Helen Tai, Ph. D.

Image Helen Tai
Research Scientist

Research on potato genetics and genomics.

Current research and/or projects

Potato genomics and metabolomics research aimed at developing tools for selecting new potato varieties and improving crop management with the goal of enhancing environmental and economic sustainability of potato production.  

Research and/or project statements

  • Developing gene markers and genomic selection for potato breeding.
  • Enhancing potato genetic resources with wild Solanum relatives. 
  • Development of tools for selecting potato resistance to the insect herbivore, Colorado potato beetle.
  • Understanding potato responses to nitrogen and developing tools to optimize fertilizer use.
  • Increasing knowledge of potato genes underlying tuber storage quality (cold-induced sweetening), pigmentation, resistance to Verticillium wilt and drought.  

Fields of Science

Learn more about my research and how it impacts you by visiting Fields of Science, a campaign featuring 11 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientists from coast to coast.

Professional activities / interests

  • International and national research teams for advancing potato genome sequencing.
  • Collaborations with potato breeders within and outside AAFC.
  • Member of the Potato Association of America and Canadian Society of Plant Biologists.
  • Work on projects with other professionals, technicians, support staff and students at the Centre.

Education and awards

Ph. D. Biochemistry, University of Ottawa

M. Sc. Anatomy, University of Toronto

B. Sc. (Distinction) Biochemistry, University of Toronto

Canadian Forest Service Merit Award

International experience and/or work

OECD Co-operative Research Fellowship to Plant and Food Research in New Zealand, 2011

Key publications

  1. Parenteau, M.T., Gu, H., Zebarth, B.J., Cambouris, A.N., Lafond, J., Nelson, A., Nyiraneza, J., Davidson, C., Lagüe, M., Galvez, J.H., Strömvik, M.V., Tai, H.H. (2020). Data mining nitrogen-responsive gene expression for source-sink relations and indicators of n status in potato. Agronomy, [online] 10(10 October), http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101617

    2020 - View publication details

  2. Achakkagari, S.R., Kyriakidou, M., Tai, H.H., Anglin, N.L., Ellis, D., Strömvik, M.V. (2020). Complete plastome assemblies from a panel of 13 diverse potato taxa. PLoS ONE, [online] 15(10 October), http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0240124

    2020 - View publication details

  3. Tai, H.H., Lagüe, M., Thomson, S., Aurousseau, F., Neilson, J., Murphy, A., Bizimungu, B., Davidson, C., Deveaux, V., Bègue, Y., Wang, H.Y., Xiong, X., Jacobs, J.M.E. (2020). Tuber transcriptome profiling of eight potato cultivars with different cold-induced sweetening responses to cold storage. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, [online] 146 163-176. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2019.11.001

    2020 - View publication details

  4. De Koeyer, D., M. Lagüe, V. Dickison, K. Gardner, H. Tai and L. Mueller. 2019. Building a digital ecosystem for potato breeding. 103rd Annual meeting of the Potato Association of America, Winnipeg, MB July 2019.

    2019 - View publication details

  5. De Koeyer, D., V. Dickison, K. Gardner, B. Bizimungu, D. Chen, C. Goyer, L. Kawchuk, D. Main, J. Neilson, X. Nie, A. Smith, and H. Tai. 2019. Modernization of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Potato Breeding Program. p. 34. In: Northeast Potato Technology Forum 2019 Conspectus. March 20-21, Charlottetown, PE.

    2019 - View publication details

  6. (2019) Joint meeting of the Canadian Phytopathological Society and the
    Quebec Society for the Protection of Plants, 2018 / Réunion conjointe la Société Canadienne de
    Phytopathologie et de la Société de Protection des Plantes du Quebec, 2018, Canadian Journal of
    Plant Pathology, 41:1, 138-167, DOI: 10.1080/07060661.2019.1519163

    2018 - View publication details

  7. Xie, X., Li, X.Q., Zebarth, B.J., Niu, S., Tang, R., Tai, H.H., Bizimungu, B., Wu, W., Haroon, M. (2018). Rapid Screening of Potato Cultivars Tolerant to Nitrogen Deficiency Using a Hydroponic System. American Journal of Potato Research, [online] 95(2), 157-163. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12230-017-9621-1

    2018 - View publication details

  8. Kyriakidou, M., Tai, H.H., Anglin, N.L., Ellis, D., Strömvik, M.V. (2018). Current strategies of polyploid plant genome sequence assembly, 871 http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2018.01660

    2018 - View publication details

  9. Neilson, J., Lagüe, M., Thomson, S., Aurousseau, F., Murphy, A.M., Bizimungu, B., Deveaux, V., Bègue, Y., Jacobs, J.M.E., Tai, H.H. (2017). Gene expression profiles predictive of cold-induced sweetening in potato. Functional and Integrative Genomics, [online] 17(4), 459-476. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10142-017-0549-9

    2017 - View publication details

  10. Gálvez, J.H., Tai, H.H., Barkley, N.A., Gardner, K., Ellis, D., Strömvik, M.V. (2017). Understanding potato with the help of genomics, 2(1), 16-39. http://dx.doi.org/10.3934/agrfood.2017.1.16

    2017 - View publication details

  11. Galvez, J.H., Tai, H.H., Lague, M., Zebarth, B.J., and Stromvik, M. (2016). "The nitrogen responsive transcriptome in potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) reveals significant gene regulatory motifs.", XXIV Plant and Animal Genome Conference, San Diego, USA, January 9-13, 2016.

    2016 - View publication details

  12. Bizimungu, B., B Fofana, D. Main, J. McCallum, L. Kawchuk, and H. Tai. (2016) Development and characterization of diploid potato lines with agronomic and processing traits. “Breeding”, 100th Annual Meeting of The Potato Association of America, July 31- August 4, 2016, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. (Presentation) http://potatoassociation.org/

    2016 - View publication details

  13. Gálvez, J.H., Tai, H.H., Lagüe, M., Zebarth, B.J., Strömvik, M.V. (2016). The nitrogen responsive transcriptome in potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) reveals significant gene regulatory motifs. Scientific Reports, [online] 6 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep26090

    2016 - View publication details

  14. Liu, B., Zhang, G., Murphy, A., De Koeyer, D., Tai, H., Bizimungu, B., Si, H., Li, X.Q. (2016). Differences between the bud end and stem end of potatoes in dry matter content, starch granule size, and carbohydrate metabolic gene expression at the growing and sprouting stages. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, [online] 64(5), 1176-1184. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.5b05238

    2016 - View publication details

  15. Paudel, J.R., Davidson, C., Campbell, L., Clark, C., Nolan, L., Song, J., Murphy, A.M., Itkin, M., Aharoni, A., and Tai, H.H. (2015). "Reduced Steroidal Glycoalkaloid Levels Affects Solanum tuberosum resistance against Pests and Diseases."

    2015 - View publication details

  16. Neilson, J., Laguë, M., Thompson, S., Aurousseau, F., Murphy, A.M., Bizimungu, B., Deveaux, V., Begue, Y., Jacobs, F.J., and Tai, H.H. (2015). "Uncovering the mechanism behind cold-sweetening in potato tubers using transcriptomics.", 13th Annual Ecological Genomics Symposium, Manhattan, Kansas, USA, November 6-8, 2015.

    2015 - View publication details

  17. Paudel, J.R., Davidson, C., Campbell, L., Clark, C., Nolan, L., Song, J., Murphy, A.M., Itkin, M., Aharoni, A., and Tai, H.H. (2015). "Reduced Steroidal Glycoalkaloid Levels Affects Solanum tuberosum Biotic Stress Resistance.", Solanaceae Genome Conference, Bordeaux, October 25-29, 2015.

    2015 - View publication details

  18. Banik, P., Zeng, W., Tai, H.H., and Tanino, K.K. (2015). "Determining drought stress resistance mechanisms in potato plants using GIS.", Spatial Knowledge and Information Conference, Banff, AB, Canada, February 27 - March 1, 2015.

    2015 - View publication details

  19. Galvez, J.H., Tai, H.H., Lague, M., Zebarth, B.J., and Stromvik, M. (2015). "The nitrogen responsive transcriptome in potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) reveals significant gene regulatory motifs.", Eastern regional CSPB conference, Toronto, ON, Canada, November 20-21, 2015.

    2015 - View publication details

  20. Tai, H.H., Worrall, K., De Koeyer, D., Pelletier, Y., Tai, G.C.C., Calhoun, L. (2015). Colorado Potato Beetle Resistance in Solanum oplocense X Solanum tuberosum Intercross Hybrids and Metabolite Markers for Selection, 92(6), 684-696. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12230-015-9484-2

    2015 - View publication details

Research facility

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

Expertise

Affiliations

Adjunct professor at Queen's University.

Honorary Associate at University of New Brunswick.

Language

English
French