Issue: 1109

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
June 8, 2020

Top Stories

ISU One of Top Universities for U.S. Patents; CALS Scientists Earn 10 in 2019
For the fifth time, ISU Research Foundation, which processes and holds patents tied to Iowa State research, has made the annual list of top 100 worldwide universities granted U.S. patents. In 2019, Iowa State had 38 patents where ISURF was listed as the first assignee – 10 of which included a CALS researcher (see below). “The Iowa State University Research Foundation, Inc. greatly appreciates the creativity of the CALS inventors and congratulates them for receiving patents for their innovations,” said Dana Rewoldt, president of ISURF and interim director at ISU’s Office of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer. More

  1. Materials and Methods for Production of Bi-Functional Fatty Acids in Recombinant Bacteria – Shivani Garg, Huanan Jin, Basil Nikolau and Xiaochen Yu, biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology; and Marna Yandeau-Nelson, genetics, development and cell biology (January 2019) 
  2. Materials and Methods for Characterizing and Using a 3-ketoacyl-acyl Carrier Protein (ACP) Synthase III (KASIII) for Production of Bi-Functional Fatty Acids – Basil Nikolau, Shivani Garg and Huanan Jin, biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology; and Marna Yandeau-Nelson, genetics, development and cell biology (March 2019) 
  3. A Method for Optimizing Plastic Compositions Used in Packaging to Increase Shelf-Life of Perishable Products and a System Thereof – Keith Vorst and Greg Curtzwiler, food science and human nutrition (June 2019) 
  4. Plant Genes Involved in Nitrate Uptake and Metabolism – Patrick Schnable and Sudhansu Dash, agronomy (July 2019)
  5. Soil Nitrate Sensing System for Precision Management of Nitrogen Fertilizer Applications – David Laird and Natalia Rogovska, agronomy (July 2019)
  6. Baler with Mass Flow Sensing Assembly and Method of Initiating Stuffer Trip – Jeffrey Askey, agricultural and biosystems engineering (July 2019)
  7. Fatty Acid Ester-Based Wax Compositions and Methods of Making Thereof – Tong Wang and Tao Fei, food science and human nutrition (July 2019)
  8. Materials and Methods for Using an Acyl-Acyl Carrier Protein Thioesterase and Mutants and Chimeras Thereof in Fatty Acid Synthesis – Basil Nikolau and Fuyuan Jing, biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology; Marna Yandeau-Nelson, genetics, development and cell biology (August 2019) 
  9. Yield Measurement and Base Cutter Height Control Systems for a Harvester – Matthew Darr, agricultural and biosystems engineering (August 2019)
  10. Fatty Acid Ester-Based Wax Compositions and Methods of Making Thereof – Tong Wang and Tao Fei, food science and human nutrition (October 2019)

Attend CALS Town Hall Meeting Via Zoom on Thursday, June 11
Dean Robison will lead a CALS Town Hall Meeting for faculty and staff on Thursday, June 11, at 10 a.m. via Zoom (password: 449070). The meeting will be recorded for later viewing. Besides Zoom, you can join the meeting by phone. For higher quality, choose one of the following numbers based on your current location: (301) 715-8592; (312) 626-6799; (646) 558-8656; (253) 215-8782; (346) 248-7799; or (669) 900-6833. The webinar ID is 826 3867 0602, with password: 449070.


Kelley Wins USDA AFRI Competitive Grant for Plant Research
Dior Kelley, genetics, development and cell biology, has received a $450,000 grant through USDA’s Agricultural Food and Research Institute to study the role of auxin pathways driving maize root growth. Kelley and co-PI Justin Walley, plant pathology and microbiology, will work with collaborators to better understand the key regulatory events governing auxin-mediated root development in maize and determining predictive regulatory networks that underpin maize root architecture. Last year, Kelley’s research on plant root growth was published in Molecular and Cellular Proteomics.

Teaching and Students

28 CALS Students Impacted by Cancellation of Fall Study-Abroad
ISU fall study abroad programs that were scheduled to depart before Dec. 1 have been canceled. In CALS, this impacts 24 students that were scheduled for a travel course to New Zealand in November led by agronomy and animal science faculty. Also impacted are four CALS students that planned to spend fall semester in Greece and the Netherlands. 

Extension and Outreach

Virtual Animal Cy-ience Academy Offered for High School Students
ISU Extension and Outreach and the animal science department are hosting a virtual Iowa State Animal Cy-ience Academy on July 1. High school students from across the country can log on and choose from more than 14 workshops. The educational event will showcase the many disciplines and career opportunities available in the field of animal science. More

Around the College

Retired Popcorn Breeder Keeps on Poppin’
Ken Ziegler served as ISU’s Iowa Corn Yield Test Program leader and developed and became the university’s Popcorn Breeding Program project leader from 1977 until his retirement in 2004. Following retirement, he continued breeding and popping popcorn to improve its overall quality. More

CALS Annual Barbecue Canceled
The annual CALS barbecue scheduled for Sept. 5 at the Hansen Agricultural Student Learning Center has been canceled. The college looks forward to welcoming alumni and friends back to campus for the event in 2021. 

Connect With CALS during Social Distancing: Melea Reicks Licht
Each week during this time of social distancing, the college will be sharing CALS faculty, staff, students and alumni favorite locations on campus, activities, books, podcasts and more. Meet Melea Reicks Licht, director of alumni relations.


June 10: Nutrient-Reducing Prairie Strips Webinar
Iowa Learning Farms will host a webinar on Wednesday, June 10, at noon on how to optimize nutrient-reducing prairie strips. More

June 11: Saturated Buffer Field Day
Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with the Iowa Nutrient Research Center, Conservation Learning Group and Prairie Rivers of Iowa, is hosting a free, virtual saturated buffer field day on Thursday, June 11, at 1 p.m. The event will explore the first-ever saturated buffer that was installed in 2010 within an existing riparian buffer along Bear Creek in Hamilton County. More

June 12: Farmland Ownership Webinar
Learn about recent legal and tax updates, COVID-19 legislation, crop marketing strategies and related topics during two free webinars from the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation and ISU Extension and Outreach. The first webinar, Farmland Owners Update, will be held Friday, June 12, at noon. More

June 23-26: Virtual Spring Field Day
ISU Extension and Outreach in conjunction with the Southeast Iowa Agricultural Research Association will hold a virtual field day webinar series from June 23-26. This replaces the annual face-to-face spring field day that is held at the Iowa State Southeast Research and Demonstration Farm. More

Communications Kiosk

What Time is Your Virtual Meeting or Webinar?
When communicating the time of an event, use figures except for noon and midnight. The construction 4 o’clock is acceptable, but time listings with a.m. or p.m. are preferred. Avoid such redundancies as 10 a.m. this morning or 10 a.m. Monday morning. (Associated Press Stylebook, 2018 edition, pg. 282)


Guidance Released for Events at ISU, Plus a New Requirement
A set of recommendations for all university events hosted at Iowa State has been posted on the COVID-19 Response events and venues page (see Event Guidance in right margin). Also, event hosts, including colleges, departments, administrative units, venues and student organizations, are now required to register events in the University Event Authorization System.  

Online Dashboard Launched to Inform Better Food Policy
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition and The Johns Hopkins Alliance for a Healthier World launched a new online tool designed to help decision makers understand their food systems, identify their levers of change and decide which ones to pull. The Food Systems Dashboard is a holistic resource intended for policymakers, nongovernmental organizations, businesses, civil society leaders and other actors to enable timely visualization of national food systems, understand the interconnections across multiple sectors, perform comparisons with other countries, identify key challenges and prioritize actions. More


The Gentle Doctor Focus of University Museums Virtual Program
This week’s “The Life and Legacy of Christian Petersen” program presented by University Museums will focus on The Gentle Doctor. With Petersen’s original studio in the Veterinary Medicine building, he had a close connection to the veterinary medicine faculty and students. The video will be available on the University Museums’ YouTube Channel on Thursday afternoon, June 11. More  

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online

Julie Stewart, Editor, (515) 294-5616 

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online, the newsletter for faculty and staff in Iowa State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is published by email every Monday. The deadline for submitting content is 12 p.m. on Friday. 


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