Graduate student Ratnasri Mallipeddi wins award at ESA, ESC, and ESBC Joint Annual Meeting

Ratnasri Mallipeddi took first place in the student competition for President’s Prize for her presentation in the Physiology Biochemistry and Toxicology section 2 at the 2018 ESA, ESC, and ESBC Joint Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC, Canada. The title of her talk was “Biochemical and transcriptome characterization of the cellulolytic system in Thermobia domestica for identification of novel enzymes with industrial applications.” The presentation was coauthored by Brian Johnson, William Klingeman, Margaret Staton, and Juan Luis Jurat-Fuentes. According to Dr. Jurat-Fuentes, “Ratnasri’s research has not only resulted in the discovery of a wide array of new plant cell wall degrading enzyme (PCWDE) genes from very primitive insects that may have applications to increase efficacy of ethanol biofuel production, but more importantly…

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UTIA scientists publish paper on role of citizen science in addressing agricultural challenges

Dr. Sean Ryan, a postdoctoral researcher in the EPP Department, Dr. DeWayne Shoemaker, and international team of more than three dozen researchers published a paper highlighting the potential of citizen science to address pressing research challenges in agriculture and food systems. One key to capitalizing on such efforts, the researchers find, may be to build stronger ties between citizen science and agricultural extension efforts. A press article summarizing the article is here and a free copy (open access) of the original paper can be downloaded from the journal web site.

Be on the lookout for grapevine leaf rust in Tennessee

Dr. Zach Hansen published an article in the November 2018 National Plant Diagnostic Network newsletter. Grapevine leaf rust was observed for the first time in Tennessee in September 2018. The disease was found on
grape seedlings at large box stores in several counties in middle and east Tennessee. Dr. Hansen suggests that growers, industry professionals, diagnosticians and extension personnel should be aware of the disease
and should be on the lookout for it. For full article, click here.

Drs. Alan and Mark Windham lead rose tour at the Plateau Research and Education Center

The Cookeville Rose Society and Cumberland County Master Gardeners took a twilight tour with Drs. Alan and Mark Windham through the rose rosette resistant trials at the Plateau Research and Education Center near Crossville, TN. While in the plots, they learned about how to recognize rose rosette, rose rosette management strategies, and research results concerning disease resistance. After the tour, everyone ate homemade ice cream while learning more about growing roses and how to control rose diseases and insect pests.