plant breeding

Dr. Kendall R Lamkey
Professor and Chair

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.

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!

Dr. Irving Carlson joined the agronomy family as a plant breeder in 1960. He passed away February 23, 2019 at the age of 92.

After getting his bachelor's and masters at Washington State University, he earned his PhD in plant breeding at the University of Wisconsin in 1955. He spent four years at North Carolina State University before coming to Ames. 

A key focus of his work was the development of new varieties of orchard grass and other cool season forage crops. In addition, Irving advised many graduate students from around the country and around the world.

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