Pulse Industry

Cluster 1 (2010-2013)

Industry stakeholders from across the value chain reviewed the research needs of each pulse crop grown in Canada, and the following three research themes were addressed in Cluster #1:

Genetic Improvement – to enhance pulse characteristics in areas of nutritional composition and processing, and to increase productivity, leading to economic sustainability and increased competitiveness. Research focused on plant breeding and trait development leading to the development of pulse varieties with improved market traits, enhanced nutritional composition, improved adaptation to a changing climate, improved disease resistance and increased yield.

Agronomy and Sustainable Production – to improve product quality, increase grower competitiveness and improve rotational benefits to other crops. Research focused on development of beneficial management practices in various agro-climatic zones in the areas of crop rotation, weed management, nutrient use efficiency and disease management, leading to improved bio-economic performance of pulse varieties.

Processing and Utilization – to support market development in the whole food and food ingredient sectors to respond to consumer demand for healthier foods. Research focused on development of pulse-based foods and food ingredients, as well as the health benefits of pulse consumption for general wellbeing and weight management, and to mitigate obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Organizations that provided resources for this research include:

  • Alberta Pulse Growers Commission
  • Saskatchewan Pulse Growers
  • Manitoba Pulse Growers Association
  • Ontario White Bean Producers
  • Ontario Coloured Bean Growers
  • Pulse Canada
  • Innovotech
  • InfraReady Products
  • Bonduelle North America
  • Potato Growers of Alberta

Cluster 1 research was completed by universities, AAFC research stations, and provincial research institutions across Canada, including:

  • University of Alberta
  • University of Guelph
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Manitoba
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • AAFC (multiple locations)
  • Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Agricultural Research Extension Council of Alberta

Cluster 1 research in Genetic Improvement projects included:

Pulse crop(s)

Title of research project

Research Team

Field pea – green & yellow

Development of Genetically improved yellow and green field pea varieties and germplasm lines for Canadian pea growers

Dr. Kan-Fa Chang (PI) – Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (AARD)


Drs. Deng-jing Bing, Debra McLaren, Cecil Vera, David Gehl – multiple AAFC locations

Field pea, faba bean

Trialing genetic materials into broad agro-climatic zones

Mr. Mark Olson (PI) – Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development;


Ty Faechner – Agricultural Research Extension Council of Alberta; Dr. Sherri Strydhorst – Alberta Pulse Growers; Dr. Manjula Bandara - AARD

Dry edible beans (various market classes)

Improvement of dry bean for high yield, disease resistance and seed quality for sustainable production on the Prairies

Drs. Parthiba Balasubramanian, Bob Conner, Debra McLaren,  Anfu Hou – multiple AAFC locations


Mr. Chris Gillard – U of Guelph; Dr. Ron Howard – AARD; Michael Harding – Innovotech

Dry bean

Selection of dry beans for improved nitrogen fixation and nitrogen use efficiency

Dr. Newton Lupwayi, Parthiba Balasubramanian – multiple AAFC locations

Cluster 1 research in Agronomy and Sustainable Production included:

Pulse crop(s)

Title of research project


Field pea

Integrated control of important diseases of field pea

Drs. Kan-Fa Chang (PI), Bruce Gossen, Bob Conner, Debra McLaren – multiple AAFC locations


Dr. Stephen Strelkov – U of Alberta

Pea, lentil and  chickpea in rotation with wheat and oilseed crops

Optimizing the frequency and sequence of annual pulses in rotation systems and their impacts on crop performance, biotic and abiotic stresses, and soil quality attributes

Drs. Yantai Gan (PI), Chantal Hamel,

Myriam Fernandez – multiple AAFC locations


Dr. Manjula Bandara – Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development

Pea, lentil and  chickpea

Improving plant nutrition and drought tolerance through beneficial endophytic associations in pulse-based cropping systems

Drs. Yantai Gan (PI);  Chantal Hamel; Newton Lupwayi – multiple AAFC locations


Dr. Vladimir Vujanovic – U of Saskatchewan;

Dr. Zhongmin Dong – St. Mary University.


Symbiotic chickpea genotypes for sustainable cropping systems

Dr. Chantal Hamel (PI) – AAFC

Dr. Vladimir Vujanovic – U of Saskatchewan

Lentil, chickpea, field pea

Developing management options for herbicide-resistant weeds in field pea, lentil and chickpea

 Mr. Eric Johnson (PI), Dr. Hugh Beckie – AAFC locations


Dr. Linda Hall – U of Alberta;

Drs. Jeff Schoenau, Rick Holm and Chris Willenborg – U of Saskatchewan.

Field pea in rotation with barley, canola, faba bean

Optimizing the use of peas in crop sequences for black soil zones

Dr. Jane King (PI) – U of Alberta;  Dr. Sherri Strydhorst – Alberta Pulse Growers; Mark Olson – Alberta Agriculture

Beans in rotation with wheat, potato, sugar beet, oat

Irrigated cropping systems for sustainable production: The Vauxhall irrigated rotation study

Drs. Francis Larney and Newton Lupwayi – AAFC locations

Forage pea, yellow pea, faba bean

Nitrogen fixation and multi-year N release from pulse crop residues

Drs. Newton Lupwayi and Yoong Soon – AAFC

Cluster 1 research in Processing and Utilization included:

Pulse crop(s)

Title of research project



Development of a lentil-based sports bar

Drs. Phil Chilibeck (PI) and Gord Zello – U of Saskatchewan

Lentil, chickpea

Thermal pre-treatment of pulses for innovative ingredients and consumer-ready meat products

Dr. Phyllis Shand (PI) – U of Saskatchewan; Dr. Michal Aliani – U of Manitoba; Dr. Juanitha Wanasundara - AAFC

Beans (Black; navy; pinto; red kidney), field pea (yellow; green); lentils (green; red) and chickpeas

Effect of pulse varieties on blood vessel function in individuals with Peripheral Artery Disease

Drs. Peter Zahradka (PI) and Carla Taylor – U of Manitoba

Lentil, chickpea

Effect of chickpeas and lentils on satiation, satiety, food intake and metabolic control

Dr. Harvey Anderson (PI) – U of Toronto

Dry peas, lentils, chickpeas, faba beans

A lifestyle intervention for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome

Drs. Gord Zello (PI), Phil Chilibeck, Donna Chizen, Roger Pierson – U of Saskatchewan

Navy bean; red kidney bean

Development of novel high fibre and easily digestible frozen bean products

Drs. Joyce Boye, Claude Champagne and Byong Lee – AAFC locations

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