Richard Bélanger

Affiliation : Université Laval
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About Richard Bélanger

Pr. Richard Bélanger obtained his bachelor’s degree in forest biology in 1984 from Université Laval in Québec, Canada. He went on to complete his PhD in plant pathology at the College of Environmental Science and Forestry-State University of New York, Syracuse, in 1988. He has been conducting research at the Université Laval since 1988 and is now full professor in plant pathology, holder of the Canada Research Chair in Plant Protection since 2001 and Chair of the Département de phytologie. Over the years, his research group has concentrated its efforts on developing non-chemical and biological ways to control plant diseases. Along those lines, sustained initiatives have been devoted to the study the role of biocontrol agents and the prophylactic properties of silicon (Si) against plant pathogens with a special emphasis toward understanding the elusive properties of Si as it interacts with plants. The latter efforts toward elucidating the mode of action of silicon as a beneficial element have paved the way to new scientific paradigms and applications in agriculture. His team has also spearheaded the development of one of the first biofungicides against powdery mildews. Since the study and commercialization of new environment-friendly control tools require close collaboration between researchers and the private sector, his team has always worked closely with government authorities, the private sector and several other research groups. In 2015, together with his colleague François Belzile, Richard Bélanger was awarded a large scale applied research project (LSARP) granted from Genome Canada to develop soybean lines more resistant to the pathogen Phytophthora sojae. As a result of this grant, his team discovered new genes conferring resistance to P. sojae, and developed a new approach to test and diagnose the different pathotypes of the pathogen. These developments have several applications to help soybean growers and breeders curb losses caused by P. sojae. Incidentally,

Pr. Bélanger has recently obtained support from the Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP) of Genome Canada, in collaboration with the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) and the Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance (CFCRA), to commercialize these technologies for the benefit of Canadian agriculture.

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