Visting Scholar from Federal University of Viçosa: Leandro Tonello Zuffo

May 13, 2019

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 Lübberstedt, Professor and K.J. Frey Chair in the Department of Agronomy. While working with Dr. Lübberstedt, 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. Leandro also utilizes the genetic resources by using double haploid technology to accelerate plant breeding under the supervision of Dr. Lübberstedt. Iowa State University is only one of three universities in the world that does research with double haploid technology and one of the main reasons that Leandro looked forward to completing his internship at Iowa State.

Leandro is also working with Larry Halverson, Associate Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology. Leandro works with Mr. Halverson on researching the root response and bacterial community interaction on maize under contrasting nitrogen conditions. The work focuses on the interaction of the root traits of contrasting maize inbred lines with the bacterial community, potential interactions the members of this community and effects on the maize inbred lines in different N rates.

While at Iowa State University, Leandro has enjoyed the opportunity to use advanced technology to conduct his research on maize breeding and production while also getting the opportunity to make connections with industry professionals. The connections made have allowed Leandro to interview with a major international agriscience company with hopes to potentially work for the company upon his return to Brazil. Prior to returning to Brazil, Leandro looks forward to expanding his cultural experiences as he takes the opportunity to site see historic landmarks and attractions in the United States when his parents visit from Brazil. Upon returning home on August 28, 2019, Leandro will finish his requirements to obtain his PhD including completing his thesis and then hopes to start a job in plant breeding. 

*Leandro Tonello Zuffo is being hosted by the Global Programs Department

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