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Pacifica_DawnEllner

Readying communities for rising seas

Monday, July 28th, 2014

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Hancock Ag Research Station

Monday, July 14th, 2014

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Gena Cooper-5820
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Events

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Food Systems

Tricking plants to see the light may control the most important twitch on Earth

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="600"] New findings show that phytochromes, the “eyes” that help plants sense light, can be manipulated — "tricking" shaded plants into thinking they are in the sun. Above are mature plants with various changes to the phytochrome. Image courtesy of Richard Vierstra.[/caption] Copious corn growing in tiny backyard plots? Roses blooming in December? Thanks to technology that the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Richard Vierstra has been developing for years, these things may soon be possible. And now, new findings out of the genetics professor’s lab promise to advance that technology even further. For the first time, Vierstra and his team have revealed the structure of the plant phytochrome, a critical molecule that detects the light that tells plants when to germinate, grow, make food, flower and even age. Like eyes, the phytochrome is a light sensor that converts sunlight into chemical signals to get these jobs done. By manipulating it, the group can alter the conditions under which all plants grow and develop. [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="215"] Richard Vierstra[/caption] Vierstra’s group published the structure in a recent issue of the journal Proceedings ...
Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
-20140729
food-systems
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Tricking plants to see the light may control the most important twitch on Earth
Changing Climate

Natalia de Leon breeds corn on the cutting edge of biofuel research

[caption id="attachment_16241" align="alignnone" width="550"] University of Wisconsin–Madison graduate student Nick Haase puts a bag on an ear shoot of corn (photo at left). Corn ear shoots must be covered before the silks emerge to protect them from being pollinated by the wrong plant. Natalia de Leon, Assistant Professor of Agronomy at UW-Madison and project lead at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, takes notes on experimental corn plots at the West Madison Agricultural Research Station (at right). Natalia looks for differences in height, total biomass, color, disease, pollination time and other factors. Photos by Matthew Wisniewski.[/caption] Traveling across the American Midwest, where corn is both a major commodity and a prominent feature of the rural landscape, it’s easy to take the corn plant for granted. Spend five minutes on the receiving end of plant breeder and geneticist Natalia de Leon’s enthusiasm for corn, however, and you’ll find yourself taking a closer look, absorbed in the complexities of a genetically diverse and high-yielding plant. De Leon, an associate professor of agronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a researcher at the Great Lakes Bioenergy ...
Monday, July 28th, 2014
-20140728
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Natalia de Leon breeds corn on the cutting edge of biofuel research
CALS in the Media

Because they’re tough to spot, deer tick nymphs transmit disease more than adults

Wisconsin Public Radio
-20140728
cals-in-the-media
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Because they’re tough to spot, deer tick nymphs transmit disease more than adults
Food Systems

Family of UW dairy scientist makes $775,000 gift to support the student teams he used to coach

[caption id="attachment_16227" align="alignnone" width="550"] Dave Dickson led five UW teams to championships at the National Intercollegiate Dairy Judging Contest. He knew his stuff. He’d won the event himself when he was in college and was a highly regarded cattle judge who had judged more cattle shows at World Dairy Expo than any other show official.[/caption] The University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Dairy Science has announced the creation of a $775,000 fund to help dairy science students defray costs of attending events that are a key part of their education. The David P. Dickson Foundation is establishing the fund, named for late “Dr. Dave” Dickson, to cover registration fees, travel and other expenses associated with participating in dairy judging and Dairy Challenge contests. Dickson, who died in 2010, was a UW-Madison dairy science professor from 1966 to 1996 and continued to serve the university and the industry after his retirement. His family is making the gift to ensure that his legacy survives in the communities that meant the most to him, says Tim Garnett, executor of Dickson’s estate. “If you knew Uncle Dave,” Garnett says, “there was never any doubt what he loved most—family, cows and the University of Wisconsin. For ...
Monday, July 28th, 2014
-20140728
food-systems
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Family of UW dairy scientist makes $775,000 gift to support the student teams he used to coach

Jessie Potterton named director of UW-Madison Farm and Industry Short Course

Jessie Potterton has been named director of the Farm and Industry Short Course (FISC) in the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS). She has held the position on an interim basis for the past 12 months and will formally begin her new duties on Oct. 1. Potterton says she’s thrilled to be able to continue to lead FISC, a 17-week post-secondary educational program that prepares students for careers in agriculture and related fields. “Being from a rural community, it was really exciting when I was asked to step in last year. I worked hard to build relationships with students and instructors and alumni and I’m looking forward to continuing that,” Potterton says. “We also need to seek out representatives from the ag industry and develop an advisory board to help us improve our program. We need to make sure that our curriculum provides students with the right skills, and we need the industry’s help to do that.” Potterton’s success in the interim position made her a strong candidate for the job, says Sarah Pfatteicher, CALS associate dean for undergraduate programs and services. “Jessie's unwavering dedication to the integrity of the 130-year-old program, her aptitude for interacting with students, instructors, and alumni, and her good ...
Monday, July 28th, 2014
-20140728
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Jessie Potterton named director of UW-Madison Farm and Industry Short Course