University of Manitoba plant breeder Anita Brlé-Babel has received an Honorary Life Membership award from the Manitoba Seed Growers’ Association (MSGA).
The award, presented Dec. 9 at the MSGA annual banquet in Winnipeg, is in recognition of Brlé-Babel’s significant contributions to the pedigreed seed industry.
Brlé-Babel specializes in wheat breeding and genetics and teaches several classes on plant breeding, genetics, and crop production. Her primary research is the inheritance of host resistance to residue-borne pathogens such as septoria leaf blotch and fusarium head blight, MSGA vice-president Craig Riddell said during the award ceremony.
Brule-Babel is breeding general purpose wheats for the biofuel and feed industries. She also conducts a large fusarium head blight screening nursery at Carman used by all wheat breeders in western Canada.
Banjo triticale, Amazon extra strong wheat and McClintock winter wheat are just some of the varieties developed by Brlé-Babel.
She currently has three winter wheats in the registration process.
“Anita’s most significant contribution to breeding has been more in the training of students that have become either assistant or head breeders for both the public and private sectors,” Riddell said.
In addition, Brlé-Babel has studied extensively the inheritance of herbicide resistance in weed populations.
She has been the University of Manitoba’s MSGA adviser for a number of years and is a long-serving member of the Manitoba Crop Variety Evaluation Trials (MCVET) board.
Brlé-Babel is a regular volunteer at the Winnipeg Humane Society and sings in her local church choir.
She and husband Ken have been married 29 years and have two daughters.