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News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Variations in Latin American and Caribbean maize populations may be linked to anthropological events such as migration and agriculture, according to a study published April 12, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Claudia Bedoya from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and colleagues. Maize was likely domesticated in Mexico about 9,000 years ago and has provided a nutritional cornerstone in the Americas for many years. As it diffused to different geographic regions, different varieties of maize, known as landraces, arose. While advances in the fields of genetics and archaeology have provided new insights into the diversification and geographic dispersal of maize, the archaeological record on early maize history is incomplete. To further investigate the geographic and genetic variations in maize, the authors of the present study analyzed 194 native Latin American maize populations, representing 131 classified landraces from 23 countries. The authors planted thirty seeds of each population in a greenhouse and harvested and analyzed the DNA of their leaf fragments. The researchers identified three distinct geographic groups of maize in Mexico, and four groups in South America and the Caribbean. Their classifications of maize based on genetic analysis aligned with previous studies examining their molecular and morphological characteristics. While it is difficult to link the dispersal and cultivation of maize with a specific historical timeline, the geographic locations of the different maize populations and their genetic profiles may reflect known human migration patterns from northern Mexico both down toward South America as well as up through the US toward Canada. The authors also suggest that the understanding of maize genetics can be useful in its conservation and in its agricultural application, as this knowledge is essential for breeding and cultivating maize. "The current genetic structure of maize genetic pools in Latin America and the Caribbean, as examined in the current manuscript, can shed light on events and activities in the pre- and post-Columbian Americas," says co-author Marilyn Warburton. "These events include the domestication and migration history of maize, and closely mirror the lifestyles and migrations of indigenous people." In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available article in PLOS ONE: http://journals. Citation: Bedoya CA, Dreisigacker S, Hearne S, Franco J, Mir C, Prasanna BM, et al. (2017) Genetic diversity and population structure of native maize populations in Latin America and the Caribbean. PLoS ONE 12(4): e0173488. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0173488 Funding: All work, prior to statistical analysis and publication, was funded by the Generation Challenge Program (grant 3005.14). The GCP has concluded its work and has evolved into the Integrated Breeding Platform . The GCP was funded by the CGIAR. Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


News Article | December 2, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

ITHACA, NY--Crop breeders in developing countries can now access free tools to accelerate the breeding of improved crops varieties, thanks to a collaboration between the GOBII project at Cornell University and the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI), and the James Hutton Institute in Scotland. The collaboration works with breeding centers around the world to identify unmet needs and has developed tools to make the process of adding a trait into an existing, high-yield crop variety more efficient. Researchers at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) are using the tools to develop corn varieties with greater resistance to viruses. Researchers at GOBII, the Genomic and Open-source Breeding Informatics Initiative, worked with developers from the Hutton Institute to build upon the existing data visualization application, Flapjack. Its new tools enable breeders to select the best possible parental lines and help users to perform marker-assisted backcrossing (MABC)--a process that involves repeated breeding with the high-yield parent to ensure that only the desired genes are transferred. Researchers estimate that they can cut a year or two from the four or five years required to develop a new variety. "We have been delighted with this early success of our joint work with the GOBII team at Cornell and anticipate it will form the foundation of a mutually valuable partnership," said David Marshall of the Hutton Institute. Previously, these types of molecular breeding tools only existed within biotech companies. But GOBII, a Cornell-led project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is tailoring these free tools for breeders in developing countries. They are building data management software in collaboration with the international crops research centers ICRISAT in India, CIMMYT in Mexico and IRRI in the Philippines. "Having the right data management systems and analysis tools can have a huge impact on crop improvement. Breeders can manage their programs more efficiently, make better selection decisions, and potentially reduce labor and land costs," said Elizabeth Jones, project manager of GOBII. Michael Olsen, a molecular geneticist at CIMMYT, is test-driving the tools in his work to develop lines of corn that are resistant to maize lethal necrosis, a disease that has devastated corn crops in Kenya. Olsen's research involves 43 separate breeding crosses, bred over five generations.The new tools help him to visualize the relevant genes and identify donor strains that are most likely to successfully interbreed. "The recently released MABC tool developed by JHI with input from the GOBII project was a tremendous time saver this past cycle," said Olsen. "The tool is very well designed for an applied breeding program conducting MABC projects." Next, GOBII will conduct training sessions for the tools at breeding centers in India, Africa, Mexico, the Philippines and at Cornell. The tools can be used to improve any trait in any crop plant. Anyone interested in attending training for these tools or who has questions regarding their use can contact project manager Elizabeth Jones at ej245@cornell.edu. To learn more about Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) research, visit the BTI website at http://bti. . Connect online with BTI at http://www. and http://www. . Boyce Thompson Institute is a premier life sciences research institution located in Ithaca, New York on the Cornell University campus. BTI scientists conduct investigations into fundamental plant and life sciences research with the goals of increasing food security, improving environmental sustainability in agriculture and making basic discoveries that will enhance human health. BTI employs 150 staff, with scientists from 40 countries around the world and has twice been named as one of the Best Companies in New York State. Its 15 principal investigators are leading minds in plant development, chemical ecology, microbiology and plant pathology, and have access to the institute's state-of-the-art greenhouse facilities with computerized controls and a system of integrated pest management. BTI has one of the largest concentrations of plant bioinformaticists in the U.S., with researchers who work across the entire spectrum of "omics" fields. BTI researchers consistently receive funding from NSF, NIH, USDA and DOE and publish in top tier journals. Throughout its work, BTI is committed to inspiring and educating students and to providing advanced training for the next generation of scientists. For more information, visit http://www. .


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.nature.com

An infection that struck wheat crops in Sicily last year is a new and unusually devastating strain of fungus, researchers say — and its spores may spread to infect this year’s harvests in Europe, the world’s largest wheat-producing region. “We have to be careful of shouting wolf too loudly. But this could be the largest outbreak that we have had in Europe for many, many years,” says Chris Gilligan, an epidemiologist at the University of Cambridge, UK, who leads a team that has modelled the probable spread of the fungus’s spores. In alerts released on 2 February, researchers revealed the existence of TTTTF, a kind of stem rust — named for the characteristic brownish stain it lays down as it destroys wheat leaves and stems. The alarm was raised by researchers at the Global Rust Reference Center (GRRC), which is part of Aarhus University in Denmark, and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), headquartered in Texcoco, Mexico. Last year, the stem rust destroyed tens of thousands of hectares of crops in Sicily. What’s particularly troubling, the researchers say, is that GRRC tests suggest the pathogen can infect dozens of laboratory-grown strains of wheat, including hardy varieties that are usually highly resistant to disease. The team is now studying whether commercial crops are just as susceptible. Adding further concern, the centres say that two new strains of another wheat disease, yellow rust, have been spotted over large areas for the first time — one in Europe and North Africa, and the other in East Africa and Central Asia. The potential effects of the yellow-rust fungi aren’t yet clear, but the pathogens seem to be closely related to virulent strains that have previously caused epidemics in North America and Afghanistan. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome issued similar alerts about the three diseases on 3 February. Severe wheat damage in Europe could affect food prices, inflation and the region’s economic stability, says James Brown, a plant pathologist at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, UK. But researchers hope that by putting out alerts before European wheat crops have started to grow this year, they will give farmers enough warning to monitor fields and apply fungicides, halting the disease’s spread. Plant breeders can also start to ramp up efforts to produce resistant varieties. “Timely action is crucial,” says Fazil Dusunceli, a plant pathologist at the FAO. In the mid-twentieth century, devastation caused by stem rust spurred efforts to breed wheat strains that could resist the fungi. That research — led by agronomist Norman Borlaug — famously led to the Green Revolution in agriculture, increasing crop yields around the world. But stem rust returned in the late 1990s and 2000s, with a variety called Ug99 that spread through Africa and parts of the Middle East. It ruined harvests and caused international concern because, says Dusunceli, more than 90% of wheat crops were susceptible to it. So far, however, it hasn’t hit large wheat-producing regions such as Europe, China and North America. Researchers are developing resistant crops. Stem rust epidemics haven't been seen in Europe since the 1950s, says Mogens Hovmøller, who leads the GRRC’s testing team. “It’s not a challenge plant breeders have faced for many years,” agrees Brown. But the outbreak that hit Sicily in 2016 suggests that the disease has now returned. Unusually, even the hardy durum wheat, used to make pasta, is susceptible to it, says Hovmøller. But it’s too early to say whether the new infection could be as devastating as Ug99. Models based on wind and weather patterns, conducted by Gilligan's team at Cambridge University together with CIMMYT and the UK's Met Office in Exeter, suggest that stem-rust spores released during the Sicilian outbreak may well have been deposited throughout the Mediterranean region. That doesn’t mean the infection will spread — the spores may not have survived the winter, for example — but it is worrying enough for researchers to raise the alarm. The yellow-rust strains are also a concern, says Hovmøller. For Europe, perhaps the most alarming is one provisionally called Pst(new), which was spotted in Sicily, Morocco, Italy and northern Europe in 2016. The fungus is related to a virulent strain that hit North America in the 2000s, but it is not clear how aggressive it is. Researchers are accustomed to finding one or two new wheat-rust strains each year in Europe; these must be guarded against but are not usually dangerously virulent. But since 2010, the region has experienced a greater influx of wheat pathogens, says Hovmøller. He doesn’t know why, but speculates that it could be down to warmer autumns and milder winters attributable to climate change, combined with changes in farming practices, such as sowing wheat earlier in the season. Increases in international travel — potentially spreading spores on clothing — could also be a factor, speculates Brown. Hovmøller and others will in the next few weeks ask the European Research Council for funds to establish an early-warning system. That will help partners including breeders, scientists and agrochemical companies in Europe to share diagnostic facilities and information about potential outbreaks. Dusunceli thinks that such a network might have helped to mitigate the Sicily outbreak, which in turn would have meant that fewer spores could spread to other parts of the continent. “I wouldn’t question the necessity for an early-warning system,” he says.


News Article | December 17, 2016
Site: www.PR.com

Receive press releases from Strathmore Who's Who: By Email Alan P. Roelfs Has Recently Been Recognized by Strathmore’s Who’s Who Alan P. Roelfs, of Grantsburg, Wisconsin, has recently been recognized as a Strathmore’s Who’s Who Top 10 Member for 2016 and 2017 for his outstanding contributions and achievements in field of Agriculture. Alan P. Roelfs is a Supervisory Research Plant Pathologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dr. Roelfs earned a B.S. in Technical Agronomy and an M.S. in Plant Pathology from Kansas State University, and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the University of Minnesota. His field of expertise is cereal rust disease. Dr. Roelfs is the Co-Author of The Cereal Rusts Vol. I Academic Press 1984, Bushnell, Roelfs; The Cereal Rusts Vol. II Academic Press 1985, Roelfs, Bushnell; and The Wheat Rusts CIMMYT 1992, Roelfs, Singh, Huerta-Espino. He is a member of the American Phytopathology Society. In his leisure time, he enjoys studying native plants. About Strathmore’s Who’s Who Strathmore's Who's Who publishes an annual two thousand page hard cover biographical registry, honoring successful individuals in the fields of Business, the Arts and Sciences, Law, Engineering and Government. Based on one's position and lifetime of accomplishments, we honor professional men and women in all academic areas and professions. Inclusion is limited to individuals who have demonstrated leadership and achievement in their occupation, industry or profession. Grantsburg, WI, December 17, 2016 --( PR.com )-- About Alan P. RoelfsAlan P. Roelfs is a Supervisory Research Plant Pathologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dr. Roelfs earned a B.S. in Technical Agronomy and an M.S. in Plant Pathology from Kansas State University, and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the University of Minnesota. His field of expertise is cereal rust disease. Dr. Roelfs is the Co-Author of The Cereal Rusts Vol. I Academic Press 1984, Bushnell, Roelfs; The Cereal Rusts Vol. II Academic Press 1985, Roelfs, Bushnell; and The Wheat Rusts CIMMYT 1992, Roelfs, Singh, Huerta-Espino. He is a member of the American Phytopathology Society. In his leisure time, he enjoys studying native plants.About Strathmore’s Who’s WhoStrathmore's Who's Who publishes an annual two thousand page hard cover biographical registry, honoring successful individuals in the fields of Business, the Arts and Sciences, Law, Engineering and Government. Based on one's position and lifetime of accomplishments, we honor professional men and women in all academic areas and professions. Inclusion is limited to individuals who have demonstrated leadership and achievement in their occupation, industry or profession. Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from Strathmore Who's Who


News Article | February 18, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Over many thousands of years, farmers have bred maize varieties so the crops are optimally adapted to local environments. A new study, published Feb. 6 in Nature Genetics, analyzed close to 4,500 maize varieties - called landraces - bred and grown by farmers from 35 countries in the Americas to identify more than 1,000 genes driving large-scale adaptation to the environment. "The study provided a powerful catalog of the genes necessary for corn to adapt to different latitudes and elevations across the world," said senior author Edward Buckler, a research geneticist at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service and adjunct professor of plant breeding and genetics at the Institute for Genomic Diversity at Cornell. "It takes a thousand genes to attune a plant for a particular latitude and the elevation where it is grown. That's what we are mapping here," Buckler said. The researchers also identified genes associated with flowering time - the period between planting and the emergence of flowers, which is a measure of the rate of development. Flowering time is a basic mechanism through which plants integrate environmental information to balance when to make seeds instead of more leaves. "Flowering time is the trait that is most correlated with every other trait," Buckler said. The study found that more than half of single nucleotide polymorphisms (the most basic form of genetic variation) associated with altitude were also associated with flowering time, revealing these traits are highly linked. Current technology, including a new rapid experimental design called F-One Association Mapping (FOAM), allowed the researchers to use the collection of diverse maize varieties to figure out which genes were important for adaptation. "With global climate change over the next century, we can directly use this information to figure out what genes are important" to greatly speed up breeding efforts of maize, Buckler said. "We're tapping the wisdom of farmers over the last 10,000 years to make the next century's corn." Sarah Hearne, a molecular geneticist at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and a maize research lead scientist with Seeds of Discovery, is also a senior author of the paper. J. Alberto Romero Navarro, a doctoral student in plant breeding and genetics, is the paper's first author. Hearne and colleagues at CIMMYT envisioned the project, led the logistical efforts and conducted field trials, while Romero, Buckler and Cornell colleagues led the genomic analysis of the data. The study was supported by Mexico's Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food through the Sustainable Modernization of Traditional Agriculture initiative. Additional support from the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Cornell University and the National Science Foundation facilitated the completion of the data analysis.


News Article | December 2, 2016
Site: phys.org

The collaboration works with breeding centers around the world to identify unmet needs and has developed tools to make the process of adding a trait into an existing, high-yield crop variety more efficient. Researchers at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) are using the tools to develop corn varieties with greater resistance to viruses. Researchers at GOBII, the Genomic and Open-source Breeding Informatics Initiative, worked with developers from the Hutton Institute to build upon the existing data visualization application, Flapjack. Its new tools enable breeders to select the best possible parental lines and help users to perform marker-assisted backcrossing (MABC)—a process that involves repeated breeding with the high-yield parent to ensure that only the desired genes are transferred. Researchers estimate that they can cut a year or two from the four or five years required to develop a new variety. "We have been delighted with this early success of our joint work with the GOBII team at Cornell and anticipate it will form the foundation of a mutually valuable partnership," said David Marshall of the Hutton Institute. Previously, these types of molecular breeding tools only existed within biotech companies. But GOBII, a Cornell-led project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is tailoring these free tools for breeders in developing countries. They are building data management software in collaboration with the international crops research centers ICRISAT in India, CIMMYT in Mexico and IRRI in the Philippines. "Having the right data management systems and analysis tools can have a huge impact on crop improvement. Breeders can manage their programs more efficiently, make better selection decisions, and potentially reduce labor and land costs," said Elizabeth Jones, project manager of GOBII. Michael Olsen, a molecular geneticist at CIMMYT, is test-driving the tools in his work to develop lines of corn that are resistant to maize lethal necrosis, a disease that has devastated corn crops in Kenya. Olsen's research involves 43 separate breeding crosses, bred over five generations.The new tools help him to visualize the relevant genes and identify donor strains that are most likely to successfully interbreed. "The recently released MABC tool developed by JHI with input from the GOBII project was a tremendous time saver this past cycle," said Olsen. "The tool is very well designed for an applied breeding program conducting MABC projects." Next, GOBII will conduct training sessions for the tools at breeding centers in India, Africa, Mexico, the Philippines and at Cornell. The tools can be used to improve any trait in any crop plant. Explore further: Plant breeders take cues from consumers to improve kale


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: phys.org

A new study, published Feb. 6 in Nature Genetics, analyzed close to 4,500 maize varieties – called landraces – bred and grown by farmers from 35 countries in the Americas to identify more than 1,000 genes driving large-scale adaptation to the environment. "The study provided a powerful catalog of the genes necessary for corn to adapt to different latitudes and elevations across the world," said senior author Edward Buckler, a research geneticist at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service and adjunct professor of plant breeding and genetics at the Institute for Genomic Diversity at Cornell. "It takes a thousand genes to attune a plant for a particular latitude and the elevation where it is grown. That's what we are mapping here," Buckler said. The researchers also identified genes associated with flowering time – the period between planting and the emergence of flowers, which is a measure of the rate of development. Flowering time is a basic mechanism through which plants integrate environmental information to balance when to make seeds instead of more leaves. "Flowering time is the trait that is most correlated with every other trait," Buckler said. The study found that more than half of single nucleotide polymorphisms (the most basic form of genetic variation) associated with altitude were also associated with flowering time, revealing these traits are highly linked. Current technology, including a new rapid experimental design called F-One Association Mapping (FOAM), allowed the researchers to use the collection of diverse maize varieties to figure out which genes were important for adaptation. "With global climate change over the next century, we can directly use this information to figure out what genes are important" to greatly speed up breeding efforts of maize, Buckler said. "We're tapping the wisdom of farmers over the last 10,000 years to make the next century's corn." Sarah Hearne, a molecular geneticist at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and a maize research lead scientist with Seeds of Discovery, is also a senior author of the paper. J. Alberto Romero Navarro, a doctoral student in plant breeding and genetics, is the paper's first author. Hearne and colleagues at CIMMYT envisioned the project, led the logistical efforts and conducted field trials,while Romero, Buckler and Cornell colleagues led the genomic analysis of the data. Explore further: Genomic tools can help researchers develop crops quickly


The green area displayed by a crop is a good indicator of its photosynthetic capacity, while chlorophyll retention or 'stay-green' is regarded as a key indicator of stress adaptation. Remote-sensing methods were tested to estimate these parameters in diverse wheat genotypes under different growing conditions. Two wheat populations (a diverse set of 294 advanced lines and a recombinant inbred line population of 169 sister lines derived from the cross between Seri and Babax) were grown in Mexico under three environments: drought, heat, and heat combined with drought. In the two populations studied here, a moderate heritable expression of stay-green was found-when the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) at physiological maturity was estimated using the regression of NDVI over time from the mid-stages of grain-filling to physiological maturity-and for the rate of senescence during the same period. Under heat and heat combined with drought environments, stay-green calculated as NDVI at physiological maturity and the rate of senescence, showed positive and negative correlations with yield, respectively. Moreover, stay-green calculated as an estimation of NDVI at physiological maturity and the rate of senescence regressed on degree days give an independent measurement of stay-green without the confounding effect of phenology. On average, in both populations under heat and heat combined with drought environments CTgf and stay-green variables accounted for around 30% of yield variability in multiple regression analysis. It is concluded that stay-green traits may provide cumulative effects, together with other traits, to improve adaptation under stress further. © 2012 The Author.


News Article | January 29, 2016
Site: phys.org

Plant scientists at Lancaster University, Rothamsted Research, and The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) have been investigating a naturally occurring plant enzyme known as Rubisco to explore its ability to boost photosynthesis and increase crop yields. In a new paper published this month, the team measured photosynthesis in 25 genotypes of wheat—including wild relatives of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum)—and found variation exists even amongst closely related genotypes. Each type was surveyed to identify superior Rubisco enzymes for improving photosynthesis. Two of the most efficient were Rubisco from plants known as Aegilops cylindrica (jointed goatgrass) and Hordeum vulgare (barley), which both showed promising Rubisco catalytic properties that should be explored in the context of improving photosynthesis, and ultimately grain yield, in wheat. Models suggest that incorporating the new enzymes into wheat could increase photosynthesis by up 20% under some field conditions. Wheat is a crucial source of food, providing more than 20 per cent of the calories consumed worldwide. And with projections that the world population will rise to over nine billion by the year 2050, the pressure is on to meet global demand for food. Professor Martin A. J. Parry of the Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC) said: "Improving the efficiency of photosynthesis—the way crops turn carbon dioxide in our atmosphere into everything we can eat—may seem ambitious but for us it offers the best opportunity for producing the scale of change in crop yield that we need to feed a growing global population in a changing world climate." Elizabete Carmo-Silva, LEC lecturer in plant sciences for food security, said: "Both jointed grass and barley are regarded as valuable genetic resources for improving wheat disease resistance, our research suggests that they can also be used to improve biomass production." Research associates Anneke Prins and Doug Orr conducted the experimental work which was jointly funded by CIMMYT (W4031.11 Global Wheat Program) and by Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency, a project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and led by the University of Illinois at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology. "This is an exciting piece of work showing that Rubisco catalytic properties vary in close relatives of wheat," Orr said. "As part of the RIPE project, we are screening a wide range of species from across the globe, and aim to identify variation that will enable improving photosynthesis and biomass production in rice, cassava and soybean." Explore further: Algal genes may boost efficiency, yield in staple crops More information: The paper 'Rubisco catalytic properties of wild and domesticated relatives provide scope for improving wheat photosynthesis' was published in the Journal of Experimental Botany Advance Access.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

The first of the 2017 student-run DuPont Plant Sciences Symposia series will kick off Feb. 2 at the Bond Life Sciences Center on the University of Missouri (MU) campus. With the theme of “Building the Bridge from Fundamental Research to Improving Tomorrow’s Crops,” the event will be the first of 30 DuPont Plant Sciences Symposia events in 2017. To date, more than 25 institutions across five continents have produced more than 65 events through the series. The symposiums’ fundamental objective is to serve as a means of networking for the students who will one day become leaders of the plant science fields. David Jackson, a plant geneticist from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, will present a keynote address from 1-2 p.m. CT. Among the long list of accomplishments of Jackson’s lab is the creation of a collection of transgenic lines of corn that have led to unprecedented ease of experimenting on corn plants. The symposium, which is free and open to the public, has been entirely produced by a team of six graduate students at MU: four from the Division of Plant Sciences at the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and two from the Division of Biological Sciences in the College of Arts and Science. They have been advised by Tim Beissinger, an adjunct assistant professor of plant sciences at MU, who helped produce a symposium event at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011 as a graduate student. “It gave me, as a student – and it will give these students, a lot of exposure to the plant breeding industry,” said Beissinger, who also serves as a research geneticist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. “They’ve done everything. It’s impressive. I left it up to them intentionally and they’ve really run with it.” The symposium, which also is being funded in part by the Division of Plant Sciences, Division of Biological Sciences and the Interdisciplinary Plant Group, allows for travel awards for students from counterpart universities to attend the event. The planning committee expects student attendees from as many as six U.S. universities and Mexican universities, as well as the International Maize and Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Mexico. “We empower students to drive their own agendas,” said Tabaré Abadie, senior research manager, DuPont Pioneer, who has been in charge of overseeing the events since the first one began at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2008. “In the process, they learn new things along the way and network with scientists and academics around the world and with other students who will eventually be their colleagues.” The symposium will feature speakers from DuPont Pioneer, the Division of Plant Sciences and other experts in the field such as Jackson. Those who cannot attend in-person will be able to listen in as a webinar. Registration begins at 8 a.m. CT. The closing remarks are set to take place at 3:30 p.m. CT. For more information and a complete event agenda, visit http://mupioneersymposium.org. For additional information on the DuPont Plant Sciences Symposia series: http://www.pioneer/Symposia. DuPont Pioneer is the world’s leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, providing high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries. Pioneer provides agronomic support and services to help increase farmer productivity and profitability and strives to develop sustainable agricultural systems for people everywhere. Science with Service Delivering Success®. DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders, we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit http://www.dupont.com. Editor’s note: Interviews with Tim Beissinger, adjunct assistant professor of plant sciences, or Dalton Ludwick, the chair of the event planning committee, can be made in advance. In addition, they can be available during a break from 10:15 to 10:45 a.m. on the day of the symposium upon request in advance.

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