Philippe Seguin

Image by Alex Tran.

Professor

T: 514-398-7855  | philippe.seguin [at] mcgill.ca (Email) |  Raymond Building, R2-027B

Degrees

BSc(Agr), MSc (McGill)
PhD (Minnesota)

Short Bio

Philippe Seguin obtained his PhD in agronomy in 2000 from the University of Minnesota (USA), following undergraduate and graduate studies in general agriculture and plant science at McGill University. In 2000 he joined McGill University as Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant Science and became Associate Professor in the same Department in 2006. He is a Full Professor since 2018. He served as Chair of the Department of Plant Science between 2009 and 2014 and as Acting Associate Dean (Research) between August 2016 and January 2017.

Awards and Recognitions

2009: Young Crop Scientist Award from the Crop Science Society of America (First recipient outside the USA since the creation of this award in 1984)
2005: Young Agronomist Award from the Canadian Society of Agronomy.

Research interests

Dr. Seguin conducts research on the management, physiology, and ecology of forage crops, and on the evaluation of new crop species and new crop uses (e.g, as source of health-beneficial compounds and biofuels) for eastern Canada.

The development of soybean as a source of nutraceuticals:

Evaluation of soybean cultivars for their concentration of health-beneficial compounds in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC (Photo: P. Seguin, McGill University).
Evaluation of soybean cultivars for their concentration of health-beneficial compounds in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC (Photo: P. Seguin, McGill University).

Nutraceuticals 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 my 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 soybean as value added products for agricultural producers of eastern Canada.

Management and selection of forage crops for improved yield and quality in a changing climate:

Evaluation of annual companion crops for the establishment of perennial forages in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC (Photo: P. Seguin, McGill University).
Evaluation of annual companion crops for the establishment of perennial forages in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC (Photo: P. Seguin, McGill University).

My research program evaluates the management of forage crops to improve their yield and quality. Current projects, for example, evaluate several annual companion crops that can be used for the establishment of perennial species to address winterkill, and annual and perennial species that can be used to address forage shortage associated with drought. In a multidisciplinary and interinstitutional project (i.e., Pôle d’expertise multidisciplinaire en gestion durable du littoral du lac Saint-Pierre) we are evaluating forage species that could be adapted to the floodplains of the Lac Saint-Pierre. We are evaluating their productivity, quality, and persistence, but also ecological services they may provide to local fauna (i.e., fish). We are also developing or adapting simple models (e.g., PEAQ: Predictive Equations of Alfalfa Quality) that could be used to predict in the field the pre-harvest nutritional quality of forage mixtures grown in Quebec. Work to date resulted in the development of a web-based decision aid tool for Quebec agricultural producers (see https://nutrifourrager.craaq.qc.ca/).

The evaluation of new crop species for eastern Canada:

Evaluation of industrial hemp cultivars in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC (Photo: P. Seguin, McGill University).
Evaluation of industrial hemp cultivars in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC (Photo: P. Seguin, McGill University).

I am also evaluating the potential of several species for emerging markets including the bioenergy, bioproducts, and gluten-free markets. 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.

International Agriculture:

Black belly sheep grazing in Barbados (Photo: P. Seguin, McGill University).
Black belly sheep grazing in Barbados (Photo: P. Seguin, McGill University).

I am also actively involved in field courses abroad including the course “Sustainable Land Use” offered in Barbados (https://www.mcgill.ca/bits/academic). I have also been contributing in the past 10 years to courses in Cuba and China (at the Inner Mongolia Agricultural University in Hohhot and Huazhong Agricultural University in Wuhan).

Examples of Current Research Projects

  • Evaluation of forage crops and their management to answer forage supply deficits due to drought stress (Original French title: Évaluation de plantes fourragères et de leur régie répondant à un problème d’approvisionnement en fourrage lié aux déficits hydriques)
  • Multidisciplinary expertise cluster on the sustainable management of the Lake Saint-Pierre floodplains (Pôle d’expertise multidisciplinaire en gestion durable du littoral du lac Saint-Pierre) (Webpage for more information)
  • Identify crop management practices that result in forages that are better balanced between rapidly fermentable carbohydrates and slowly degradable proteins (fractions B2-B3) in the rumen
  • Factors affecting health-beneficial compounds in soybean
  • Research Center in Plant Sciences (Original French title: Centre de recherche en sciences du végétal - SÈVE) (Webpage for more information)

Courses

AEBI 423 Sustainable Land Use 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


PLNT 302 Forage Crops and Pastures 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


PLNT 602 Advances in Agronomy 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


PLNT 701 Doctoral Comprehensive Exam
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Publications

View a list of current publications

Selected Publications

Seguin P, Pomerleau-Lacasse F, Drapeau R, Lajeunesse J, St-Pierre-Lepage S. 2020. Productivity and persistence of Kura clover and white clover mixtures with grasses. Agronomy Journal. 112(4):2891–2904.

Bélanger G, Tremblay GF, Seguin P, Lajeunesse J, Bittman S, Hunt D. 2020. Cutting management of alfalfa-based mixtures in contrasting agroclimatic regions. Agronomy Journal. 112(2):1160-1175.

Matteau C, Seguin P, Baurhoo B, Mustafa AF. 2020. Sudangrass as companion crop to establish alfalfa. Crop, Forage, and Turfgrass Management. 6(1):e20006.

(This paper has been highlighted in the January 2020 issue of CSA News; was selected as an highlighted article by the journal: https://acsess.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/23743832/highlights; also used to develop a 1.5 CEU credit self-study quiz used towards CCA certification of Certified Crop Advisors: https://www.certifiedcropadviser.org/education/classroom/classes/811)

Wood S, Seguin P, Tremblay GF, Bélanger G, Lajeunesse J, Martel H, Berthiaume R, St. Luce M, Claessens A. 2019. Predicting pre-harvest forage nutritive value of spring and summer growth of alfalfa-grass mixtures. Agronomy Journal. 111(6):3172–3181.

[The results from this paper were used to develop the decision-making aid tool NUTRI-Fourrager (www.nutrifourrager.craaq.qc.ca)]

Lauzon J, Tremblay GF, Bélanger G, Seguin P, Lajeunesse J, Gervais R. 2019. Alfalfa and timothy nutritive value in contrasted agroclimatic regions. Agronomy Journal. 111(3):1371-1380.

Pomerleau-Lacasse F, Seguin P, Tremblay G, Bélanger G, Lajeunesse J, Charbonneau E. 2019. Alternatives to timothy grown in mixture with alfalfa in eastern Canada. Agronomy Journal. 111(1): 314–327.

Wood S, Seguin P, Tremblay GF, Bélanger G, Lajeunesse J, Martel H, Berthiaume R, Claessens A. 2018. Validation of predictive equations of pre-harvest forage nutritive value for alfalfa-grass mixtures. Agronomy Journal. 110(3):950-960.

Carrera CS, Seguin P. 2016. Factors affecting tocopherol concentrations in soybean seeds. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 64(50):9465–9474.

(Article highlighted in Lipid Technology in their research highlights section in Jan. 2017, vol.29 p12-13)

Aubin M-P, Seguin P, Vanasse A, Lalonde O, Tremblay GF, Mustafa AF, Charron J-B. 2016. Evaluation of eleven industrial hemp cultivars grown in Eastern Canada. Agronomy Journal. 108(5):1972-1980.

(Articled featured on the cover of the issue; it also was the subject of a news release by the American Society of Agronomy on 19 Oct. 2016: https://www.certifiedcropadviser.org/science-news/growing-industrial-hemp-eastern-canada-new-frontier)

Aubin M-P, Seguin P, Vanasse A, Tremblay GF, Mustafa AF, Charron J-B. 2015. Industrial hemp response to nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium fertilization. Crop, Forage, and Turfgrass Management. 1:2015-0159. doi:10.2134/cftm2015.0159

(This paper has consistently been the most read paper in this Journal since its publication)

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