Category Archives: Research

Genomes of five cotton species unveiled by Texas-rich research team

By: Kay Ledbetter Cotton – we touch it every day. From clothes to medical supplies to animal feed, cotton continues to increase in quality. A recent collaborative, including Texas A&M researchers, is making sure this amazing crop, and thus the products made from it, will continue to be efficiently bred, grown and produced. The multi-institutional research team sequenced five cotton species, including Upland and Pima cotton grown here in Texas, as well as globally. Contributions to the effort from Texas involved Texas A&M University, Texas A&M AgriLife Research… Read More →

Genetic capabilities cut time for potential Texas wheat lines to make field appearance

Writer: Kay Ledbetter When new pests, diseases or environmental issues are identified in Texas wheat, expertise in doubled haploid development can help find solutions in less than half the time of traditional breeding practices. Chenggen Chu, Ph.D., a geneticist, joined Texas A&M AgriLife Research’s wheat program at Amarillo two years ago, and his doubled haploid wheat pure lines are already making it to field yield trials this fall. Since moving to Amarillo, Chu has built a wheat doubled haploid production pipeline from scratch that can be shared with… Read More →

Texas A&M-bred sorghum now on the cereal aisle

By: Kay Ledbetter Texas A&M AgriLife sorghum research may be known for its development of sorghum for animal feed and energy sectors, but cereal eaters across the nation are learning about its contributions to healthier human foods. “We were targeting the health-food market when we developed the black grain sorghum hybrid Onyx in 2012,” said Bill Rooney, Ph.D., AgriLife Research sorghum breeder and Borlaug-Monsanto Chair for Plant Breeding and International Crop Improvement in the Texas A&M University Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, College Station. The Onyx hybrid… Read More →

Texas A&M researchers to develop climate-smart sorghum

By: Kay Ledbetter Contacts: Dr. Nithya Rajan, nrajan@tamu.edu Dr. Bill Rooney, wlr@tamu.edu Dr. Ronnie Schnell, ronshcnell@tamu.edu Improved yield, greenhouse gas mitigation, water quality are ultimate goals Texas A&M researchers believe the development of climate-smart crops is the key to improving nitrogen-use efficiency and reducing fertilizer nitrogen loss in agricultural fields. The crops would have the ability to suppress soil nitrification and have reduced nitrogen emissions, said Dr. Nithya Rajan, Texas A&M AgriLife Research crop physiologist and principal investigator in College Station. Rajan initiated a project study, “Innovative Sorghum-Based… Read More →

TAMU Turfgrass team displays research to USGA

By: Beth Ann Luedeker Contact: Dr. Ben Wherley, b-wherley@tamu.edu The Texas A&M Turfgrass Science team recently hosted members of the United States Golf Association Green Section’s research committee at the Scotts Miracle-Gro Center for Lawn and Garden Research. During the visit, faculty and grad students from the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences provided updates on several multi-year research projects that are currently being funded by the USGA Green Section. Drs. Ben Wherley and Kevin McInnes, respectively Associate Professor and Professor in the Department of Soil and Crop… Read More →

Texas A&M corn breeder is taking Texas Whiskey to Capitol Hill

By: Beth Ann Luedeker Contact: Dr. Seth Murray – sethmurray@tamu.edu Dr. Seth Murray recently conducted a whiskey tasting on Capitol Hill to help educate legislators on the importance of public agriculture research. Murray’s presentation was part of the Hill Lunch-N-Learn seminar series sponsored by the National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research (C-FAR). More than 100 Congressional staff members had the opportunity to taste three Texas whiskeys as Murray, Associate Professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences and Butler Chair for Corn Breeding and Genetics at… Read More →

Rice Researcher addresses plant survival during extended flooding

Written by: Kay Ledbetter Contact: Contact: Dr. Endang Septiningsih, 979-845-7527, eseptiningsih@tamu.edu Rice crops can stress under too much water or water at the wrong time. Developing tolerance to these flooding stresses and improving rice cultivars is the life passion for Dr. Endang “Septi” Septiningsih, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist. Rice growers around the world have had two choices: plant poor-yielding traditional varieties that are moderately tolerant to long periods of submersion in water to withstand the flash floods of the monsoon season, or plant high-yielding submergence-intolerant varieties… Read More →

Tomorrow’s scientists help with today’s discoveries

Writer: Kay Ledbetter Today’s research advances in the world of wheat genetics are getting a big hand from tomorrow’s scientists, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist who has had three students publish their research in major journals this past year. These Texas A&M University students working through their doctoral studies have helped conduct major studies that improved the understanding of unique traits in TAM wheat cultivars released by AgriLife Research’s wheat breeding program, said Dr. Shuyu Liu, AgriLife Research wheat geneticist in Amarillo and committee chair… Read More →

Wenwei Xu named AgriLife Research Director’s Scientist of the Year

Writer: Kay Ledbetter The Texas A&M AgriLife Research Director’s Research Scientist of the Year award was presented to Dr. Wenwei Xu, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research corn plant breeder in Lubbock and professor in Texas A&M University’s department of soil and crop sciences. Wenwei Xu The Research Director’s awards were presented on Jan. 8 at a ceremony on the Texas A&M campus. The awards recognize and reward the achievements of individuals and teams with outstanding work to support the research mission. Xu’s work has helped reduce aflatoxin contamination… Read More →

Bagavathiannan receives early career research award

By: Kay Ledbetter The Texas A&M AgriLife Vice Chancellor’s Awards in Excellence – Early Career Research honor was presented to Dr. Muthu Bagavathiannan at a ceremony Jan. 7 on the Texas A&M University campus in College Station. The awards, established in 1980, recognize the commitment and outstanding contributions of faculty and staff across Texas A&M AgriLife, and represent the highest level of achievement for the organization. Bagavathiannan joined the Texas A&M department of soil and crop sciences as a tenure-track weed science faculty in 2014 with a Texas… Read More →