Philippe Seguin, PhD (Minnesota)
Associate Professor and Chair
Department of Plant Science
philippe [dot] seguin [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email)
Dr. Seguin conducts research on the management, physiology, and ecology of field crops. Current research focuses on the evaluation of new crop species and new crop uses (e.g, as source of health-beneficial compounds and biofuels) for eastern Canada. He is also responsible for the cultivar evaluation program of forage crops, sweet corn, peas, and beans in southwestern Québec.
The development of legumes as a source of nutraceuticals
A nutraceutical can be defined as any substance that may be considered a food, or a food supplement (e.g., plant extracts) and provides medical or human health benefits, including the prevention and treatment of disease. Several compounds of plant origin including isoflavones, saponins, and tocopherols have been demonstrated to provide health benefits. The main objectives of our research program are: to determine the intra- and inter-specific variation in health-beneficial compounds to select cultivars with high concentrations, and identify management and environmental factors affecting their concentrations in field-grown plants. We are also studying the effects of selected abiotic factors on the expression of key genes involved in the synthesis of certain high-value health-beneficial compounds in soybean. This research is conducted with the goal of developing a new utilization and market for legumes as value added products for agricultural producers of eastern Canada.
The evaluation of new crop species for eastern Canada
Currently four species of perennial forage legumes are recommended in Quebec, including two for use in pastures: white clover and birdsfoot trefoil. However, these two species have several limitations including often a poor persistence. Our main objective here is to identify species with a greater persistence and which can tolerate conditions and stresses associated with pastures. We are also evaluating species that could be used as emergency crops upon winterkill of commonly used perennial species. Our program is evaluating the agronomic potential of Kura clover, pearl millet, berseem clover, and forage soybean. We are determining their adaptation, management requirements, and feeding value.
We are also evaluating the potential of several species for emerging markets including the bioenergy, bioproducts, and gluten-free markets. Our current research projects in this area focus on the use of switchgrass, sweet pearl millet and sweet sorghum for the bioenergy market, the use of pearl millet and grain amaranth for the gluten-free market, and the use of hemp as source of bioproducts. The goal of our research is to identify species and cultivars best adapted to eastern Canada and determine management practices that will maximize yield and/or quality.
Selected recent publications
Chennupati P, Seguin P, Chamoun R, Jabaji S. 2012. Effects of high temperature stress on soybean isoflavone concentration and expression of key genes involved in isoflavone synthesis. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 60(51):12421-12427.
Chennupati P, Seguin P, Liu W. 2011. Effects of high temperature stress at different development stages on soybean isoflavone and tocopherol concentrations. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 59(24)13081-13088.
Seguin P, Tremblay G, Pageau D, Liu W, Turcotte P. 2011. Soybean lutein concentration: Impact of crop management and genotypes. Crop Science. 51(3):1151-1160.
Chen H, Seguin P, Jabaji S, Liu W. 2011. Spatial distribution of isoflavones and isoflavone-related gene expression in high and low isoflavone soybean cultivars. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 91(4):697-705.
Seguin P, Tremblay G, Pageau D, Liu W. 2010. Soybean tocopherol concentrations are affected by crop management. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 58(9):5495-5501.
Seguin P, Turcotte P, Tremblay G, Pageau D, Liu W. 2009. Tocopherols concentration and stability in early-maturing soybean genotypes. Agronomy Journal. 101(6):1153-1159.
Gélinas B, Seguin P. 2008. Evaluation of management practices for grain amaranth production in eastern Canada. Agronomy Journal. 100(2):344-351.
Seguin P. 2007. Kura clover forage yield contribution increases over time when seeded in mixture with grasses in southwestern Québec. Forage and Grazinglands. doi:10.1094/FG-2007-1217-02-RS.
Al-Tawaha AM, Seguin P, Smith DL, Bonnell RB. 2007. Irrigation level affects isoflavone concentrations of early maturing soya bean cultivars. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science. 193(4):238-246.
Gélinas B, Seguin P. 2007. Oxalate in grain amaranth. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 55(12):4789-4794.
Al-Tawaha AM, Seguin P. 2006. Effects of seeding date, row spacing and weeds on soybean isoflavone concentrations and other seed characteristics. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 86(4):1079-1082.
Al-Tawaha AM, Seguin P, Smith DL, Beaulieu C. 2006. Foliar application of elicitors alters isoflavone concentrations and other seed characteristics of field-grown soybean. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 86(3):677-684.
Seguin P, Zheng W. 2006. Phytoestrogens content of alfalfa cultivars grown in eastern Canada. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 86(5):765-771.
Laberge G, Seguin P, Peterson PR, Sheaffer CC, Ehlke NJ. 2005. Forage yield and species composition in years following Kura clover sod-seeding into grass swards. Agronomy Journal. 97(5):1352-1360.
Sivesind E, Seguin P. 2005. Effects of the environment, cultivar, maturity, and preservation method on red clover isoflavone concentration. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 53(16):6397-6402.