Syama Chatterton

Image Syama Chatterton
Research Scientist

Plant pathologist for pulse and special crops

Current research and/or projects

Decision support system for Aphanomyces root rot of pea (AAFC A-base project), 2018 - 2021

Cover cropping as part of a rotation stragegy to reduce pea root rot and other management options (Alberta and Saskatchewan Pulse Growers), 2017 - 2021

Epidemiology of chocolate spot of faba bean (Alberta Pulse Growers, Western Grains Research Foundation, Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, and SK Ministry of Agriculture), 2017 - 2020

Breeding, physiology and agronomy to mitigate yield loss caused by root rots of pea (Canadian Pulse Science Research Cluster), 2018 - 2023

Optimizing disease management strategies for white mould and bacterial blights of dry bean (Canadian Pulse Science Research Cluster), 2018 - 2023


Research and/or project statements

My research program is aligned with AAFC sector strategies to increase agricultural productivity, and reduce threats to the value chain. Aphanomyces root rot is an increasing threat to pulse production in Alberta and Saskatchewan. New techniques, based on molecular pathogen quantification in soils, combined with integrated crop management practices to reduce losses in peas and lentils due to root rots are being developed. Foliar diseases, such as white mould and bacterial blights, also continue to reduce the yield potential of pulse crops. By screening breeding lines for disease reactions in the greenhouse and disease nurseries, breeders can improve productivity by incorporating improved resistance into elite cultivars thus reducing the impact of biotic stresses.  

Professional activities / interests

Mon programme de recherche concorde avec les stratégies sectorielles d’Agriculture et Agroalimentaire Canada (AAC) qui visent à améliorer le rendement agricole et à réduire les menaces qui guettent la chaîne de valeur. La nécrose racinaire précoce du pois, causée par le champignon Aphanomyces, représente un risque croissant pour la production de légumineuses à grains en Alberta et en Saskatchewan. Nous travaillons à la mise au point de nouvelles techniques basées sur la quantification moléculaire des pathogènes présents dans le sol combinées à des pratiques intégrées de gestion des cultures afin de prévenir les pertes associées à la nécrose des racines dans les cultures de pois et de lentilles. Les maladies foliaires, comme la pourriture à sclérotes et la graisse bactérienne, inhibent toujours le potentiel de rendement des légumineuses à grains. En examinant la réaction aux maladies des lignées généalogiques présentes dans les serres et les pépinières de recherche, les sélectionneurs peuvent améliorer la productivité en insérant des gènes de résistance accrue dans les cultivars d’élite, réduisant du même coup l’impact des stress biotiques.

Education and awards

Ph.D. Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, 2010

M.Sc. Environmental Biology, University of Guelph, 2002

B.Sc. (Hons.) Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, 1999



Outstanding Young Researcher, Canadian Phytopathological Society, 2018

SFU President’s PhD Research Stipend, 2009

H.R. MacCarthy Bursary in Pest Management, 2009

SFU Graduate Fellowship, 2007 - 2009

Biocontrol Network PhD Scholarship, 2003 – 2006

NSERC - Postgraduate Scholarship B, 2003 - 2005      

NSERC - Postgraduate Scholarship A, 1999 – 2002

Key publications

  1. *Foroud NA, Eranthodi A, Witte T, Hicks C, Overy D, Schwinghamer T, Beccari G, Tini F, Covarelli L, Harris LJ, Chatterton S. Dissecting the role of Fusarium avenaceum mycotoxins in cereal and pulse crop diseases. 14th World Mycotoxin Forum. Antwerp, BELGIUM. October 9-11, 2023. Invited.

    2023 - View publication details

  2. Eranthodi A, Overy D, Harris LJ, Hubbard M, Schwinghamer T, *Chatterton S, *Foroud NA. Effect of cereal-pulse rotations on Fusarium avenaceum pathogenicity. 12th International Congress of Plant Pathology. Paris, FRANCE. August 20-25, 2023.

    2023 - View publication details

  3. Halane, H., Islam, N.S., Pandit, S., Chatterton, S., Renaud, J., Dhaubhadel, S. (2023) Comparative metabolomics provide insight into the metabolic changes in pea in response to Aphanomyces euteiches infection. Phytochemical Society of North America 2023. East Lansing, MI, July 16-20.

    2023 - View publication details

  4. Dhaubhadel, S., Halane, H., Islam, N., Chatterton, S., Renaud, J., Zhang, Y. (2023) Host-pathogen interaction: Identification of pea signals that trigger Aphanomyces euteiches. 12th Canadian Pulse Research Workshop. Windsor, CA Feb 19-22.

    2023 - View publication details

  5. Hannig, A, Chatterton, S, Tetorya, M, Shah, D. and Goyal, RK. (2021). A search for an effective control measure against root-rot in field pea: Effect of antimicrobial peptides on in vitro growth of Aphanomyces euteiches. 42nd Plant Pathology Society of Alberta’s virtual workshop on November 4-5, 2021, Edmonton, AB.

    2021 - View publication details

  6. Eranthodi A, Witte TE, Sproule A, Hermans A, Overy DP, Schneiderman D, Harris LJ, Chatterton S, Liu J, Li T, Gonzàlez-Peña Fundora D, Zhao W, *Foroud NA. The impact of enniatin production on Fusarium avenaceum virulence in three crop species. 15th European Fusarium Symposium (Virtual Meeting) Ghent, BELGIUM. May 31 - June 1, 2021. (Oral Presentation)

    2021 - View publication details

  7. Willsey, T., Patey, J., Vucurevich, C., Chatterton, S., Carcamo, H. (2021). Evaluation of foliar and seed treatments for integrated management of root rot and pea leaf weevil in field pea and faba bean. Crop Protection, [online] 143

    2021 - View publication details

  8. Hannig, A., Chatterton, S., Bing, D.J. and Goyal, R.K. (2020). Effect of antimicrobial peptides on common fungal pathogens and its application in filed pea (Pisum sativum L.). 41st annual workshop of Plant Pathology Society of Alberta, November 4-5, 2020, Lethbridge, AB.

    2020 - View publication details

  9. Karppinen, E.M., Payment, J., Chatterton, S., Bainard, J.D., Hubbard, M., Gan, Y., Bainard, L.D. (2020). Distribution and abundance of Aphanomyces euteiches in agricultural soils: effect of land use type, soil properties, and crop management practices. Applied Soil Ecology, [online] 150

    2020 - View publication details

  10. Balasubramanian, P.M., Chatterton, S. and Conner, R.L. 2019. AAC Y073 yellow dry bean. Can. J. Plant Sci. (Accepted 14 November 2019).

    2019 - View publication details

  11. Foroud NA, Eranthodi A, Overy DP, Schneiderman D, Harris LJ, Chatterton S, González-Peña Fundora D, Zhao DW. 2019. Enniatin production does not influence Fusarium avenaceum pathogenicity on durum wheat or peas. Plant Canada, Guelph, ON.

    2019 - View publication details

  12. Foroud, N.A., Pordel, R., Goyal, R.K., Ryabova, D., Eranthodi, A., Chatterton, S., Kovalchuk, I. (2019). Chemical Activation of the Ethylene Signaling Pathway Promotes Fusarium graminearum Resistance in Detached Wheat Heads. Phytopathology, [online] 109(5), 796–803.

    2019 - View publication details

  13. Chatterton, S., Harding, M.W., Bowness, R., Mclaren, D.L., Banniza, S., Gossen, B.D. (2019). Importance and causal agents of root rot on field pea and lentil on the Canadian prairies, 2014–2017. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology, [online] 41(1), 98-114.

    2019 - View publication details

  14. Balasubramanian, P., Chatterton, S., Conner, R.L. (2019). AAC cranford cranberry dry bean. Canadian Journal of Plant Science, [online] 99(4), 572-576.

    2019 - View publication details

  15. Balasubramanian, P.M., Chatterton, S., Conner, R.L. (2019). AAC expedition pinto dry bean. Canadian Journal of Plant Science, [online] 99(3), 399-404.

    2019 - View publication details

  16. Willsey, T.L., Chatterton, S., Heynen, M., Erickson, A. (2018). Detection of interactions between the pea root rot pathogens Aphanomyces euteiches and Fusarium spp. using a multiplex qPCR assay. Plant Pathology, [online] 67(9), 1912-1923.

    2018 - View publication details

  17. Foroud NA, Goyal RK, Ryabova D, Eranthodi A, González-Peña Fundora D, Pordel P, Pan Y, Kovalchuk I, Chatterton S. 2018. Ethylene-mediated resistance to fusarium head blight of wheat. 2018 Canadian Phytopathological Society Annual Meeting. Québec QC, CANADA, June 18-22, 2018. Published Abstract in the Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology. DOI: 10.1080/07060661.2019.1519163

    2018 - View publication details

  18. Foroud NA, Yao YT, Goyal RK, Pordel R, Eranthodi A, Ryabova D, Chatterton S, Kovalchuk I. 2018. Exploring the role of ethylene signalling and wheat resistance to Fusarium graminearum. 14th European Fusarium Seminar, Tulln, AUSTRIA, April 8-12, 2018.

    2018 - View publication details

  19. Kader, K.A., Balasubramanian, P.M., Chatterton, S. (2018). Influence of irrigation and plant canopy architecture on white mould disease of dry bean. Canadian Journal of Plant Science, [online] 98(6), 1280-1292.

    2018 - View publication details

  20. Gossen, B.D., Chatterton, S., and McLaren, D.L. 2017. Distribution of root rot on pea and lentil crops on the Canadian prairies, 2016. Phytopathology 107 (S5): 105.

    2017 - View publication details

Research facility

5403 1st Avenue South
Lethbridge, AB T1J 4B1


  • University of Lethbridge – Adjunct Professor

  • Canadian Phytopathological Society - Awards Committee, Information and Products Marketing Committee

  • Prairie Grain Development Committee – Chair, Disease Evaluation Team forPrairie Recommending Committee for Pulse and Special Crops

  • Western Committee on Plant Diseases – Secretary and Member