Professor, Acting Associate Dean (Research)
T: 514-398-7855 | philippe.seguin [at] mcgill.ca (Email) | Raymond Building, R2-027B
BSc(Agr), MSc (McGill)
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 served as Chair of the Department of Plant Science between 2009 and 2014, and is currently the acting Associate Dean Research of the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
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.
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 in southwestern Québec.
The development of soybean as a source of nutraceuticals:
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 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 soybean 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.
Management of forage crops for improved yield and quality: Our research program also evaluates the management of forage crops to improve their yield and quality. Current projects, for example, evaluate alternatives to the common alfalfa-timothy mixture, testing new grass species recently commercialized in eastern Canada, but also more complex mixtures. The adaptation of various mixtures and their harvest management is being evaluated as part of Provincial trials. We are also evaluating the possibility of developing or adapting simple models (e.g. PEAQ: Predictive Equations of Alfalfa Quality) that could be used to predict the nutritional quality of forage mixtures grown in Quebec.
International Agriculture: I am also actively involved in field courses abroad including the courses “Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security in Cuba” offered in Cuba (https://www.mcgill.ca/macdonald/programs/fieldstudies/cuba) and “Sustainable Land Use” offered in Barbados (https://www.mcgill.ca/bits/academic). These courses present sustainable agricultural practices in tropical environments. I have also been contributing to courses in China.
Current Research Projects
- Factors affecting health-beneficial compounds in soybean
- Estimation de la valeur nutritive de fourrage de luzerne et de graminées avant la récolte en utilisant des mesures au champ
- Évaluation de la performance de cultivars fourragères pérennes dans la région de Montréal
- Agri-environmental assessment of Canadian dairy farms: Towards eco-efficient management of forage crops and manure
- Centre de recherche en sciences du végétal (SÈVE)
- Eastern Canadian Oilseed Development Initiative (Oilseeds East: Market-Driven Research for Soybean and Canola Supply Chain Profitability)
- Development of sustainable alternative sources of bedding for dairy cows
- Amélioration des graminées fourragères dans un contexte de changements climatiques
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. 2015(1):doi: 10.2134/cftm2015.0159doi: 10.2134/cftm15.0159
Messerli J, Bertrand A, Bourassa J, Bélanger G, Castonguay Y, Tremblay G, Baron V, Seguin P. 2015. Performance of low-cost open-top chambers for long-term assessment of climate change under field conditions. Agronomy Journal. 107(3):916-920.
Morrison MJ, Cober ER, Frégeau-Reid JA, Seguin P. 2015. Changes in lutein and tocopherol concentrations in soybean varieties released across seven decades in the short-season region. Crop Science. 55(1):55:312-319.
Delaquis E, Samson R, Seguin P, Mustafa AF, Martel H. 2014. Impacts of improved switchgrass and big bluestem selections on biomass yield, quality, and morphological characteristics. Advances in Agriculture. 2014:192824. doi:10.1155/2014/192824
Seguin P, Chennupati P, Tremblay G, Liu W. 2014. Crop management, genotypes, and environmental factors affect soyasaponin B concentration in soybean. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 62(29):7160-7165.
Seguin P, Mustafa AF, Donnelly DJ, Gélinas B. 2013. Chemical composition and ruminal nutrient degradability of fresh and ensiled amaranth forage. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 93(15):3730-3736.
Piva A, Bertrand A, Bélanger G, Castonguay Y, Seguin P. 2013. Growth and physiological response of timothy to elevated CO2 and temperature under contrasted nitrogen fertilization. Crop Science. 53(2):704-715.
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.
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, Turcotte P. 2011. Soybean lutein concentration: Impact of crop management and genotypes. Crop Science. 51(3):1151-1160.
Kim EH, Seguin P, Lee JE, Song HK, Chung IM. 2011. Elevated ultraviolet-B radiation reduces concentrations of isoflavones and phenolic compounds in soybean seeds. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science. 197(1):75-80
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.
Lee S-J, Seguin P, Kim J-J, Moon H-I, Ro H-M, Kim R-H, Seo S-H, Kang E-Y, Ahn J-K, Chung I-M. 2010. Isoflavones in Korean soybeans differing in seed coat and cotyledon color. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. 23(2):160-165.
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.
Chen H, Seguin P, Archambault A, Constan L, Jabaji S. 2009. Gene expression and isoflavone concentrations in soybean sprouts treated with chitosan. Crop Science. 49(1):224-236.
Gélinas B, Seguin P. 2008. Evaluation of management practices for grain amaranth production in eastern Canada. Agronomy Journal. 100(2):344-351.
Gélinas B, Seguin P. 2008. Development and yield potential of grain amaranth in southwestern Québec. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 88(1):133-136. [Article featured on the issue’s cover].
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.