Benoît Bizimungu, PhD

Image BENOIT BIZIMUNGU
Research Scientist

Curator, Canadian Potato Gene Resources

  • genetic variation
  • in vitro culture
  • cultivar development
  • selection
  • breeding systems
  • plant breeding / reproduction
  • potato
  • selection assisted by DNA markers

Current research and/or projects

  • Development and release to industry of new potato selections for processing and fresh markets, with improved resistances to diseases and pests, and adapted to irrigated production systems.
  • Development and release to industry of new potato selections for processing and fresh markets, with improved resistances to diseases and pests, and adapted to rain-fed production systems.
  • Development of 'High Quality Oat' for western Canada
  • Marker-assisted selection of cold temperature stability
  • Western Potato consortium Project A - Variety Development

Key publications

  1. Bizimungu, B. and Browne, S. 2024. Potato Gene Resources Newsletter 2023/2024, No. 30, 26 p. ISSN No. 1496-497X. AAFC No. 13194E Catalogue no. A47-8E-PDF

    2024 - View publication details

  2. Genome-wide association studies revealed diploid potatoes with climate-resilient traits

    2024 - View publication details

  3. https://agbio.usask.ca/soilsncrops/

    2024 - View publication details

  4. INV-20290 - Drought resistance genes in diploid potatoes

    2023 - View publication details

  5. INV-20301 - Non browning gene-edited potatoes

    2023 - View publication details

  6. Potato Greening through ‘omics approaches

    2023 - View publication details

  7. Diploid potatoes in changing climate biotic and abiotic challenges

    2023 - View publication details

  8. De Koeyer, D., R. Morgan, E. Fava, K. Gardner, B. Bizimungu, and H. Tai. 2023. Genomic prediction and association analysis in the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Potato Breeding Program. p. 33. In: Northeast Potato Technology Forum 2023 Conspectus. March 21-22, Fredericton, NB

    2023 - View publication details

  9. Bizimungu, B. 2023. Development of a core collection of heirloom and heritage potato varieties for use in breeding, research and education. Conspectus of the 2023 Northeast Potato Technology Forum, Fredericton, New Brunswick, March 21-22, 2023 (Abstract).

    2023 - View publication details

  10. Bizimungu, B. and Steeves, S. 2023. Potato Gene Resources Newsletter 2022/2023, No. 29, 22p.ISSN No. 1496-497X AAFC No. 13157E Catalogue no. A47-8E-PDF .

    2023 - View publication details

  11. Bizimungu, B. 2023. Biodiversity of bioactive compounds in potato- a member of the Solanaceae family. International Plant and Animal Genome-PAG30, January 13-18, 2023, San Diego, CA, USA (Abstract).

    2023 - View publication details

  12. De Koeyer, D., B. Bizimungu, M. Antoun, L. Jewell, E. Fava, and R. Morgan. 2022. The use of genetic resistance to control potato wart caused by Synchytrium endobioticum – a Canadian perspective. Canadian Society of Horticultural Science Annual Meeting, August 19-20, 2022 Halifax, NS

    2022 - View publication details

  13. Fighting against potato greening
    Louis G. Sebarese LG1, Mohsin Zaidi1, Christian Lacroix2, Fatima Mitterboek3, Benoit Bizimungu3, and Bourlaye Fofana1
    1Charlottetown Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 440 University Avenue, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, C1A 4N6, Canada
    2University of Prince Edward Island, 550 University Avenue, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, C1A 4P3, Canada
    3Fredericton Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Fredericton, New Brunswick, E3B 4Z7, Canada
    Potato is the largest vegetable crop in Canada, with an export value of $1.8B in 2019. As a major food source, potato nutritional quality and safety are critical for the public health. Potato greening, also known as potato sunburn, causes 2-3% loss at the farm gate and up to 17% during postharvest and retail storage. It results from a de novo synthesis of chlorophyll in the cortical parenchyma cells under the periderm after light exposure and leads to a simultaneous formation of toxic steroidal glycoalkaloids (SGAs). Whereas chlorophyll itself is not a health hazard, SGAs are toxic to humans and animals. Development of potato cultivars that are resistant to light-induced greening is a viable strategy for an economic and environmental sustainability. We will present and discuss our approach and preliminary results towards an understanding of the tuber greening phenomenon in potato.

    2022 - View publication details

  14. Mutational Genetics In Diploid Potato In The CRISPR Era
    Fofana, B.*1, A. Somalraju1, D. Main1, M. Zaidi1, B. Bizimungu2
    1Charlottetown Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 440 University Avenue, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, C1A 4N6, Canada; 2Fredeicton Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 95 Innovation Road, PO Box 20280, Fredericton, NB E3B 4Z7
    Cultivated potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is the fourth most consumed food crop after rice wheat and maize. Cultivated potato is a clonally propagated, autotetraploid crop species with a narrow genetic diversity. Its highly heterozygous, complex genome, and tetrasomic inheritance make its genetic studies and improvement more difficult than grain crops. Recently, diploid potato breeding has regained an interest in the potato genetics community. Genetically, diploid potatoes are easy to work with, can be used as gene donors in the breeding process of cultivated potatoes, and can also be grown on their own as varieties. However, diploid breeding continuum faces many challenges including anti-nutritional factors and self-incompatibilities. Mutations are known as the key drivers for evolution and diversification in plants. In breeding and varietal selection, sources for variation are always sought as starting materials, and in the absence of desired natural variations in breeding populations, targeted or random mutagenesis is applied to induce variations. Recently, a mutagenized pre-breeding diploid potato population was developed at AAFC Charlottetown. Dr. Fofana will give an update on this genetic resource, its characterization, and its potentials in the CRISPR era.

    2022 - View publication details

  15. Potato greening: gaining an understanding through ‘omics approaches
    K. Dougherty1, T. F. Mitterboeck1*, M. Lague1, M. Zaidi2, B. Bizimungu1, and B. Fofana2. 1Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada E3B 4Z7 (e-mail:fatima.mitterboeck@agr.gc.ca); and 2Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada C1A 4N6.

    Potato ‘greening’ occurs when tubers are exposed to light, and results from a de novo synthesis of chlorophyll and a simultaneous formation of steroidal glycoalkaloids, which are toxic to humans and animals. Potato is the largest vegetable crop in Canada, and this greening causes substantial loss of products. Currently, there are no potato cultivars that are resistant to light–induced greening available on the market. The goal of this study is to understand the genetic components and molecular mechanisms of light-induced greening, and to use this knowledge to develop gene-editing tools to generate cultivars resistant to greening. From a core germplasm collection of over 800 mutant potato clones, two clones were observed to be tolerant to light-induced greening. These two non-greening clones, along with a greening control, underwent whole genome sequencing as well as transcriptomic sequencing after light exposure. Here, we will show our findings on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and structural variants (SV) that differentiate the non-greening from greening clones. Deploying the non-greening trait into popular potato cultivars would be of high interest to the industry and stakeholders both for tuber appearance, quality, safety, marketability, and food waste reduction.

    2022 - View publication details

  16. Bizimungu, B. 20222. Genetic resources and their use to enhance the nutritional potential of potato. Canadian Society for Horticultural Science Annual Conference , Halifax 2022/08/18 - 2022/08/20 (Abstract).

    2022 - View publication details

  17. Bizimungu, B & Soucy, S. 2021. Potato Gene Resources Newsletter 2020/2021, No. 27

    2021 - View publication details

  18. Bizimungu, B. 2021. Reputed Flavours in Heritage Potato Varieties-Implications for research. The North East Potato Technology Forum (NEPTF) 2021. March 23 and 24, 2021, Fredericton, N.B. (Abstract).

    2021 - View publication details

  19. Liyanage, D.W.K., Yevtushenko, D.P., Konschuh, M., Bizimungu, B., Lu, Z.X. (2021). Processing strategies to decrease acrylamide formation, reducing sugars and free asparagine content in potato chips from three commercial cultivars. Food Control, [online] 119 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2020.107452

    2021 - View publication details

  20. Crop Breed Genet Genom. 2020;2(4):e200017. https://doi.org/10.20900/cbgg20200017

    2020 - View publication details

Research facility

95 Innovation Road
PO Box 20280
Fredericton, NB E3B 4Z7
Canada

Language

English
French