Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Highlights
headline bar

New in August, 2014 - Recent Publications, Grants AwardedHonors and Awards Received, Outreach, Non-technical ArticlesCritical and Emerging Issues


Recent Publications -


Lu, W., Pan, L., Zhao, H., Jia, Y., Wang, Y., Yu, X., and Wang, X.  2014.  Molecular detection of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola, and Burkholderia glumae in infected rice seeds and leaves, The Crop Journal, doi: 10.1016/j.cj.2014.06.005.


Rice is constantly challenged by bacterial pathogens. Three diseases, bacterial blight, caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, bacterial leaf streak, caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola, and bacterial panicle blight, caused by Burkholderia glumae, are the most detrimental bacterial pathogens that affect rice production and are often listed as quarantine diseases in many countries. Traditional detection of these pathogens is a slow and expensive process. In this study, we developed a method to detect genes unique to each of these three using a polymerase chain reaction in one single test tube.  This newly designed molecular assay is sensitive and will be a reliable tool for pathogen detection and disease forecasting.


 Return to top


Grants Awarded - none to report.


Special invited presentations given, or honors and awards received - none to report.


Return to top

Public Outreach/Stakeholder and Collaborator Contacts -

July 28-August 1  Dr. David Gealy presented a talk and participated in field tours and scientific discussions at the Institute of Agriculture Science-CSIC, in Madrid, Spain.  Also, he presented two talks at the 7th World Congress on Allelopathy research in Vigo, Spain, as a member of the International Scientific Program Committee for the 7th WCA, a member of the Executive Council, and Treasurer of the International Allelopathy Society.


August 1  Several DBNRRC staff members participated in 2014 Rice Expo at Grand Prairie Center, Stuttgart, AR. Research on cereal grain quality, germplasm diversity, and the evolution of weediness in red rice were presented at outreach tables.  There were over 1000 attendees at the event.


August 2  Drs. Georgia Eizenga and Yulin Jia, along with their lab staff, participated in the 6th annual Back-2-School Extravaganza sponsored by the local COPY (Community Outreach Programs for our Youth) program. The event was attended by 791 pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students and 373 registered adults.  At our "Rice Around the World" booth, approximately 125 children visited along with a parent or grandparent, and 54 students visited the Rice Pathology display.  Handouts regarding visits to the DBNRRC to see science first hand, opportunities to be a student worker and/or work in agricultural science as a career, and information on ARS websites like Science-4-Kids were distributed and discussed with interested students.


August 7  Dr. Shannon Pinson was interviewed by Emily Sohn, a Feature Writer for Nature.  She is collecting information about how heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, and mercury accumulate in crop grains, and how that accumulation can be reduced.  Of particular interest is Dr. Pinson’s research on genes affecting element accumulation in rice grains.


August 7-8  Dr. Marcio Ferreira, from the Brazilian agricultural research agency EMBRAPA, visited DBNRRC scientists and gave a presentation regarding research on preventive breeding.  This visit is a part of an on-going collaboration between ARS and EMBRAPA, formerly called Labex. The objective for a new collaborative project between DBNRRC and EMBRAPA is to conduct research on diseases that may not currently be a problem in Brazil but could become a threat in the future. Along this line, collaborations with Dr. Yulin Jia on evaluating host response to bacterial panicle blight and breeding for resistance using genetic markers were discussed.


August 10-13  Drs. Yulin Jia, Xueyan Wang and Yan Liu made four presentations on rice blast resistance research at a joint annual meeting of American Phytopathological Society and Canadian Phytpathological Society, in Minneapolis, MN.


August 13-14 Dr. Anna McClung was an invited participant at the USDA ARS sponsored meeting in Ames, Iowa regarding the impact of high temperatures on agriculture production. Some 30 researchers from ARS, private industry, and universities gave talks on climate change and impacts on specific crops. Dr. McClung presented a talk regarding the negative impact that high temperatures are having on US rice quality. Plans are being made to summarize data presented at the meeting as a review paper.


August 25- 26  Dr. Yulin Jia along with postdoctoral research associate Xueyan Wang of the University of Arkansas Rice Research and Extension Center, and Klaus Sheuermann, a visiting scientist of the Santa Catarina State Agricultural Research and Rural Extension Agency, Epagri, Brazil, were invited to attend a field tour of LSU rice disease research plots at Crowley, LA.  This included visiting disease nurseries showing rice varieties infected with sheath blight, blast and bacterial panicle blight.  Also visited were demonstration trials regarding timing and efficacy of fungicide applications against blast, sheath blight, and brown spot diseases.


During the month of August 1,894 rice accessions from the Genetics Stocks Oryza (GSOR) collection were distributed to researchers in the USA, Bhutan, Canada and India.



Return to top


Write ups in lay media (local paper, Ag. Research magazine, etc.)


During August four scientists from Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center were featured in the local newspaper, Stuttgart Daily Leader, in an ongoing series to introduce local scientists and highlight the facility’s research mission to the community. Featured were Drs. Shannon Pinson, Yulin Jia, Angela Baldo, and Ming-Hsuan Chen.


August 6 Kevin Clark of AETN, the Arkansas Public Broadcasting station, visited the DBNRRC and interviewed Drs. Anna McClung and Neal Teaster. They filmed research activities in all of the labs as well as visited field trials being conducted on reducing water use in rice production. This will be part be part of a new series being produced by AETN called Agri Arkansas which will focus on educating the public about where their food comes from and how important agriculture is to the state’s economy.


August 19  Biological Science Technician, Matthew Schuckmann, was featured in the local newspaper, Stuttgart Daily Leader, regarding his speaking engagement at the Rotary Club addressing Rotary values.



Critical or Emerging Issues - none to report




Staff at DBNRRC contributed over 300 lbs of food this summer to the local food bank as part of the Feds Feed Families initiative.


Return to top


For more information, please contact Anna McClung, Research Leader,

Last Modified: 9/5/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page