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.
Plant Sciences ⋅ Page 31
“I quickly found the architecture studies program was not for me,” the senior from Monticello said. “I decided to pursue my landscape architecture passions through the plant science landscape design program. It was not a hard switch. The College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources was so welcoming, and the advisers were very helpful.”
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.
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.
In an unexpected place, the Bootheel of Missouri, a research program that could increase rice production began just as the world was reading the shortage news. Using a system of watering familiar to Midwestern farmers, center-pivot irrigation, the study is looking to grow rice on land where it cannot now be planted. If successful, the project could significantly increase rice production.
A survivor of uncounted tornadoes and lightning strikes, the 90-ft. tall, 91-inch wide tree was stressed. Probably the second largest bur oak in the nation, the soil around it has been compacted by cars and some of its dead limbs were infested with wood decay that threatened the other branches and trunk.
It’s hard enough for a scuba diving newcomer to plant coral seedlings in a seabed on the other side of the world. It is harder still when a NBC TV news camera follows your every move. During Winter Break, 15 MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources students spent three weeks studying conservation and biodiversity in Thailand.
Polka-dotted poinsettias? Tiger-striped, creamy white with blue and red spots, blue and green stripes with gold glitter, or black tiger paws on gold leaves? Is this some wild experiment at the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources? No, these unique holiday plants are the creations of CAFNR plant science students working in the College’s in-house floral shop called Tiger Garden. The poinsettias are individual works of art created to make a special season even more festive.