Threats to Canadian Farming
"When plants are stressed, they can’t run away" says Dr. Peta Bonham-Smith, Professor of Biology and Dean, College of Arts & Science at the University of Saskatchewan. A Plant Molecular Cell Biologist, she has always been fascinated by plant reactions to abiotic stressors such as temperature, drought and heavy metals. She believes plant genomes have evolved as a mechanism to deal with potential threats.
Dr. Bonham-Smith also studies the assembly of ribosomes in plants - natural nano-machines in every cell, required in every organism for the production of proteins.
More recently, she has turned her applied research interest to biotic stressors such as Clubroot disease in canola. Examining the interaction between the pathogen and the plant at the molecular and cellular level, Bonham-Smith is working in collaboration with Dr. Yangdou Wei from the Department of Biology. Clubroot is a real threat to Brassica crops, making the research extremely important to Saskatchewan and the farming industry.