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Horticulture Professor Esther van der Knapp of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences worked with a team of geneticists around the world to create a fuller inventory of the genetic diversity of the tomato. They release a pangenome for the tomato in the May edition of Nature Genetics. (photos by Merritt Melancon) CAES News
Horticulture Professor Esther van der Knapp of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences worked with a team of geneticists around the world to create a fuller inventory of the genetic diversity of the tomato. They release a pangenome for the tomato in the May edition of Nature Genetics. (photos by Merritt Melancon)
Tomato Pan-genome
 It’s summer, and Georgia gardeners are anxiously awaiting their first tomato harvest. Just in time for those first tomato sandwiches, researchers at the University of Georgia have helped unlock the mystery of what separates today’s tomatoes from their inedible ancestors.
Greenhouse and nursery growers from across the southeastern United States converged in Athens June 12-15 for the inaugural Academy of Crop Production hosted by the UGA Department of Horticulture. Part of the program included the annual Industry Open House at the Trial Gardens at UGA. CAES News
Greenhouse and nursery growers from across the southeastern United States converged in Athens June 12-15 for the inaugural Academy of Crop Production hosted by the UGA Department of Horticulture. Part of the program included the annual Industry Open House at the Trial Gardens at UGA.
Trial Gardens Open House
Each year the Trial Gardens at the University of Georgia hosts a summer open house to show off the season’s best plants. This year they’re working to beat the heat by moving the party from July to June.
While Americans are familiar with one or two varieties of peanut, farmers in other parts of the world have been able to develop hundreds of varieties thanks to the peanut's natural ability to shuffle its two distinct subgenomes to produce new traits. These are some of the peanuts grown by the Caiabí people who live on the Ilha Grande, Mato Grosso, Brazil. The peanut crop is very important for them and they cultivate diverse types, each one with its own use, name and story. Photo by Fábio de Oliveira Freitas. CAES News
While Americans are familiar with one or two varieties of peanut, farmers in other parts of the world have been able to develop hundreds of varieties thanks to the peanut's natural ability to shuffle its two distinct subgenomes to produce new traits. These are some of the peanuts grown by the Caiabí people who live on the Ilha Grande, Mato Grosso, Brazil. The peanut crop is very important for them and they cultivate diverse types, each one with its own use, name and story. Photo by Fábio de Oliveira Freitas.
Mother of Peanut
Working to understand the genetics of peanut disease resistance and yield, researchers led by scientists at the University of Georgia have uncovered the peanut’s unlikely and complicated evolution.
Eric Danquah, a plant breeder who founded the West Africa Centre from Crop Improvement at the University of Ghana explains the center's mission at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences International Agriculture Day celebration on April 17, 2019. CAES News
Eric Danquah, a plant breeder who founded the West Africa Centre from Crop Improvement at the University of Ghana explains the center's mission at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences International Agriculture Day celebration on April 17, 2019.
International Ag Celebration
Since its inception in 2007, breeders at the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) in Ghana have produced 23 new varieties of corn, seven new varieties of peanuts, 11 new varieties of rice and seven new varieties of sweet potato.
Jason Wallace, an assistant professor at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), has received one of nine 2018 New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Awards from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR). CAES News
Jason Wallace, an assistant professor at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), has received one of nine 2018 New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Awards from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR).
FFAR Innovator Award
Jason Wallace, an assistant professor at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), has received one of nine 2018 New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Awards from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR).
University of Georgi Crop and Soil Sciences Professor Wayne Parrott and Assistant Professor Jason Wallace are working with the carnivorous water plant bladderwort in hopes that its unique genetic structure can shed some light on ways to reduce crosstalk between new genes during advanced plant breeding. CAES News
University of Georgi Crop and Soil Sciences Professor Wayne Parrott and Assistant Professor Jason Wallace are working with the carnivorous water plant bladderwort in hopes that its unique genetic structure can shed some light on ways to reduce crosstalk between new genes during advanced plant breeding.
Bladderwort Research
With the advent of CRISPR technologies and other precise genome editing methods, it has become faster and easier for crop scientists to breed new varieties. But there are still a few technical roadblocks that need to be overcome.
Scott Jackson, director of the University of Georgia Center for Applied Genetic Technologies (CAGT) in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, helped to map these genomes as part of the international Oryza Map Alignment Project (OMAP). CAES News
Scott Jackson, director of the University of Georgia Center for Applied Genetic Technologies (CAGT) in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, helped to map these genomes as part of the international Oryza Map Alignment Project (OMAP).
Rice Genome
Rice has been a staple food crop around the world for millennia, but little was known about the wild origins of the world’s most widely produced crop until the recent mapping of the genomes of 13 ancestral rice species. Scott Jackson, director of the University of Georgia Center for Applied Genetic Technologies (CAGT) in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, helped to map these genomes as part of The International Oryza Map Alignment Project.
Millet close-up CAES News
Millet close-up
Resilient Pearl Millet
As farmers around the world battle extreme drought and other climate events, researchers turn to pearl millet to find ways to make other grains more resilient to climate change. A global team of 65 scientists, including nine from the University of Georgia, have decoded some of the secrets to the crop’s coping strategies.
University of Georgia scientist Peggy Ozias-Akins, a College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences professor of horticulture on the UGA Tifton Campus, applies advanced biotechnology and molecular biology tools — tools she developed herself in some cases — to improve crops like peanuts. CAES News
University of Georgia scientist Peggy Ozias-Akins, a College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences professor of horticulture on the UGA Tifton Campus, applies advanced biotechnology and molecular biology tools — tools she developed herself in some cases — to improve crops like peanuts.
Ozias-Akins Honored
University of Georgia Professor Peggy Ozias-Akins has been awarded the title of Distinguished Research Professor, an honor awarded to UGA faculty recognized internationally for their contributions to knowledge and whose work promises to foster continued creativity in their discipline. She and her colleagues have created new and improved plant varieties that are higher yielding, more disease resistant, more nutritious or have greater ornamental value.
Members of the research team prepare to test multispectral, hyperspectral and thermal cameras that will record data on plant characteristics last summer at the Iron Horse Plant Sciences Farm near Athens. The tractor used for preliminary testing will be replaced by all-terrain robots and unmanned aerial vehicles during the growing season this spring and summer. CAES News
Members of the research team prepare to test multispectral, hyperspectral and thermal cameras that will record data on plant characteristics last summer at the Iron Horse Plant Sciences Farm near Athens. The tractor used for preliminary testing will be replaced by all-terrain robots and unmanned aerial vehicles during the growing season this spring and summer.
Crop Robots
It may be a while before robots and drones are as common as tractors and combine harvesters on farms, but high-tech tools may soon play a major role in helping feed the world’s rapidly growing population.