Scholarship 2021

Scholarship 2021

SaskBarley is taking applications for 2021/22 scholarships!

Each year, SaskBarley offers scholarships as an investment in promising university students who are carrying out university-level research focused on barley. The scholarship program also encourages and supports new research to benefit Saskatchewan’s barley sector.

SaskBarley offers scholarships at both a graduate level ($5,000) and an undergraduate level ($2,000) annually. 

Congratulations to our 2021 scholarship recipients!

Each year, SaskBarley offers scholarships as an investment in promising university students who are carrying out university-level research focused on barley. The scholarship program also encourages and supports new research to benefit Canadian barley.

We would like to congratulate Janice Fajardo, Michael Taylor and Anuradha Jayathissa who will be receiving scholarships this year! See below for more information on this year’s recipients and their barley research.


 

Janice Fajardo

M.Sc. student at the University of Manitoba

Integrated impacts of phenolic acids and competing microbes on Fusarium graminearum in malting barley.

In malting barley, fusarium head blight (FHB) has led to economic impacts due to lowering of grain quality associated with mycotoxin contamination. FHB is caused by several species of Fusarium, with Fusarium graminearum as the predominant causal agent. Two relevant aspects of Fusarium growth on barley during malting are defensive plant compounds such as phenolic acids, and the presence of other microbial colonizers. The functional modifications that occur to the grain during malting influence the composition of both the phenolic acids that are released, and the microbes in barley.

My work investigates interactions between phenolic acids that are produced by barley, some members of the microbial community that inhabits malting barley, and Fusarium in malting. The integrated effects of phenolic acids and the microbial community of barley are poorly understood; thus, one of my goals is to assess these aspects in more detail by evaluating Fusarium growth and mycotoxin production during malting, and how these outcomes are impacted by the presence of a competing microbe, the presence of phenolic acids, and the presence of both the microbe and phenolic acids. These studies will provide detailed insights that may form the basis for practical approaches to the mitigation of Fusarium.


 

Michael Taylor

M.Sc. student at the University of Saskatchewan

Lodging: the great fall of barley

My project is called “Lodging: the great fall of barley”. The project goal is to get to the root of the lodging problem in barley. This consists of 2 main investigations. One being imaging of the barley root system in both 2D and 3D systems. These images then have detailed root trait data extracted and the influence of these traits on lodging is then examined. The other part of the project consists of collecting field data such as stem strength, anchorage failure, imaging stem cross-sections and more, with a similar goal to the root imaging – to find their relationship and influence to lodging.

This project has 3 main goals, first to assess barley root system architecture in 2D and 3D hydroponic systems. The second goal is to examine both root and stem characteristics in relation to lodging resistance in the field and lastly, which of these traits and systems have the most influence on lodging resistance. The overarching goal of the project is to give barley breeders the tools and potentially even breeding targets to assess lines more easily for lodging resistance.


 

Anuradha Jayathissa

PhD student at the University of Manitoba

Linking malt quality defects with traits of Fusarium graminearum

Fusarium head blight (FHB) caused by Fusarium graminearum, is a devastating disease of barley resulting in significant losses for the malting and brewing industry. The malting process creates conditions that favor new fungal growth and new production of mycotoxins after harvest, which contributes negative qualities to the finished malt. For my project, the impacts of several strains of Fusarium on malt quality will be assessed as certain Fusarium strains possess a range of traits related to malt quality issues.

My goal is to provide an improved understanding of which traits enable Fusarium species to succeed within the malt microbiome, thereby negatively impacting malt quality. I will also be investigating Fusarium hydrophobins, which are small, secreted proteins produced by the fungus during malting. Hydrophobins are the main inducers of primary beer gushing which can directly influence the beer quality. In this study, I am hoping to explore the variability in Fusarium hydrophobins due to amino acid sequence differences among several Fusarium strains, and how the relative abilities of these variants to induce beer gushing. We expect that results from this project will lead to improve management of Fusarium-related quality issues that plague the malting industry.


 

Eligibility

These scholarships are open to any post-secondary students enrolled in part- or full-time studies, while graduate level students are encouraged to be studying barley research. Scholarship recipients are eligible to re-apply in subsequent years.

To apply

To apply, submit the following to cole@saskbarleycommission.com:

  • A one-page summary of your research project(s), outlining how the research will:
    • help ensure barley is a long term, profitable and internationally competitive crop choice for Saskatchewan producers;
    • increase the production and value of barley for both the producer and consumer; and/or
    • support either the food, feed, malt or industrial uses of barley.
  • An accompanying letter from an academic supervisor, confirming the research
  • Confirmation of enrolment
  • A current CV

The deadline for applications is August 31, 2021. Successful applicants will be notified by September 22, 2021.