Research

Leandro Tonello Zuffo, a PhD student visiting from Federal University of Viçosa in Brazil with an interest in agronomy arrived to Iowa State University on August 30, 2018 and is conducting research with Dr. Thomas Lubberstedt. Leandro’s research focus is on the application of tools and methods provided by genome analysis to understand the composition of complex traits and phenomena, to determine and exploit genetic diversity in elite and exotic germplasm and apply this knowledge to plant breeding.

Thoughts from our Anne Dinges who attended the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research last month at Kennesaw State University, just north of Atlanta, Georgia.

"It was a rewarding experience to present my research at a conference of 4,000 presenters. During my poster session, I had people that came up with varying levels of plant genetics knowledge. I was able to tell those with very little about my project, experience, and the potential impact it could have on farmers in the future. On the other hand, I had a couple in-depth conversations regarding current and future plant biotechnology with people that are studying exactly that at other universities.  

New research published this week identifies the genomic features that might have made domestication possible for corn and soybeans, two of the world’s most critical crop species.

The research, published Wednesday in the peer-reviewed academic journal Genome Biology, has implications for how scientists understand domestication, or the process by which humans have been able to breed plants for desirable traits through centuries of cultivation. The researchers drew on vast amounts of data on the genomes of corn and soybeans and compared particular sections of the genomes of wild species and domestic varieties, noting where the genomes diverged most markedly.

PhD candidate John Jones was awarded with the Future Leaders in Science Award from the ASA-CSSA-SSSA. Speaking with colleagues who had attended the ASA-CSSA-SSSA Congressional Visits Day in the past led him to apply for the award. The tri-societies provide workshops and sessions for graduate students who have an interest in communicating their science to a broader audience. After interacting with actively engaged graduate students and representatives from the ASA-CSSA-SSSA science policy office, the Future Leaders of Science Award seemed like an excellent opportunity for John to expand his understanding of science communicator. 

BASF has joined the Iowa Soybean Research Center at Iowa State University as an industry partner to support emerging technology and innovations to help soybean growers produce high yielding, high quality soybeans.

“We welcome and look forward to collaborating with BASF,” said Greg Tylka, director of the Iowa Soybean Research Center and a professor of plant pathology and microbiology at Iowa State. “We greatly appreciate BASF’s financial support. Their partnership with the center underscores their commitment to research in the area of soybean production and illustrates their understanding of the real-world challenges that Iowa soybean farmers face.”

Our Kevin Falk was recently awarded both the Graduate Student Leadership and Research awards from the Iowa State Graduate and Professional Student Senate. He was the only graduate student across the university to win both awards. Congratulations, Kevin!

In 2013, Monsanto partnered with the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State University to create the Monsanto Chair in Soybean Breeding. The position has provided the soybean breeding program with tremendous opportunities and offered substantial results.

Since its inception, the named faculty position has been held by Dr. Asheesh Singh, who earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and animal husbandry from G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology in India, a master’s degree in plant breeding and genetics from the University of Saskatchewan and a doctorate in plant breeding and genetics from the University of Guelph.

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