publication details

  20. Mohler-Penna, D., Brown, C., Bourassa, M., Smith, L., Lehmann, M., Lowen, C., Frick, M., Larsen, J. and Laroche, A. 2019. Molecular characterization of a lignin rye mutant. Proceeding of the 10th International Triticale Symposium, Lethbridge, AB, CANADA. July 15-July 18, 2019.

    2019 - View publication details

Research facility

5403 1st Avenue South
Lethbridge, AB T1J 4B1


  Adjunct Professor, Department Of Biological Sciences, University of Lethbridge