Specialty: Peanut Breeding and Genetics
My position at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Stephenville is expected to conduct in-depth research in collaboration with scientist at the Vernon and Lubbock centers and with the Soil and Crop Sciences Department, Texas A&M University, College Station. I also collaborate with other peanut research and extension personnel in the TAMU System in the statewide peanut research-education program, as well as develop collaborative relationships with peanut breeders and researchers in other disciplines and other states and/or countries. I am responsible for oversight of population development, coordination of statewide breeding line trials, multi-disease testing, and yield testing of advanced breeding lines. I also oversee breeder’s seed increases and variety re-purification for delivery to the Texas Foundation Seed Service as requested.
A major focus of my program will be to enhance germplasm of the cultivated peanut by utilizing wild peanuts maintained at the Stephenville REC, as well as cultivated germplasm lines collected from various parts of the world where centers of peanut genetic diversity reside. My predecessor, Dr. Charles E. Simpson, has introgressed at least 7 desirable Arachis traits into cultivated peanut and I plan to continue to identify and introgress traits using similar methods.
Building on the already established breeding and testing program, one of my immediate goals is the development of a breeding program that specifically addresses the need of organic peanut producers. It is estimated that Texas Produces almost 98% of all organic peanuts in the United States. These producers face a distinct set of challenges that the Texas A&M Peanut Breeding and Wild Species introgression program are uniquely suited to address. My long term goal is to make our program a leader in the use of high throughput phenotyping in peanuts. The ability to collect large amounts of data quickly and accurately is changing the way that researchers are able to make breeding decisions and that is of great interest to me.