Alison Ferrie

Roles and responsibilities

I am Team Lead for the Cell Technologies team within ACRD.  Our focus is to develop and utilize plant cell culture methods to improve crop production.  We work with a wide range of plant species including cereals, oilseeds, horticultural crops, and specialty crops.

Current research and/or projects

My focus is to develop and utilize doubled haploidy technology that will speed up the development of new superior crop varieties.  An efficient doubled haploidy protocol will provide a competitive edge to our partners, reduce the time (up to 40%) and resources required by the plant breeders, provide higher yielding adaptable varieties to the producer, and provide better quality varieties to the consumer. We have established doubled haploidy protocols for several of the cereals, oilseeds, horticultural, and specialty crops.

Research and/or project statements

  • Use plant cell and tissue culture to enhance crop development.
  • Develop doubled haploidy methodology for Canadian crops. Currently working on wheat, potatoes and pulse crops.


Ph.D, University of Saskatchewan, 1990

MSc, University of Manitoba, 1986

B.S.A, University of Manitoba, 1984

Professional activities/interests

  • Plant Tissue culture
  • Doubled haploidy


  • International Association of Plant Biotechnology
  • Toastmasters International

Inventions and patents

Ferrie, A.M.R., Mykytyshyn, M., Bethune, T. Methods for producing microspore derived doubled haploid apiaceae.  US patent 7,923,248.


Ferrie, A.M.R., Balsevich, J., Kernan, Z.  Microspore-based system for selection of improved agronomic performance and novel compositions in Saponaria. US Patent Application 11/913,418. 

Key publications

Ferrie, A.M.R. 2017. Doubled haploid production in higher plants.  In: Encyclopedia of Applied Plant Sciences, Vol 2, Thomas, B., Murray, B.G, and Murphy, D.J. (eds) Waltham, MA:Academic Press, pp. 147-151.

Ferrie, A.M.R., Irmen, K.I., Beattie, A.D., and Rossnagel, B.G. 2014 Isolated microspore culture of oat (Avena sativa L.) for the production of doubled haploids: effect of pre-culture and post-culture conditions.  Plant Cell, Tiss. Org. Cult. 116:89-96

Ferrie, A.M.R. 2012. Advances in microspore culture technology: A biotechnological tool for the improvement of medicinal plants. Chapter 8 In: Biotechnology for Medicinal Plants.  Chandra, S. (eds.) Springer-Verlag Berlin. DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-29974-2_8 

Ferrie, A.M.R. and Caswell, K.L.  2011.  Review of doubled haploidy methodologies in ornamental species.  Propagation of Ornamental Plants 11:63-77.

Ferrie, A.M.R. and Mollers, C.  2011.  Haploids and doubled haploids in Brassica spp. for genetic and genomic research.  Plant Cell Tissue and Organ Culture 104: 375-386

Ferrie, A.M.R., Bethune, T., and Mykytyshyn, M. 2011.  Microspore embryogenesis in the Apiaceae.  Plant Cell Tissue and Organ Culture 104: 399-406.

Malik, M.R., Wang, F., Dirpaul, J.M., Zhou, N., Polowick, P.L., Ferrie, A.M.R., Krochko, J.E. 2007. Transcript Profiling and Identification of Molecular Markers for Early Microspore Embryogenesis in Brassica napus. Plant Physiology 144:134-154.

International experience and/or work

Worked with a number of international companies.

Alison Ferrie

Alison Ferrie

Principal Research Officer
Aquatic and Crop Resource Development
110 Gymnasium Place
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 0W9
Preferred language: English
Telephone: 306-975-5993


Agriculture, Agri-Food, Biotechnology, Plant reproduction, Novel-trait plants, Plant, Botany, Plants