Browse Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics Stories

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Ph.D. student Maria Huertas-Diaz counts plaque assays in professor Biao He's lab at the College of Veterinary Medicine. (Photo by Andrew Davis Tucker/UGA) CAES News
Record Research Spending
For the first time in its history, the University of Georgia surpassed a half-billion dollars in research and development spending in fiscal year 2022. With total expenditures of $545.6 million — representing a jump of more than 10% from the previous year — UGA did not simply exceed the half-billion mark, it rocketed past it.
A peanut split in half lengthwise, exposing the pale, immature peanut inside the shell. Photo by Edwin Remsburg for UGA CAES CAES News
Peanut Protectors
On a warm morning in mid-September, tractor-drawn peanut-digging equipment burrowed beneath the peanut vines on the first of Tift County peanut farmer Greg Davis’s fields. This is the day peanut producers — and University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agents and UGA peanut researchers — work all season for.
University of Georgia peanut plant pathologist Bob Kemerait speaks to the crowd during the 2022 Peanut Tour. Photo courtesy of the Georgia Peanut Commission. CAES News
Peanut Cultivation
From year to year, many row crop producers rotate the crops they plant to reduce pest and disease pressure and to benefit the land, often alternating peanuts with cotton and corn. Peanuts in particular are considered an important cash crop for many farmers.
Field to jar series: Breeding the best peanut CAES News
Peanut Breeding
Whether they show up whole in a candy bar, are transformed into a sandwich spread or lend earthy notes to a spicy curry, peanuts are an important part of foodways in the U.S. and of cuisines from around the world. Georgia is the No. 1 peanut-producing state in the U.S., growing approximately 52% of the peanuts produced in the country in 2021, mostly in the state’s sandy Coastal Plain region.
Urtnasan "Uugii" Ganbaatar and UGA Professor Mohamed Mergoum attended the the annual Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium, sponsored by the World Food Prize Foundation. A Borlaug Fellow, Ganbaatar spent three months working with Mergoum to perform research and gain knowledge using advanced genetic technologies for wheat breeding. CAES News
Borlaug Fellow
For Borlaug Fellow Urtnasan “Uugii” Ganbaatar, the opportunity to work with University of Georgia wheat breeder and geneticist Mohamed Mergoum is opening up a world of growth. With her colleagues at the Institute of Plant and Agricultural Sciences, part of the Mongolian University of Life Sciences, Ganbaatar wants to implement the advanced breeding techniques used at UGA to improve her country's dominant crop.
The Orange Bulldog pumpkin at the UGA Bookstore. (Photo by Chamberlain Smith/UGA) CAES News
Orange Bulldog
The quest for the perfect pumpkin each fall doesn’t start at the local patch. In fact, it starts up to 10 years prior for researchers like University of Georgia plant geneticist Cecilia McGregor. McGregor leads breeding efforts in the selective pumpkin variety called the 'Orange Bulldog', following the retirement of the program’s founder, horticulturist George Boyhan.
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Plant Breeding Ph.D.s
Recent data shows that the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences produced the third-most plant-breeding Ph.D. graduates between 2015 and 2020. With over 80% of alumni employed at public or private institutions, the plant breeding, genetics and genomics Ph.D. program also ranked highly for its graduate employment rate.
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Poplar Bioproducts
A multidisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Georgia and two partner institutions have been awarded a $15.8 million grant over five years from the U.S. Department of Energy to reengineer poplar trees to be used as a sustainable energy source. The researchers will use biotechnology approaches to breed the trees as a multipurpose crop that can be used for bioenergy, biomaterial and bioproduct alternatives to petroleum-based materials.
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2022-25 FFAR Fellow
Samuele Lamon, a doctoral student in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Georgia, has been selected for the 2022-25 cohort of the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research Fellows program.
Robin Buell, GRA Eminent Scholar Chair in Crop Genomics, works in a plant growth chamber. Buell received nearly $800,000 in funding to study the genome of tepary bean in an effort to address climate-related difficulties faces in production of common bean. CAES News
Bean Genes
The common bean — which includes many varieties of dry beans, from navy and black beans to red, pinto and green beans — are an important nutritional source for many world populations. However, rapidly changing climate conditions are making them increasingly difficult to grow in many locations due to high temperatures and susceptibility to diseases and pests.