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Grape bud imaging

Al Kovaleski, PhD student in the Graduate Field of Horticulture, School of Integrative Plant Science, used X-ray phase contrast imaging to create this video of a grapevine bud.

Kovaleski is using the technology to visualize the inner portions of buds to observe how they are damaged by freezing temperatures, a critical issue with the increase in extreme weather events — like late spring frosts — brought on by climate change.

Imaging was performed at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source which is supported by the NSF & NIH/NIGMS via award DMR-1332208.

Geneva recognitions

Photos from Thomas Björkman from NYSAES horticulture recognitions June 3:

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PhD student Archana Khadgi won the 2016 Perrine Award. The Perrine award recognizes excellence in pomological research by a graduate student. Archana is studying with Professor Courtney Weber (right), using genomic techniques to create phythophthora-resistant raspberries.

 

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The Nelson Shaulis scholar for 2016, Corrigan Herbert (right), is congratulated by her supervisor for the summer, CCE Viticulturist Hans Walter-Peterson. Corrigan is a student in the wine program at Finger Lakes Community College. The FLCC wine program operates from a new dedicated building at the Ag Tech Park adjacent to the Station.

 

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Jim Ballerstein, Research Support Specialist, received a 30-year service award from Horticulture Chair Steve Reiners. Jim runs one of the premier vegetable variety trial programs in the country. The program brings in substantial funding, and takes Jim on trips to conferences and company visits at home and abroad.

 

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The Horticulture Section’s Summer Scholars arrived at the Station this week. The Geneva Summer Scholar program brings in excellent undergraduates from around the country for six weeks of research experience and a field course in agriculture. Many go on to graduate programs at Cornell and elsewhere.  Left to right: Brianna Moore (William Smith College/Smart Lab), Lisa Kime (Penn State/Griffiths Lab), Anna Agloro (Saint Martin’s University/Smart Lab), Sofia Gonzalez-Martinez (University of Puerto Rico/Brown Lab), Alexi Nystrom (Newberry College/Xu Lab), Ari Heitler-Klevans (Oberlin College/Smart Lab), Catharina Ortiz-Thomazella (University of Wisconsin-River Falls/Taylor Lab), Carlie Leary (The New School/Smart Lab).

Freezes kill peaches, but apples could rally

In an article at Hot Potato Press, writer Carrie Koplinka-Loehr interviews Gregory Peck, assistant professor in the Horticulture Section, Mario Miranda Sazo, area fruit specialist for Cornell Cooperative Extension, and local farmers to assess the condition of local fruit crops in light of the Valentine’s Day and early April freezes.

Read the article.

Greg Peck dissects fruit buds to assess frost damaage.

Greg Peck dissects fruit buds in his lab to assess damage.

Plant researchers get powerful new resource

Matthew Willmann, director of the new Plant Transformation Facility. (Photo: Matt Hayes, CALS)

Matthew Willmann, director of the new Plant Transformation Facility. (Photo: Matt Hayes, CALS)

Cornell Chronicle [2016-05-31]:

Matthew Willmann wants to partner with Cornell scientists to make plant research faster, cheaper and more productive.

And he has just the equipment to make those partnerships bloom.

Willmann, director of the new Plant Transformation Facility, is harnessing precision technology to create transgenic and gene-edited plants on campus for Cornell researchers. The facility, housed in Weill Hall, uses Agrobacterium, biolistics (also known as “gene guns,” two of which are available for use by other researchers) and protoplasts to make transgenic plants, and CRISPR/Cas9 technology for gene editing. Those tools will benefit Cornell scientists as they work to breed hardier and more productive crops with a focus on New York agriculture.

Willmann gave an open house May 25 to showcase the resources available to Cornell plant researchers.

Read the whole article.

Reunion events

Reunion is coming up fast (June 9-12). Mark your calendar for these events of plant science interest:

Tanksley, Martin, Giovannoni, and McCouch

Tanksley, Martin, Giovannoni, and McCouch

In addition, Cornell Plantations will be hosting walks, tours and other events including a plant sale June 11.

Scenes from Commencement 2016

Frank Rossi, Marvin Pritts and Justine Vanden Heuvel cook up breakfast for Plant Science graduates and their families.

Frank Rossi, Marvin Pritts and Justine Vanden Heuvel cook up Commencement breakfast for Plant Science graduates and their families.

Don Viands recognizes the top three Plant Sciences seniors with the Ring Memorial Award.

Don Viands recognizes the top three Plant Sciences seniors with the Ring Memorial Award.

Breanna Wong (second from left) poses with friends before procession.

Breanna Wong (second from left) poses with friends before procession.

Dhruv Patel shoots a selfie.

Dhruv Patel shoots a selfie.

Christian Lesage and Patrick McLoughlin during procession to commencement ceremony.

Christian Lesage and Patrick McLoughlin during Commencement procession.

Alan Collmer, director of the School of Integrative Plant Science, welcomes graduates and their families to the Plant Science Recognition Ceremony.

Alan Collmer, director of the School of Integrative Plant Science, welcomes graduates and their families to the Plant Science Recognition Ceremony. (Photo: Jenn Thomas-Murphy.)

Director of Undergraduate Studies Marvin Pritts (left) and SIPS section chairs Steve Reiners, Gary Bergstrom, Jeff Doyle, Tim Setter and William Crepet at the ceremony.

Director of Undergraduate Studies Marvin Pritts (left) and SIPS section chairs Steve Reiners, Gary Bergstrom, Jeff Doyle, Tim Setter and William Crepet at the ceremony. (Photo: Jenn Thomas-Murphy.)

Commencement prelude

Volunteers fashion commencement boutonnières from orchids for graduating Plant Science Majors and graduate students from the five Graduate Fields associated with the School of Integrative Plant Science.

Clock wise from upper left: Violet Stone, Magdalen Lindeberg, Marvin Pritts, Leah Cook, Bridget Cristelli, Karin Jantz and Steve Reiners.

Clockwise from upper left: Violet Stone, Magdalen Lindeberg, Marvin Pritts, Leah Cook, Bridget Cristelli, Karin Jantz and Steve Reiners.

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Some of the soon-to-be-graduating Plant Science Majors gathered Wednesday for the annual ‘exit luncheon’ – an informal chance for them to share feedback about the program and make suggestions on how to improve the experience for future Majors. They took time out for a group shot in the Palm Room of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory.

Left to right: Jason Gregory, Ryan Walker, Patrick McLoughlin, Plant Sciences Undergraduate Program Coordinator Leah Cook, Breanna Wong and Katharine Constas.

Left to right: Jason Gregory, Ryan Walker, Patrick McLoughlin, Plant Sciences Undergraduate Program Coordinator Leah Cook, Breanna Wong and Katharine Constas.

Other Class of ’16 Plant Science Majors not pictured: Julian DeLellis-Mitch, Josh Kaste, Christian Lesage, Zach Lingskoog, Justin Lombardoni, Catherine Migneco, Sarah Odell, Dhruv Patel, Yuanhan Wu, Qiuchen Yang.

Good luck, graduates!

Farm Ops initiative opens new fields to veterans

Anu Rangarajan

Anu Rangarajan

Cornell Chronicle [2016-05-24]:

New York agriculture faces a looming employment crisis, but not the kind that normally leaves job seekers skittish.

A rise in job capacity in the agriculture industry is not being met with enough skilled people ready to fill the expected surge in high-paying, productive careers. An innovative Cornell project is betting that military veterans are the answer.

Farm Ops, an initiative from the Cornell Small Farm Program, is the first of its kind in the country to give returning veterans the opportunity to learn agriculture via their G.I. Bill benefits. The program allows earned military benefits to be deployed in agriculture training, opening the way for young, hardworking men and women with the skills to be successful in a technologically advanced field to become the farmers of tomorrow.

“After leaving the military, our veterans enter the workforce with the dedication, grit and work ethic to succeed in whatever they wish to do,” said Anu Rangarajan, director of the Cornell Small Farm Program and senior extension associate in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science. “Until now, the job-training benefits they earned have not been applied to agriculture. Our program offers pathways, information and support to enter the agricultural workforce.

“It’s a win for our veterans and a win for the New York agricultural industry that desperately needs these talented people,” she said.

Read the whole article.

Video: Liberty Hyde Bailey’s The Holy Earth

If you missed last month’s Mann Library ‘Chats in the Stacks’ panel discussion on Liberty Hyde Bailey’s book, The Holy Earth, it’s available online.

The panel features Scott Peters (Department of Development Sociology), Jim Tantillo (Department of Natural Resources), and John Linstrom (Department of Engish, New York University and the former curator and director of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum in South Haven, Michigan).

For more audio and video of book talks and special lectures visit the Mann Library event podcast page.

Dreer seminar video: Impatiens and Vegetables in Thailand

If you missed Friday’s Dreer Award Seminar video Impatiens and Vegetables in Thailand  featuring James Keach, Ph.D. ’16 (Plant Breeding), it’s available online.

Visit Keach’s Dreer Award blog PhytoRealism detailing his travels.

Administered by the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science, the Frederick Dreer Award provides a wonderful opportunity each year for one or more students to spend 4 months to up to a year abroad to pursue interests related to horticulture. Read more about the Dreer Award.

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