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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Christie Williams

Dr. Christie Williams of the Crop Production and Pest Control Research Unit in west Lafayette IN, traveled to Stockholm Sweden on April 22. The reason for the trip was to participate in a panel reviewing a research program for MISTRA, the Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research. The other three panel members were from Denmark and Finland. The program that was reviewed, PlantComMistra,is a large project focusing on plant communication and aphid control using a strategy that encompasses ecological, biochemical, breeding and molecular genetic research. During this review, the panel met with the core researchers, assessed their first two years of progress as well as the approach proposed for the next two years, and wrote a 15-page report. Although the review process was intense, the down-time was enjoyable as the Swedish hosts accompanied the panel members on a walking tour of downtown Stockholm and out for meals where traditional Swedish food was featured.

Steve Scofield

Purdue and USDA-Agricultural Research Service scientists have discovered that a type of gene in grain-producing plants halts infection by a disease-causing fungus that can destroy crops vital for human food supplies. The research team is the first to show that the same biochemical process protects an entire plant family - grasses - from the devastating, fungal pathogen. The naturally occurring disease resistance probably is responsible for the survival of grains and other grasses over the past 60 million years. More:http://news.uns.purdue.edu/hp/JohalGrassgene.html

Steve Goodwin

Dr. Stephen Goodwin will travel to Ede, the Netherlands during October 15-22. He will serve for two days on the Scientific Advisory Group for the European project BioExploit. This will entail hearing summaries of research conducted on wheat and potato diseases during the past year, and will provide an excellent way to get caught up on the latest scientific research in Europe. After the meetings, Dr. Goodwin will spend two days visiting the lab of long-term collaborator Dr. Gert Kema at Plant Research International in Wageningen (a ten-minute drive from Ede). The purpose of that visit is to finish the draft of a manuscript on the genome sequence of Mycosphaerella graminicola. Most of Dr. Goodwin’s travel expenses will be paid by the BioExploit project so the cost to his CRIS project will be minimal. Dr. Goodwin is a co-organizer of a Dothideomycetes Comparative Genomics Jamboree to be held in Walnut Creek, CA, November 10-12. The purpose of the workshop is to facilitate and perform comparative genomics analyses of seven sequenced fungal genomes to better understand pathogenicity, evolution and gene function. So far, it looks like at least 25 scientists from nine countries will participate and a broad range of topics will be covered, hopefully leading to one or more publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Stephen Goodwin will attend the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the All-Russian Research Institute of Phytopathology, Golytsino, Russia (near Moscow), November 24-29. The trip also will satisfy an annual site visit required as part of a collaborative research project funded by the U.S. State Department (through ARS) and the International Science and Technology Center. The event will be attended by at least nine ARS scientists and employees who are part of the grant program. Hopefully we can have a Thanksgiving abroad, as the meetings are the same week as our holiday, despite efforts to get the Russians to change the date. Dr. Goodwin is interested in borrowing any Russian language tapes you may have. All expenses for the trip will be paid by the grant program, so there will be no cost to Dr. Goodwin’s CRIS project.




ARS News Articles

USDA-led Consortium Sequences Genome of Key Wheat Pathogen
Jun 10, 2011
Grasses' Guardian Gene Found
Jan 29, 2008
Genes Foil Hessian Flies' Feeding on Wheat
Apr 05, 2007
Virulent Hessian Flies Renew Attack on U.S. Wheat
Jan 24, 2007
Silencing Wheat and Barley Scab
May 26, 2006
TILLING for Heart-Healthy Soybean Oil
Jul 05, 2005
Gray Leaf Spot Double Trouble
Sep 10, 1998
Last Modified: 10/6/2008