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A&L Biologicals, Agroecology Research Service Center

A&L Biologicals (Click to View Website) albio is housed in a new 1300 sq m state-of-the-art laboratory in which we implement molecular technologies for detection and diagnosis of microorganisms that impact farm production. We employ a team of professionals in the fields of chemistry, molecular biology, microbiology, plant pathology, agronomy, and environmental science. We understand the agricultural industry and can provide technical and timely guidance to help maximize each operation's output and minimize its cost of inputs. Our major objective is to improve plant root health and thereby the growers' bottom line. We are in the business of improving soil and root health with special emphasis on developing bioindicators of beneficial microorganisms that live in the root zone. Through research, innovation, technology transfer and complete nutritional consultations, we intend to help growers increase crop yields, reduce fertilizer costs, improve production efficiencies, increase plant growth and nutrient uptake, control soilborne pests, reduce plant stress, optimize cultivar selection, detect and protect against soil-borne disease, and promote practices that benefit the environment. We have received NSERC certification as a research organization allowing us to hire students and postdoctoral fellows through funds provided by the Industrial Program.

A main focus will be to provide growers and other agricultural sectors with rapid molecular diagnostics for key pathogens and pests that impact their crops or production. Linked to this we offer knowledgeable advice as to prevention of plant disease issues. Our aim is to manage root health by understanding ecological factors that regulate plant pathogen survival and spread and that improve root and soil health. We focus on technologies that are based on ecological principles derived from scientifically validated information. We intend to bring together scientists from Canada and around the world to develop biological indicators of soil health by breaking down the microbial ecology of roots and soils for different crops. From this information, we build plant disease-suppressive soil ecosystems that result on reduced needs for chemical pesticides, water, and fertilizer.

A&L Biologicals will collaborate with international partners on world-class programs and research projects focused on root and soil health - from biofertilizers and low-risk pesticides to ground-breaking molecular diagnostic tools of specific organisms and of entire agroecosystems. We develop our ideas in our labs, on farms, and in the arketplace.

Some of our initiatives already in place include: developing biological control agents, microbial fertilizers, seed inoculants and organic soil amendments that promote soil and plant health; identifying soil microbial fingerprints for evaluating the impacts of agricultural practices, climate change and crop rotations on root and soil health; indentifying plant cultivars that require less fertilizers and pest-control products and adding value to organic amendments derived from various plant, animal or recycling industries, converting these into fertilizers and plant disease-suppressive materials. While our focus is on global soil health, our research spans related issues such as food safety and biofuels.

We intend to work with companies to help advance the use of new, low-risk disease-control products in Canada. Many industries have products of value to growers but do not have the resources to reach the right markets because they may be unaware of whom their customers are. We assist such companies by validating the efficacy of their products and disperse information to our grower clients as to how these products may bring value to their production. In this way such small companies will be able to access the national and global marketplace.