In the news / Plant

NEWS
Swollen Shoot disease is affecting cacao trees in Ghana. UA Plant Sciences professor Dr. Judith Brown, notes that the disease is threatening to affect the supply of chocolate. Dr. Brown is using genome sequencing technology to look deeper into the viruses found to cause damage in cacao plant samples.
NEWS
Coinciding with World Food Day, a team of plant scientists from King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) established a major project to improve global date palm production and protection.
NEWS
Dr. Laura Meredith, rain forest science director for Biosphere 2 and BIO5 member, is one of the leaders of a four-month-long drought study. the aim of the research is to learn about how a hotter, drier future will alter tropical rain forest ecosystems. This European Research Council grant funded study will use Biosphere 2’s unique ability to control model ecosystems to collect data about multiple rain forest climates.
NEWS
The demand for potable and irrigation water has never been greater, and as such methods are being developed so new plant cultivars, farming technology, and irrigation can draw more out of arable land. UA Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering professor and BIO5 faculty member Dr. Joel Cuello, has developed the Vertical-Hive (V-Hive) Green Box, an indoor vertical modular growth system. The V-Hive reduces water consumption by 80 to 90 percent compared to traditional field farming.
NEWS
The deadly swollen shoot disease is ravaging cocoa trees across West Africa, where about three-quarters of the world’s cocoa is grown. The disease was identified nearly a century ago, yet scientists, including BIO5 researcher and professor in the UA School of Plant Sciences Dr. Judith Brown, say a cure is years away and early detection methods are only just being introduced. The severity of this devastating disease has been muted, as the Ivory Coast experienced a record cocoa crop year.
NEWS
Horticultural technology has made some significant leaps over the last few years, and that trend has been accelerating in recent months. But other crops and production systems are driving innovation as well. Dr. Gene Giacomelli, UA Agricultural Biosystems Engineering professor and BIO5 faculty, says that automation is a must and that growers must match proper technology to respective needs.
NEWS
Several undergraduate students who won top prizes for presenting their research at the 2019 EarthWeek at the University of Arizona, a celebration of the environmental research across five departments at the University of Arizona.
NEWS
Dr. Marvin Slepian, clinician-scientist-engineer-inventor and founding Director of the Arizona Center for Accelerated Biomedical Innovation, and Dr. Rod Wing, Bud Antle Endowed Chair Professor for Excellence in Agriculture in the School of Plant Sciences and Director of the Arizona Genomics Institute, both BIO5 members, have been named UA Regents Professors by the Arizona Board of Regents.
NEWS
Dr. Patricia Stock, Interim Director of the UA School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences, BIO5 member, and UA Entomology Professor, has discovered compounds derived from Photorhabdus, an insect pathogenic bacterium, that have antimicrobial and nematicidal properties that can potentially replace chemical pesticides.
NEWS
At the end of 2018, BIO5 member Dr. David Galbraith, Professor in the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' School of Plant Sciences, was appointed as Honorary Dean at Henan University in China. The Daily Wildcat talked to him about this new position and what it means for the UA.
NEWS
A colorful veggie garden does more than draw attention, a variety of colorful food in one’s diet adds nutritional value .“Colors imply certain bioactive compounds that are common,” says Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Dr. Cynthia Thomson, BIO5 member and Director of the UA College of Public Health’s Canyon Ranch Center for Prevention and Health Promotion.
NEWS
A new study co-authored by Dr. Bruce Tabashnik, Regents’ Professor in the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' Department of Entomology and member of the BIO5 Institute, identifies a dominantly inherited mutation that confers resistance to engineered cotton in caterpillars of the cotton bollworm, one of the world’s most destructive crop pests. The study will be invaluable in promoting more sustainable pest control.
NEWS
From the North Pole to the Amazon Jungle, BIO5 plant scientist Dr. Eliot Herman makes a point to travel to some of the most remote places on the globe. "It's not just in the classroom. Our lives should be inspiring to our students," says Herman.
NEWS
Contaminated food is an issue that affects nearly 1 in 10 people in the world every year. BIO5 Institute's Dr. Sadhana Ravishankar, and a group of UA researchers have been working for ten years to improve food safety using all-natural sanitizers to prevent outbreaks of E. Coli, salmonella and listeria.
NEWS
Here are three easy-to-swallow tips for changing your cancer risk through dietary choices from Dr. Cynthia Thomson, BIO5 researcher and Professor in the College of Public Health.
NEWS
The Arizona Biomedical Research Commission has recognized 14 researchers from the UA Health Sciences to receive grant awards totaling more than $5.92 million. Eight of those researchers are BIO5 members, including Dr. Frank Duca, Dr. Louise Hecker, Dr. Tally Largent-Milnes, Dr. John Purdy, Dr. Benjamin Renquist, Dr. Todd Vanderah, Dr. Jun Wang, and Dr. Frederic Zenhausern.
NEWS
Local communities can benefit from controlled environment agriculture (CEA) too, says BIO5 member and UA professor of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Dr. Gene Giacomelli. Greenhouses aren't just for astronauts and polar explorers hoping to grow fresh foods in space and Antarctica, though CEA is used for that as well.
NEWS
Sustainable agriculture has become ever more important as global leaders try to answer the question of how to feed a world population approaching 10 billion. "That would be the equivalent of adding another China and another India to our planet in terms of population," says Joel Cuello, BIO5 member and UA researcher looking for answers, in the form of vertical farming.
NEWS
BIO5 members Donato Romagnolo, PhD, and Ornella Selmin, PhD, of the UA Cancer Center and College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, delve into current research to examine how the Mediterranean diet is connected to the prevention of several chronic diseases, including colorectal cancer and breast cancer.
NEWS
A UA plant scientist is on a quest to figure out what makes them sick — and develop tools that will help growers fight for their livelihood. Dr. Judith Brown, a plant virologist at the BIO5 Institute, is working with African scientists and farmers to create greater awareness and develop ways to combat this disease.
NEWS
A UA Cancer Center and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences research team is conducting a series of studies investigating how genistein, a component of soy foods, might suppress the development of breast cancer. The team is led by BIO5's Dr. Donato F. Romagnolo.
NEWS
A new global assessment helps scientists explain why cases of pest resistance to genetically engineered crops increased by more than fivefold in the past decade, yet some pests remain suppressed. To assimilate the assessment, BIO5 members Bruce Tabashnik and Yves Carrière analyzed the global data on Bt crop use and pest responses.
NEWS
UA ecologist and BIO5 member Dr. Tyson Swetnam led an interdisciplinary team of U.S. researchers to discover that mountain forests are better at storing carbon than forests found on flat land.
NEWS
UA mushroom expert and BIO5 member Dr. Barry Pryor and his colleagues are teaching a workshop on how to raise mushrooms — a highly lucrative crop. Dr. Pryor's workshop will detail the variety of ways that mushroom production can provide big benefits for small, local farmers.
NEWS
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base partners with UA’s Valley Fever Center of Excellence and College of Agriculture to study the relationship between the respiratory disease and turf grass, focusing on the health of Air Force working dogs.
NEWS
Two BIO5 members were among those formally recognized as distinguished professors in UA honorary ceremony. Dr. Bruce Tabashnik, was appointed a Regents Professor by the AZ Board of Regents, for national and international recognition of his work. Dr. Frans Tax was named one of the University Distinguished Outreach Faculty for commitment to community outreach.
NEWS
Dr. Judith Brown, BIO5 member and plant sciences professor, has been named an American Association Advancement of Science Fellow. The election is based on her distinguished efforts toward "pioneering international work on emergent plant viruses, and for distinguished contributions to research on plant-pathogen-vector interactions including functional genomics of vector-mediated pathogen transmission."
NEWS
Continuing coverage: The 3,000 Rice Genomes Project is a collaborative, international research program that has sequenced 3,024 rice varieties from 89 countries. "The dataset provides access to millions of genetic markers that can be used to design sustainable crops for the future; that is, ones that are high-yielding and more nutritious, while at the same time, requiring less water, fertilizer and pesticides," said Dr. Rod Wing, director of the Arizona Genomics Institute at the UA and a pioneer in rice genome sequencing.
NEWS
Is there a better way to wash organic leafy greens before putting them in our salads or on our plates? The BIO5's Dr. Sadhna Ravishankar, a researcher and associate professor in the School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences, has been studying the issue and has found a natural solution.
NEWS
From mesquite bean pods to greasy pizza boxes, the UA's trash is being turned into something gourmet. The MycoCats program is a student-run organization funded by the UA Green Fund. It is directed by Dr. Barry Pryor, BIO5 member and professor of Plant Sciences.
NEWS
Scientists have made major strides toward creating new breeds of rice that could be more sustainable, as well as more resilient to environmental stresses. "This dataset provides access to millions of genetic markers that can be used to design sustainable crops for the future" says Dr. Rod Wing, director of the Arizona Genomics Institute at the UA and member of The BIO5 Institute.