St. John's Research and Development Centre
The St. John’s Research and Development Centre (St. John’s RDC) was established in 1935 in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. It is one of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC) network of 20 research and development centres.
The Centre is associated with one satellite location:
Avondale sub-station 67 km to the west where potato selections from AAFC’s Fredericton RDC are tested for resistance to potato wart, golden nematode and pale cyst nematode.
Areas of Research
The St. John’s RDC is a leader in the research, development and technology transfer of agricultural innovations that support sustainable and productive boreal-northern primary production, with a special emphasis on Newfoundland and Labrador. Agricultural practices in Newfoundland and Labrador differ from those in other agricultural areas of Canada due to the province’s cooler and shorter summers. Success has been achieved through the utilization of techniques that extend the growing season.
Research is focused on the sustainable production of horticultural (berries and vegetables) and forage crops, the development of sustainable cropping systems, biodiversity and genetic enhancement of berry crops, and innovative clean technologies and environmental practices for a boreal-northern environment.
Search Research projects from the St John's Research and Development Centre to learn more about what we do.
The St John's RDC carries out innovative research, development, technology and knowledge transfer activities in support of the AAFC's Strategic Plan for Science, which includes:
The St. John’s RDC conducts research on berry and vegetable production (management, crop protection, pollination, propagation, germplasm conservation and genetic enhancement), and on the development of horticultural production systems, including protected cropping systems, for boreal-northern regions. Sustainable, integrated pest management strategies are also developed that are relevant to boreal-northern production systems. The value of beneficial organisms (e.g., arthropods, microbial biocontrols, and beneficial microbes) is also investigated in these systems.
Scientists are developing cropping technologies to create profitable livestock feed production systems for boreal-northern regions. Corn and forage research focuses on adaptation and management of high-yielding, high-quality crops, and varieties that are profitable and sustainable in a boreal-northern environment for livestock and other niche uses. Forage management research supports the expansion and development of the regional dairy industry.
Research focuses on the contribution of the microbiome to carbon and nitrogen cycling in boreal agricultural systems, with wood chip bioreactors utilized as a landscape mitigation strategy to reduce losses of greenhouse gases, nutrients and pesticides to the environment.
Wild berry germplasm collections are available for biodiversity studies and for use in genetic enhancement of northern-adapted berries. An extensive insect collection provides the basis for identification of native and invasive insects, and a reference collection of indigenous fungal plant pathogens is under construction. Together, these help elucidate the unique plant threats in the boreal-northern ecozones, as well as provide a reference point for future studies as climate change alters the range and severity of plant pathogens and insect pests.
Meet our Scientists
Find out more about the scientists at St. John's Research and Development Centre through their profiles below.
You can also visit the Fields of Science campaign featuring 11 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientists from coast to coast. Discover why they chose to pursue a career in agriculture and learn more about their research.
Scientists and researchers
Sharifi, M., C Moffat, D. Ensing, S. Debnath, J. MacDonald, J. Pollard-Flamand, K. Fong, L. Malunga, S. Joseph, V. Marshall, B. Rabie, T. Nelson, C. Harlton, and D. Martin. 2022. Revitalizing knowledge of scwicw’s growing conditions, propagation and preservation. Report to Neskonlith Indian Band.2022 - View publication details
Parsons, C. and McCann, S. 2022 "New entomology projects at St. John's Research and Development Centre". Poster Presentation at the Joint Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of Canada, Entomological Society of America, and Entomological Society of British Columbia, Vancouver BC. Nov. 13-16, 2022.2022 - View publication details
Debnath, S.C. (2022). Epigenetic variation and enhanced vegetative growth in micropropagated berry crops for wide adaptability and early berry production in northern environment 13th Canadian Association for Plant Biotechnology Conference 2022, August 21-24, Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada. Abstract.2022 - View publication details
Debnath, S.C. (2022). Somaclonal variation in micropropagated berry crops - an epigenetic approach. ISHS International Horticultural Congress, Angers, France. August 14-20, 2022. Abstract, Oral Presentation.2022 - View publication details
Debnath, S.C. and Ghosh, A. (2022). Epigenetic regulation of somatic embryogenesis in berry plants. International Horticultural Congress, Angers, France. August 14-20, 2022. Abstract; Poster Presentation.2022 - View publication details
Berardi, N., Siow, Y.L., Molina, O., Prashar, S., Ward, K., O, K., Madduma Hewage, S., Debnath, S., and Price, J. (2022) Ag-in-Motion, Langham, SK, Canada July 19-21, 2022.2022 - View publication details
Debnath, S.C. (2022). “Epigenetics and in vitro propagation of horticultural crop.”, 6th Edition of Global Congress on Plant Biology and Biotechnology, Virtual Event; March 24-26, 2022. https://plantbiologyconference.com/. Abstract.2022 - View publication details
Debnath, S.C., Ross, K., Siow, Y., Simms, D and Ellsworth, S. (2021). “Molecular variation, genetic structure and antioxidants in Vaccinium germplasm.”, Book of abstracts, XII International Vaccinium Symposium, August 30 - September 1, 2021 (virtual), Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; p. 13. Abstract.2021 - View publication details
Sharma, U., Igamberdiev, A.U. and Debnath, S.C. (2021). “A comparison of three culture systems in shoot proliferation of lingonberry.”, Book of abstracts, XII International Vaccinium Symposium, August 30 - September 1, 2021 (virtual), Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; p. 50. Abstract.2021 - View publication details
Sharma, U., Igamberdiev, A.U. and Debnath, S.C. (2021). “Somatic Embryogenesis: a novel technique for mass production in vitro.”, 22nd Annual Aldrich Interdisciplinary Conference. Graduate Student Union, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, Online, Oral Presentation. August 16-25, 2021.2021 - View publication details
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