Research

By Ellen Bombela, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications Service

Jianming Yu is considered one of the top scientists in the world in quantitative genetics, which integrates plant breeding, genomics, molecular genetics and statistics.

His goal is to develop and implement new strategies and methods in trait dissection and crop improvement. His work has earned him the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Raymond and Mary Baker Agronomic Excellence Award.

His success is driven by constantly asking questions.

Dr. Antonio Mallarino kneeling in a soybean fieldJust like people, plants need nutrients to help them grow. Antonio Mallarino, professor of agronomy, has put together a team of scientists from across the Midwest to better understand how micronutrients aid growth and development of soybeans.

“Micronutrients are nutrients that are essential for crops but are only needed in very small amounts,” says Mallarino. “Those most commonly thought about by farmers are boron, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum and zinc.”

Mallarino led a team of researchers and extension specialists from five universities in reviewing micronutrient research on soybeans in the North Central region. This included over 200 field trials conducted in five states since 2012.

Graduate student Kevin Falk and Dr. Asheesh Singh inspecting soybean rootsDNA is everywhere, including the root system of plants. Up until now few have studied the genetic basis of root structure because it’s difficult to observe how roots grow underground.

Asheesh Singh, professor of agronomy, and his doctorate student Kevin Falk are two of the few doing it with help from Baskar Ganapathysubramanian, professor of mechanical engineering, and Gwyn Beattie, professor of plant pathology.

Improved crop yield predictions are expected from Iowa State University research generated by a Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research New Innovator Award grant announced today.Photo Credit: Kathryn Gamble

Sotirios Archontoulis, an assistant professor of agronomy, was one of seven scientists from across the country to win this year’s New Innovator Award.

Recent years of high rainfall and prolonged wet soil conditions in Iowa have renewed interest to protect losses of fertilizer nitrogen (N) in corn. This study evaluated effect of N additives and a slow-release urea product on the soil NO3–N fraction of total inorganic N, mid–vegetative growth N stress, grain yield, and corn nitrogen use efficiency. Earn 1 CEU in Nutrient Management by reading this article and taking the quiz at www.certifiedcropadviser.org/education/classroom/classes/516.

 

Crops and Soils Magazine - Digital Extra, October 5, 2017

AMES, Iowa – An Iowa State University agronomist is charting mechanisms – gene by gene – that could lead to soybean varieties resistant to sudden death syndrome.

A paper published recently in the peer-reviewed academic journal Plant Physiology shows a gene found in a model plant called Arabidopsis could confer improved disease resistance in soybeans. Madan Bhattacharyya, a professor of agronomy and lead author of the study, said his current research points toward several Arabidopsis genes that could act in concert to help soybeans fight off sudden death syndrome, a disease that has caused millions of dollars in crop losses for Iowa farmers.

Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) is a C4 species sensitive to the cold spring conditions that occur at northern latitudes, especially when coupled with excessive light, and that greatly affect the photosynthetic rate. The objective of this study was to discover genes/genomic regions that control the capacity to cope with excessive energy under low temperature conditions during the vegetative growth period. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) was conducted for seven photosynthetic gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence traits under three consecutive temperature treatments: control (28 °C/24 °C), cold (15 °C/15 °C), and recovery (28 °C/24 °C). Cold stress significantly reduced the rate of photosynthetic CO2 uptake of sorghum plants, and a total of 143 unique genomic regions were discovered associated with at least one trait in a particular treatment or with derived variables.

Antonio Mallarino, Matthew Helmers, Richard Cruse, John Sawyer, Dan Jaynes 

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