Staub, Jack E
Supvy Res Plant Physiol
USDA, ARS, NPA, FORAGE & RANGE RESEARCH
UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY-696 NORTH 1100 EAST
Logan UT 84322
Research is focused on broadening the biodiversity of forage germplasm and providing an array of improved plant materials for upgrading both semiarid and irrigated private and public lands in the western United States. Specific germplasm improvement projects are underway to provide plants for conservation, reclamation, recreation, and forage production purposes. New genetic combinations, germplasm introductions and plant selection provide an excellent gene pool for use in developing new plant materials. Modern methods of biotechnology are used to improve the efficiency of the plant breeding efforts. Polymerase chain reaction, RAPD, and FISH procedures, genetic markers, DNA sequencing, marker assisted selection and finger printing techniques are used to identify desirable genes such as those imparting cold temperature growth, seedling vigor, salt tolerance and reduced seed dormancy. Physiological and biochemical studies are effected to improve the knowledge base related to water-use efficiency, drought tolerance, cool temperature growth, nitrogen metabolism, and other adaptations that impact seedling vigor and enhanced plant growth in semiarid environments.