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ENVIRONMENTAL AND GENETIC DETERMINANTS OF SEED QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE
Research is underway comparing seed protein and oil content in the seeds with the same genetic background, and extent of freezing injury. This research will explore the possible development of simple, rapid tests for early detection of freezing injury in corn seeds; and the identification of genes of interest for tolerance/resistance to freezing injury for future use in breeding programs.
Investigators: Manjit Misra, Susana Goggi, Gary Munkvold, Seed Science Center; Allen Knapp, agronomy
TRANSGENIC APPROACHES IN MANAGING SUDDEN DEATH SYNDROME IN SOYBEAN
Sudden death syndrome (SDS) is a major disease of soybeans, which caused $820 million in crop loss in 2010. There are no effective management tools to control SDS and genes that provide complete SDS resistance are yet to be discovered. This project is evaluating the feasibility of several genetic approaches to create stable transgenic soybean lines with enhanced resistance to this major disease.
Investigators: Madan Bhattacharyya, Silvia Cianzio, agronomy; Dong Liang, electrical and computer engineering; Xiaoqui Huang, computer science, Chad Hart, economics; Leonor Leandro, Alison Robertson, plant pathology and microbiology; Adah Leshem, Center for Biorenewable Chemicals; Carmen Bain, sociology
MODIFICATION OF A BT TOXIN FOR SOYBEAN APHID RESISTANCE
Sap-sucking insects including aphids cause significant economic loss to U.S. agriculture. Current control methods rely heavily on the application of chemical insecticides for reducing aphid populations, which can also inadvertently harm beneficial insects such as honey bees. Management of the soybean aphid has been difficult and costly since the introduction of this invasive pest into the U.S. in 2000. Researchers are testing a new toxin against the soybean aphid, with the long term goal of developing soybeans that are resistant to the soybean aphid.
Investigator: Bryony Bonning, entomology
IMPLEMENTING NEW IPM STRATEGIES FOR THE SUMMER DISEASE COMPLEX OF APPLES
This research and extension project seeks to enable North Central Region apple growers to cut input costs, save three fungicide sprays a season and improve control of major summer diseases: sooty blotch and flyspeck, and fruit rots. Field experiments in Iowa and Indiana will validate a regional warning system for sooty blotch and flyspeck and develop a warning system for fruit rots; investigate surfactants to improve reduced-risk fungicides against fruit rots; compare costs and returns of the new strategies; and deliver the project's messages to apple growers in the region.
Investigator: Mark Gleason, horticulture; Jean Batzer, plant pathology and microbiology; Mike Duffy, economics; Elwynn Taylor, agronomy
ECOLOGICAL AND GENETIC DIVERSITY OF SOILBORNE PATHOGENS AND INDIGENOUS MICROFLORA
The living component of soil has a distinct impact on plant growth and soil health, from the perspective of beneficial organisms and from organisms that cause plant diseases. This study seeks to better understand the biological soil environment, perhaps resulting in improved nitrogen and phosphorus nutrition of higher plants and reducing fertilizer inputs.
Investigator: Tom Loynachan, agronomy
SUSTAINABLE AND ENVIRONMENTALLY SAFE MANAGEMENT OF SOILS IN BIOMASS PRODUCTION SYSTEMS
Research compares the environmental and soil impacts of corn-based feedstock production systems with alternative systems using perennial plant species and with traditional grain production systems. One goal is to identify management strategies that increase production efficiency and improve resource conservation. Emphasis is given to measuring soil properties associated with soil quality, assessing the potential for soil erosion and acidification, assessing the carbon sequestration potential of alternative production systems and assessing the long-term implications of large-scale biomass production for the Iowa landscape.
Investigators: Michael Thompson, Lee Burras, Rick Cruse, Robert Horton, David Laird, agronomy