January 24, 2020

Reflections, Misconceptions and Other Issues in Plant Breeding Applications: From Sparsity to Sparse Testing, Noise Prediction and Other Unexplored Topics

DIEGO JARQUÍN
Research Assistant Professor, Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

New technologies enable us to collect multiple types of sources of information that were not available before. The utilization and integration of these data require the development of new methodology to cope with the complexity of the data. In this presentation, we introduce some new techniques that can potentially be deployed to leverage already existing plant breeding applications.
January 31, 2020

Developing and Applying Genomic Tools for Soybean Improvement

DAVID HYTEN
Associate Professor and Haskins Professor of Plant Genetics, Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

To keep up with world demand, soybean needs to increase its rate of genetic gain for key agronomic traits and to consistently produce high yields across diverse environments. Hyten will discuss genomic tools and resources being developed to assist soybean breeders along with his lab’s work in understanding the genetics underlying yield stability.
February 7, 2020

Developing Strategies for Improving Abiotic Stress Tolerance of Photosynthetic Apparatus in Crops Grown for Food and Fuels

KATARZYNA GLOWACKA
Assistant Professor, Biochemistry, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Glowacka's lab uses photosynthesis research, image analyses, genetics and synthetic biology to improve abiotic stress tolerance in crops. Particularly, they focus on kinetics of nonphotochemical quenching as one of the first defenses from the formation of oxidative stress during high light, chilling, drought and deficit of nitrogen.

February 14, 2020

Connecting Root Exudate Variation in Corn to Microbial Recruitment and Growth

TESSA DURHAM BROOKS
Associate Professor of Biology, Doane University, Crete

Video will not be available for this seminar.

Root exudates are complex mixtures making up a chemical language for recruiting and establishing beneficial rhizosphere microbes. Rhizosphere microbes, in turn, help maintain the long-term health of the plant. Durham Brooks will highlight metabolomics and image-based approaches her lab and collaborators are using to begin to decipher these chemical messages.

February 21, 2020

Screening for Early Warnings of Large-scale Vegetation Transitions

DIRAC TWIDWELL
Associate Professor, Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Screening is a strategy for detecting undesirable change prior to known symptoms or adverse effects. Screening is commonplace in medicine, yet has not been implemented in ecosystem management to prevent detrimental transitions that impact ecosystem service delivery. We link advancements in spatial resilience theory, data computational capabilities, and technology to detect, image, and track vegetation transitions at local, state, and national levels.
February 28, 2020

USDA – Achieving More Together: Partnership Success Between UNL and the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Future Opportunities

NEIL DOMINY
State Soil Scientist, Partnerships and Initiatives, USDA–NRCS

NRCS has formed successful partnerships with the University of Nebraska–Lincoln resulting in exciting outcomes. Learn how this partnership is extending NRCS’ mission of "Helping People Help the Land" by bringing natural resource conservation practices together with sound science. Hear specific examples of collaborative efforts between NRCS and Nebraska, and opportunities for future partnerships, including employment within USDA.
March 6, 2020

Molecular Switches in Plant Sulfur and Redox Metabolism

JOSEPH JEZ
Chair, Spencer T. Olin Professor of Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor, Biology, Washington University in St. Louis

The regulation of plant thiol metabolism highlights nature’s ability to engineer pathways that respond to multiple inputs and cellular demands using mechanisms that range from the simple to the elaborate. The role of redox environment as a regulatory factor mediated by thiol-based control mechanisms govern the biochemical activity of different steps in these pathways.
March 13, 2020

Metabolic Engineering of Lignin for Advancing Agricultural Sustainability and the New Bioeconomy

RICHARD DIXON
Distinguished Research Professor, BioDiscovery Institute, Biological Sciences, University of North Texas, Denton

The result of many years of work on the biosynthesis of lignin and collaboration with a commercial partner has resulted in the release of low lignin alfalfa with superior forage quality and management characteristics. However, economic considerations support valorization, rather than simple removal, of lignin for biorefining. To this end, we are working on the biosynthesis and engineering of novel lignins with favorable properties for conversion to bioproducts.
September 11, 2020

Physiological and Molecular Perspective on Seed Development Under Higher Temperatures

PUNEET PAUL
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Much of the extraordinary period of exponential crop productivity over the latter half of the 20th century is owed to the success of Green Revolution. Despite increasing land scarcity and burgeoning population, the development of high-yielding cultivars and improved agronomic practices have substantially decreased food deficits. Although, these improvements have reduced poverty and malnourishment, sustaining these gains will require even greater innovations to address the present-day challenges in agriculture. In this context, climate change, especially the rising temperatures, threatens crop productivity. Previous reports have shown that reproductive development, encompassing both pre- and post-fertilization, is highly sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Paul will present his post-doctoral work on the similar lines.
September 11, 2020

Organic Carbon Materials for Nutrient Retention in Nebraska Soils

JENNIFER COOPER
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Management strategies to increase retention of nutrients and organic matter in soil is essential for sustaining food production and environmental protection. Cooper will discuss proposed mechanisms for retention of nutrients on organic carbon surfaces with the aid of iron using advanced nanoscopy techniques.
September 18, 2020

Genetic and Environmental Regulation of Meiotic Recombination

GREGORY COPENHAVER
Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Meiosis is a specialized cell division used by all sexually reproducing species to generate gametes (eggs and sperm). A critical feature of meiosis is the physical exchange of DNA between parental chromosomes – a process called recombination. Perturbations in the activity of the molecular machinery that executes recombination can result in chromosome balance aberrations or cancer. Enormous progress has been made in understanding the molecular genetics of meiotic recombination, but less is understood about the influence of environmental signals. Copenhaver will present recent research results that help create an integrated view of environmental and genetic control of meiotic recombination. 

This talk is co-sponsored by CROPS, the Collective Research Organization of Plant Scientists.

September 25, 2020

Who's Learning From Who? Integrating Farmer Perspectives into Research and the Classroom

RANDA JABBOUR
Associate Professor of Agroecology, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Wyoming, Laramie

Distinctions between farmer and scientist perspectives offer a fruitful jumping off point to develop new research questions, target Extension efforts, and invigorate university curriculum. Currently, Jabbour is integrating social science and field ecology to describe ecosystem services on Wyoming farmland. She will also provide an update on ongoing projects to incorporate farmer perspectives into organic agriculture curriculum.
October 2, 2020

A Machine Learning-based Framework to Prioritize Genes With Phenotypic Impact

JAMES SCHNABLE
Associate Professor, Charles O. Gardner Professor of Maize Quantitative Genetics, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

James Schable, associate professor and Charles O. Gardner Professor of Maize Quantitative Genetics, will discuss different types of data we get from measuring plants using high throughput phenotyping which opens up new approaches to quantitative genetics, and new approaches to classical genetics.

October 9, 2020

Sites and Sounds of MicroRNA160 in Soybean Roots and Nodules Revealed by Quantitative Imaging

SENTHIL SUBRAMANIAN
Associate Professor, Graduate Coordinator, South Dakota State University, Brookings

A precise balance between the actions of major plant hormones auxin and cytokinin are crucial for proper nodule development in soybean. microRNA160 plays a crucial role in achieving this balance. To determine cell type-specific changes in auxin-cytokinin balance, we mapped auxin and cytokinin outputs in soybean roots and nodules with reduced microRNA160 levels using quantitative 3-dimensional imaging. We also evaluated transcriptomes of soybean roots with reduced microRNA160 levels. Our results identified specific root and nodule zones where microRNA160 affects auxin-cytokinin balance and pathways acting downstream of this regulatory module.
October 16, 2020

Strategies for Sustainable Agriculture: Challenges and Opportunities

KUSUM NAITHANI
Assistant Professor of Landscape Ecology, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Sustainable use of land, water, and energy resources is imperative to meet the growing demands on agricultural systems under changing climate and land use. Naithani's research group is developing tools and methods to increase crop yield and manage natural resources sustainably.

October 23, 2020

Using Economic Experiments to Study Human Behavior Under Farmland Conservation Programs

SIMANTI BANERJEE
Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Banerjee's seminar will focus on the different types of behaviors expected from stakeholders with respect to their participation in farmland conservation programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program and the Conservation Stewardship Program. Understanding these behaviors can effectively inform economic policy making that can effectively target the generation of different ecosystem services from privately owned agricultural landscapes.

October 30, 2020

A Paradigm Shift in the Mode of Action of Glufosinate

HUDSON TAKANO
Herbicide Mode of Action Scientist, Corteva Agriscience, Indiana

Glufosinate is an important herbicide to manage herbicide-resistant weeds given that a very few species have evolved glufosinate-resistance. While glufosinate has been commercialized for decades, its mode of action has been very controversial. Takano's presentation will focus on the recent advances on the current understanding of the biochemical mechanisms by which glufosinate kills weeds.

November 6, 2020

Controlled Environment and Urban Agriculture: Horticulture for the 21st Century

ELLEN PAPARROZI
Plantologist and Professor of Horticulture, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

One facet of horticulture that is rapidly expanding is growing food and specialty crops indoors and on small farms. Paparrozi's seminar will focus on research at Nebraska and other universities addressing the “growing” need for horticultural products (such as strawberries and Cannabis) as well as highlight directions for the future.

November 13, 2020

(Some of) The Economics of Agricultural Innovation

JULIAN ALSTON
Distinguished Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, director of the Robert Mondavi Institute Center for Wine Economics, University of California, Davis

Alston's seminar will draw on a draft chapter being prepared for the Handbook of Agricultural Economics. Coverage includes historical and contemporary perspectives on agriculture in the American economy, public and private institutions for and investments in agricultural and other industrial R&D, farm productivity patterns, and contemporary policy issues.

November 20, 2020

Soil and Nutrient Management in the Nebraska Panhandle

BIJESH MAHARJAN
Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Panhandle Research and Extension Center, Scottsbluff

Maharjan’s research and Extension efforts focus on soil and fertilizer management to improve crop production efficiency for crops in western Nebraska  such as corn, dry beans, winter wheat, sugar beets, proso millet, potato, and field pea. Other research interests include greenhouse gas emissions, water quality, and in-season fertility management using remote-sensing technologies.

December 4, 2020

Genetic Gain, Genetic Diversity, and Genomic Selection: Can Plant Breeders Have It All?

JESSICA RUTKOSKI
Assistant Professor of Small Grains Breeding, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

A tradeoff exists between increasing genetic diversity and accelerating rates of short-term genetic gain in breeding programs. However, new selection methods are available to help breeders break this tradeoff. Rutowski will illustrate these points using examples from her recent research based on real and simulated plant breeding programs.

December 11, 2020

Recent Advances in Understanding Synthetic Auxin Herbicide Resistance in Weeds

TODD GAINES
Associate Professor of Molecular Weed Science, Department of Agricultural Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins

Synthetic auxin herbicides have been used to control broadleaf weeds in grasses for over 70 years. Although resistance was initially slower to evolve, increased Group 4 herbicide use has resulted in more recent reports of resistance. This seminar will explore the trends and new discoveries of resistance mechanisms.