In Missouri, where soybeans reign as the number one cash crop, soybean pathogens can cut yields and impact the state’s economy. A research effort to identify the genes essential for a strong plant defense against three diseases got a boost recently with a new $2.1 million grant by the National Science Foundation to Iowa State University and the University of Missouri.
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In his daytime job as part of the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Animal Sciences faculty, Peter Sutovsky studies mammalian spermatogenesis, fertilization and pre-implantation embryonic development. In his off-hours, he helps detectives solve criminal cases. The associate professor is a member of a joint venture between the University of Missouri and the Paternity Testing Corp. (PTC) that seeks to revolutionize forensic work relating to rape cases.
Everyone is familiar with storm chasers who follow tornadoes during the summer months. One University of Missouri researcher and a team of students will be doing much the same thing this winter in search of a rare weather phenomenon called thundersnow. The research could make the prediction of such severe snowfall events more accurate.
When it comes to wine, the Norton grape has its admirers. But qualities other than taste are bringing Missouri’s state grape to the attention of science. University of Missouri researchers, together with scientists at Missouri State University and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, are investigating the genes that make Norton grapes resistant to fungal pathogens that can plague other varieties of wine grapes.
Seven Missouri researchers recently received funding through the Missouri Life Sciences Research Trust Fund. Six of the researchers are from the University of Missouri—of these, three are from the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. The grants total $5,525,785.
Escalating feed and fertilizer prices have eroded profitability in the beef industry nationwide. With over 54,000 beef operations and the second largest beef herd in the U.S., Missouri stands to lose a lot. Researchers at University of Missouri’s Southwest Center near Mt. Vernon, Mo., have found how many pounds a cow gains per pound of feed consumed varies between animals.
Despite being battered by the remnants of Hurricane Ike, an experiment to grow rice under center-pivot sprinkler irrigation yielded as much or more of the grain as conventional methods. This new technique may allow farmers to produce the crop in areas where it cannot be grown now, helping produce more food for a hungry world.
Soy is considered a healthy addition to a diet, but sometimes it is not easy on the stomach. Now, a University of Missouri researcher believes she has the answer: freeze-dried probiotic microcapsules.
In a research and educational project to understand how non-summer thunderstorms are triggered by a process called elevated convection, Patrick Market, associate professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, will lie in wait for these cold and warm fronts to roll across Columbia, Mo.
Cystic fibrosis, an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the U.S., has been a difficult disease to study as there are no effective animal models that mimic the human condition. That changed recently because University of Missouri and University of Iowa researchers can now produce pigs born with CF that have the exact symptoms of a newborn human with the disease.