plant breeding

Africa needs plant breeders to fight food insecurity. Our Plant Breeding E-Learning in Africa program is part of an effort to help educate the next generation of plant breeders in Africa thanks to support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The National Association of Plant Breeders announced their first group of graduate and undergraduate Borlaug Scholars, and our students took three of the eight awards. Our Katelyn Fritz and Andrew Herr, juniors in Agronomy, were selected Borlaug Undergraduate Scholars. Our Kevin Falk, graduate student with Dr. Asheesh (Danny) Singh, was selected Borlaug Graduate Scholar.

Katelyn Fritz

"Borlaug increased yield and got calories to everyone," said Fritz. "I want to leverage breeding to make those calories more nutricious."

As planting gets underway for farmers and researchers, Dr. Asheesh Singh's soybean lab will be able to plant more efficiently thanks to a donation from Monsanto. The St. Louis based agriculture company develops products and tools to help farmers aground the world grow crops more sustainably. 

“We are pleased to provide this planter donation to Iowa State University,” said J.D. Rossouw, North America and Latin America North Plant Breeding Lead for Monsanto. “Tools like this planter help to prepare the next generation of agricultural scientists and leaders and we are grateful to be a part of encouraging students to pursue careers in agricultural industries to help drive food security.”

Clayton Carley Ph.D. Graduate Research Assistant
Clayton N Carley
Graduate Assistant-Research

The Brown Graduate Fellowship has been awarded to two Agronomy Graduate students, Qi Mu and Mauricio Tejera. The Brown Graduate Fellowship is to be used to strategically advance ISU research in the areas of study that are governed by the Valentine Hammes Family and Leopold Hammes Brown Family Trust.  The areas of study include science, agriculture, and space science. The preference is to fund Ph.D. students, although exceptional M.S. students will be considered.

 

Brown Graduate Fellowship Awardee

Parallel Algorithms and Software for High-Throughput Sequence Assembly

High-throughput next-generation DNA sequencing technologies (NGS) are causing a major revolution in life sciences research by allowing rapid and cost-effective sampling of genomes and transcriptomes (expressed genomic sequences). Assembly of genomes and transcriptomes from billions of such randomly sampled sequences is an important problem in computational biology. While significant strides have been made, much work remains in addressing the diverse and rapidly emerging platforms, improving assembly quality, and scaling to both large-scale data sizes and large genomes.

Hierarchical Modeling and Parallelized Bayesian Inference for the Analysis of RNAseq Data

This proposal focuses on the development of hierarchical models and parallelized Bayesian inference for the analysis of RNA sequencing (RNAseq) data. Special emphasis is placed on gene expression profiling of parental inbred lines and their hybrid offspring for the discovery of key genes underlying heterosis, the genetic phenomenon otherwise known as hybrid vigor.

Genetic networks regulating structure and function of the maize shoot apical meristem

The shoot apical meristem (SAM) is responsible for development of all above ground organs in the plant. SAM structure and function correlates with agronomically-important adult traits in the maize plant, and is also affected by planting density and shade stresses induced by agricultural environments. The ultimate goal of this project is to increase understanding of the regulatory networks controlling SAM structure and function and the responses of these networks to environmental stresses.

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