Martin Laforest

Image Martin Laforest
Scientist molecular malherbology

Current research and/or projects

Early detection, monitoring and management of herbicide resistant weeds in field vegetables

Complexe herbicide resistance

Triazine resistant Chenopodium album

Impact of cover crops in horticulture

Research and/or project statements

My projects consist in detecting the presence of herbicide-resistant weeds and explaining the mechanism that the plant uses to survive the herbicide treatment. With this information, we develop genetic tests (molecular markers) which make possible the rapid detection of identical cases. We also study weed populations in order to better understand and possibly act on field implantation. This work is in line with the sector strategy in several ways. By its innovation, it allows to be more competitive in the external markets because it reduces the cost of inputs (herbicides) and therefore the cost of production. These tools, which provide rapid knowledge of resistance cases, mitigate risks and prevent unnecessary use of herbicides while encouraging the development of farming methods that will produce better results using resources with more efficiency. I am also leading a project that studies the impact of different cover crops on bacterial disease incidence. In parallel with different treatment such as disease severity, soil conditions and marketable yield, the soil and leave microbiome is characterized to identify growing conditions least conducive to disease and consequently requiring less pesticides, hence more sustainable.

Professional activities / interests

Molecular mechanisms of weeds herbicide resistance
Development of diagnostic tools for herbicide resistance

Population genetics of weeds

Genetics, genomics and transcriptomics

Education and awards

Ph.D. Molecular Biology, Laval Université, 1999
B. Sc. Biological Sciecnes, University of Montréal, 1992

Key publications

For a complete list of publications, please visit: AAFC Online

Martin Laforest, Sara L Martin, Katherine Bisaillon, Brahim Soufiane, Sydney Meloche & Eric Page (2020) A chromosome‐scale draft sequence of the Canada fleabane genome, Pest Management Science, Published online 17 January 2020

Eric R. Page, Brandon McMurray, Sydney Meloche and Martin Laforest (2019) Refugia facilitates the preservation and accumulation of herbicide resistance traits in Conyza canadensis, Canadian Journal of Plant Science, accepted.

Lauren Benoit, Brittany Hedges, Mike Shryver, Nader Soltani, David Hooker, Darren Robinson, Martin Laforest, Brahim Soufiane, Patrick Tranel, Darci Giacomini & Peter Sikkema (2019) The first record of PPO and 4-way herbicide resistance in eastern Canada, Canadian Journal of Plant Science, accepted.

Martin Laforest, Katherine Bisaillon, Marie Ciotola, Mélanie Cadieux, Pierre-Olivier Hébert, Vicky Toussaint & Antonet M. Svircev (2019) Rapid Erwinia amylovora and Pseudomonas syringae species identification and E. amylovora streptomycin resistance characterization using quantitative PCR assays, Canadian Journal of Microbiology,

Eric Robert Page, Sydney Meloche, Jichul Bae, Jamie Larsen, Martin Laforest and Robert Nurse (2018) Tricotelydenous giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida L.), Canadian Journal of Plant Science,

Laforest, M. & Soufiane, B. (2018) Coevolution of two sulfonylureas resistant Stellaria media biotypes with different acetolactate synthase mutations, Weed Science, 66 (4): 439-445.

Page, E.R., Grainger, C., Rajcan, I., Nurse, R.E., Bae, J., Laforest, M. and F. Tardif (2017) Target and non-target site mechanisms confer resistance to glyphosate in Canadian accessions of Conyza canadensis. Weed Science,, published online: 14 December 2017.

Shane M. Breeden, James T. Brosnan, Gregory K. Breeden, Jose J. Vargas, Gregor Eichberger, Stefan Tresch, and Martin Laforest (2017) Controlling Dinitroaniline-Resistant Goosegrass (Eleusine indica) in Turfgrass. Weed Technology, 1-7. doi:10.1017/wet.2017.57.

Laforest, M., Soufiane, B., Simard, M.-J., Obeid, K., Page, E. and Nurse, R. E. (2017), Acetyl-CoA carboxylase overexpression in herbicide-resistant large crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis). Pest. Manag. Sci, 73: 2227–2235. doi:10.1002/ps.4675

Simard, M.J., Laforest, M., Soufiane, B., Benoit, D.L. and Tardif, F. (2017) Linuron resistant common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) populations in Quebec carrot fields: presence and distribution of target site and non-target site resistant biotypes. Canadian Journal of Plant Science, Published on the web 23 September 2017.

Brosnan, J.T., Vargas, J.J., Breeden, G.K., Grier, L., Aponte, R.A., Tresch, S., and Laforest, M. (2015). A new amino acid substitution (Ala-205-Phe) in acetolactate synthase (ALS) confers broad spectrum resistance to ALS-inhibiting herbicides, Planta. doi : 10.1007/s00425-015-2399-9

Formanova, N., Stollar R., Geddy R., Mahé, L., Laforest, M., Landry B., Brown, G.G. (2010). High resolution mapping of the Brassica napus Rfp restorer locus using Arabidopsis- derived markers. Theor. Appl. Genet. 120: 843-851.

Brown, G., Formanova, N., Jin, H., Wargachuk, R., Dendy, C., Patil, P., Laforest, M., Jinfa, Z., Cheung, W. & Landry, B. (2003) The Radish Rfo restorer gene of Ogura cytpplasmic male sterility encodes a protein with multiple pentatricopeptide repeats. The Plant Journal, 35 (2), 262-272.


Canadian Weed Science Society
Québec Society for the Protection of Plants

Weed Science Society of America

International Weed Science Society