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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

News from the Southeast Area

Asian-Pacific Heritage Program held in Stoneville, MS

May 7, 2015, Dr. Simon Liu, Associate Administrator, ARS, was the Keynote Speaker at the Asian-Pacific Heritage Program held in Stoneville, MS.  A Listening Session was held after the program and then those who attended enjoyed a sampling of Asian American food.

 

Picture of Dr. Simon Liu

 

Agency Accomplishments

 

At the 45th Annual Joint Meeting of the American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists (ASSCT) held in New Orleans, LA, Dr. Stephanie Boone won the Denver T. Loupe Best Oral Presentation award for her paper entitled, “Are Biocide Effective in Louisiana Mills?” The paper investigated the efficacy and economic practicality of commercial biocide usage in tandem mill juice sanitation at sugarcane factories.  Dr. Isabel Lima won the Denver T., Loupe Best Poster Presentation award for her poster entitled, “Economic Products Derived from Sugarcane Trash and Bagasse.” Dr. Boone is a Molecular Biologist and Dr. Lima is a Research Chemist in the Commodity Utilization Unit in New Orleans, LA.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Research Chemist, H. N. Cheng of the Southern Regional Research Center, SRRC, Commodity Utilization Research Unit in New Orleans, LA is the winner of the 2016 Award for Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society for his leadership within ACS governance and other contributions to the Society. Dr. Cheng has held a seemingly endless list of volunteer roles with ACS, from organizing symposia and editing symposia books to facilitating ACS Leadership Development System courses. He has chaired his local sections (both the Delaware and Louisiana Sections) as well as, presidential task forces and has served as a councilor for the Polymer Chemistry Division and the Delaware section.  He currently chairs the ACS International Activities Committee (IAC), a position he has held since 2013. Dr. Cheng will be honored at the Spring 2016 ACS national meeting in San Diego and will present an address at the 2016 ChemLuminary Awards at the Fall national meeting in Philadelphia.

ARS Miami, FL research plant geneticist Alan W. Meerow has been honored by having a new species of cycad weevil named after him.  Rhopalotria meerowi Tang and O’Brien was described from samples sent to the first author of the species, obtained from the male cones of a cycad species native to Jamaica.  The weevil is also known only from Jamaica.  Cycads are ancient seed plants related to pine and ginkgo trees, and most are considered threatened or endangered in habitat.  Cycad weevils have an intimate relationship with cycad species, and are the most important pollinating agents of the plants.  Meerow was recognized for his work on the population genetics of the genus Zamia in the Caribbean region, an important source of ornamental plants in Florida.  The new insect was described in the paper “Revision of the New World cycad weevils of the subtribe Allocorynina, with description of two new genera and three new subgenera (Coleoptera: Belidae: Oxycoryninae)” by Charles W. O’Brien and William Tang (Zootaxa 3970 (1): 001–087, 2015).

Outreach and Professional Activities:

July 21, 2015, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Soil Scientist Dan Pote of the Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center in Booneville, AR will present “Reducing Nutrient Runoff Using Litter Incorporation” at the Arkansas Water Resources Center Annual Conference in Fayetteville, AR.  Immediately after the presentation, ARS Scientist Philip Moore of the Poultry Production and Product Safety Research Unit, Fayetteville, AR will present “Long-Term Effects of Alum Applications to Poultry Litter on Phosphorus Runoff and Leaching”. 

July 28, 2015, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Drs. Rufus L. Chaney and Carrie Green, with Agricultural Research Service, Crop Systems and Global Change Laboratory at Beltsville, MD, will be at the Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center Stuttgart, AR to present a seminar on arsenic and cadmium uptake in rice and methods of analysis.

July 26-28, 2015, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Agricultural Economist Leah Duzy of the National Soil Dynamics Laboratory, Auburn, AL will make a presentation on "Economics of Conservation Systems Research in the Southeastern United States” during the Economics of Soil Health Practices symposium at the 70th Annual Soil and Water Conservation Society meeting in Greensboro, NC.

July 26-29, 2015, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Agricultural Engineer Ted Kornecki of the National Soil Dynamics Laboratory, Auburn, AL will give a presentation titled “Evaluation of a Custom Residue Manager to Manage Cover Crops and its Effects on Cotton Population and Yield in a No Till System” at the 2015 ASABE Annual International Meeting in New Orleans, LA.

July 26-30, 2015, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Research Agricultural Engineer  Steven J. Thomson of the Crop Production Systems Research Unit, Stoneville, MS will give a presentation entitled “Web-based system for monitoring temperature inversions from portable field towers” at the 2015 ASABE Annual International Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana. This research is partially funded by the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board (MSPB).

July 26-29, 2015, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Research Leader/Research Agronomist Seth Dabney of the Watershed Physical Processes Research Unit, Oxford, MS will present the paper entitled, "EphGEE: Ephemeral Gully Erosion Estimator" at the Soil and Water Conservation Society International Conference in Greensboro, NC.

July 27-30, 2015, Agricultural Research Service (ARS)  Supervisory Plant Physiologist Stephen Duke and Research Plant Physiologist Franck Dayan of the Natural Products Utilization Research Unit in Oxford, MS will present five lectures on modes of action and resistance of herbicides (1. glyphosate; 2. photosystem I and II inhibitors; 3. protoporphyrinogen oxidase inhibitors; 4. carotenoid biosynthesis inhibitors; and 5. miscellaneous herbicides) at the Tennessee Weed Science Short Course on Herbicide Modes of Action and Resistance in Weeds in Knoxville, TN.

July 20-23, 2015, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Research Hydrologist Michele Reba of the Delta Water Management Research Unit, Jonesboro, AR will be convening a session on "Agricultural Water Management" at the University of Arkansas Water Resources Conference in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

July 26-30, 2015, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Research Hydrologist Michele Reba of the Delta Water Management Research Unit, Jonesboro, AR will present the paper, "Early findings from artificial recharge efforts of the Mississippi Valley Alluvial Aquifer" at the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers in New Orleans, LA.

July 24-30, 2015, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Research Microbiologist, Geromy Moore of the Southern Regional Research Center, SRRC, Food and Feed Safety Research Unit in New Orleans, LA, will be presenting a poster, "Genomic investigation of the Aspergillus nomius type strain" at the Mycological Society of America with the Botanical Society Conference in Edmonton, Canada.

July 27-30, 2015, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Research Leader, David Fang, of the Southern Regional Research Center, SRRC, Cotton Fiber Bioscience Research Unit in New Orleans, LA will attend the Annual meeting of National Association of Plant Breeders (NAPB) that will be held in Pullman, Washington, July 27-30, 2015. The NAPB annual meeting is hosted alternatively by public institutions and private industry. This year’s meeting will be hosted by Washington State University and USDA-ARS at Pullman, WA. The 2016 meeting will be hosted by Cotton Incorporated in Cary, NC.

July 23, 2015, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Research Physical Scientist Robert G. Hardin IV of the Cotton Ginning Research Unit, Stoneville, MS will discuss cooperation between the Southern Cotton Ginners Association and Delta Council at the Cotton Ginning Lab in Stoneville.  On July 30th Dr. Hardin will travel to Clarksdale, MS to speak to cotton producers and stockholders on his current work being done and research results.

July 26-29, 2015, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Research Leader Richard Byler and Research Physical Scientist Robert G. Hardin IV, both of the Cotton Ginning Research Unit, Stoneville, MS will attend and present at the 2015 ASABE Annual International Meeting in New Orleans, LA. 

July 21-22, 2015, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Research Ecologist Jason M. Taylor of the Water Quality and Ecology Research Unit, Oxford, MS will attend the Arkansas Water Resource Center Annual Research and Watershed Conference in Fayetteville, AR.  Dr. Taylor will present an invited talk entitled “Nutrient Mitigation Potential in Vegetated Ditches: Experimental Exploration of Mechanisms and Caveats.” While in AR, Taylor will also work with collaborators at the University of Arkansas to complete a phosphorus enrichment experiment.

July 23, 2015, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Plant Molecular Geneticist Tim Rinehart of the Southern Horticultural Research Unit in Poplarville, MS will attend the Woody Landscape Plant Crop Germplasm Committee Meeting in Atlanta, GA.  The Woody Landscape Plant Crop Germplasm Committee (WLPCGC) is a national working group of specialists providing data, analyses, and recommendations on genetic resources within woody landscape crops of present or future economic importance. The meeting is being held in conjunction with the Southern Nursery Association (SNA) 60th Annual Research Conference where Dr. Rinehart is an editor for the Plant Breeding and Evaluation Section.

July 21-24, 2015, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Research Leader/Plant Physiologist Stephen Duke of the Natural Products Utilization Research Unit in Oxford, MS will give a presentation entitled "Herbicide Hormesis - Research Updates and Insight" at the Informa Crops and Chemicals meeting in Raleigh, NC.

July 19-24, 2015, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Research Hydraulic Engineer Eddy Langendoen of the Watershed Physical Processes Research Unit, Oxford, MS will travel to Queretaro, Mexico.  Dr. Langendoen is invited by the Mexican National Institute of Water Technology to give a plenary presentation research on reservoir sediment management during the Fifth Seminar of Potamology, July 22-24 in Queretaro, Mexico.  July 20-21, Dr. Langendoen will work with a collaborator from the Autonomous Metropolitan University, Lerma, Mexico on continued integration of CONCEPTS bank erosion algorithms in the TELEMAC2D model.

July 22-23, 2015, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Research Entomologist Margaret L. Allen of the Biological Control of Pests Research Unit, Stoneville, MS will give a presentation entitled “A Closer Look at RNAi; Lessons Learned from Insects” at the 3rd  Annual Conference On Biopesticides, one of six conferences “Crops & Chemicals, USA” hosted by Informa Life Sciences in Raleigh, NC .

 July 26-29, 2015, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Research Agricultural Engineer Ruixiu Sui of Crop Production Systems Research Unit, Stoneville, MS will attend American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) Annual International Meeting in New Orleans, LA.  In the meeting, Dr. Sui will present a paper entitled “On-Farm Evaluation of Variable Rate Irrigation in Soybean”. He will also chair the ES-03 Energy Systems Standards Oversight Committee meeting on July 27.

July 26-30, 2015, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Research Agricultural Engineer  Steven J. Thomson of the Crop Production Systems Research Unit, Stoneville, MS will give a presentation entitled “Web-based system for monitoring temperature inversions from portable field towers” at the 2015 ASABE Annual International Meeting, New Orleans, LA. This research is partially funded by the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board (MSPB).

July 26-29, 2015, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Research Agricultural Engineer Daniel Fisher of the Crop Production Systems Research Unit, Stoneville, MS will attend the 2015 ASABE Annual International Meeting in New Orleans, LA.  Dr. Fisher will give a presentation entitled “Open-source hardware and software can offer tools for agriculture” in the Biosensors and Bioinstrumentation session on Tuesday, 28 July 2015.

July 26-29, 2015, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Agricultural Engineer Yanbo Huang of the Crop Production Systems Research Unit, Stoneville, MS will attend the Annual International Meeting of American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ASABE) in New Orleans, LA.  Dr. Huang will have a presentation entitled “Cotton Yield Estimation Using Digital Imagery Acquired on a Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle” with Dr. Ruixiu Sui and Dr. Steven Thomson. During the meeting Dr. Huang will also attend six committee meetings on standards, precision agriculture, application technology, computation, and machine vision.

August 3 – 5, 2015 Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Research Leader Richard Byler of the Cotton Ginning Research Unit in Stoneville, MS will be travel to Brownsville, TX, Holcomb, MO, and Blytheville, AR to speak to cotton producers and stockholders on his current work and the results of research being done at the Cotton Ginning Research Unit in Stoneville, MS.

August 3-19, 2015, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Research Hydraulic Engineer Eddy Langendoen of the Watershed Physical Processes Research Unit in Oxford MS has been invited by the School of Civil and Water Resources Engineering, Bahir Dar Institute of Technology to present lectures and conduct research on gully and channel erosion processes in northern Ethiopia.  This is a follow up visit of ongoing collaboration between Dr. Langendoen, Bahir Dar University, and Cornell University to halt gully formation and expansion in the sub humid northern Ethiopian Highlands.

 

August 4-5, 2015, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) ARS Scientists Kip Balkcom, Dara Boardman, Leah Duzy, and Ted Kornecki of the National Soil Dynamics Laboratory in Auburn, AL will attend the 2015 Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE) meeting that will be held in Auburn, AL, August 4-5, 2015. The NUE meeting has been hosted annually for almost 14 years to discuss the latest on NUE research. This is the first year the meeting will be held in the Southeast. Dr. Kip Balkcom will moderate a session during the meeting.

August 4-7, 2015, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Research Horticulturist Chunxian Chen of Southeastern Fruit and Tree Nut Research Laboratory in Byron, GA will give two oral presentations, titled “Categorization of Expressed Sequence Tag Microsatellites for Marker Optimization and Genotype Evaluation in Peach” and “Sequencing Analysis of Wood-decay Fungi Associated with Peach Scaffold Breakage” respectively, at the 2015 Annual American Society for Horticultural Science Meeting, New Orleans, LA.

August 1-5, 2015, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Research Plant Pathologist Clive Bock of the Southeastern Fruit and Tree Nut Research Laboratory, Byron, GA will present 3 posters, " Components of yield in pecan depend on tree height due to the distribution of scab in the canopy", “Development of microsatellite markers for Fusicladium effusum, the causal agent of pecan scab” and “Observation and identification of wood-decay fungi from the heartwood of peach tree limbs in central Georgia, USA” at the American Phytopathological Society Annual Meeting in Pasadena, CA.

July 30 - August 6, 2015, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Research Plant Pathologist Yulin Jia with the Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center at Stuttgart, AR will attend NP303 workshop and serve as a moderator, and also attend the 2015 annual meeting of American Phytopathological Society (APS), Pasadena, CA.  Dr. Jia will present an update of the project “Novel Strategies for Managing Blast Diseases on Rice and Wheat” funded by USDA NIFA and also will co-chair a special joint symposium of APS and Chinese Society of Plant Pathology on Plant Pathology and Disease Control.  This symposium will provide an overview of research that is being directed towards the identification of major resistance genes, understanding the genetic and molecular bases, and the prospects for their utilization in crop breeding and protection.

August 7, 2015, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Research Plant Pathologist Yulin Jia and his staff members with the Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center at Stuttgart, AR will attend and present research accomplishments at the University of Arkansas Rice Expo field day.

 

News Clips:

ARS:  Athens, Ga. - Poultry disease is an international issue and developing animals resistant to disease may be one of the long-term solutions.  University of Georgia researchers Steven Stice and Franklin West in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Claudio Afonso at the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service have spent the last four years gathering data that could make the process a reality.

The team used a technology platform called shRNA—single strands of RNA that fold back on themselves—to selectively stop the production of nucleic acids that cause disease, such as the Newcastle disease virus.  Dr. Afonso was responsible for the design of the products used to reduce virus replication (gene specific shRNA) and together with his team developed methods to conduct the challenges with virulent viruses and evaluate the results.  Initial experiments were conducted at UGA and final testing and evaluation was done at the BSL3 facilities of U.S. National Poultry Research Center in Athens.

The research team's tooling process for enhancing disease resistance, published recently in the Journal of the International Alliance for Biological Standardization, is potentially a much better way of disease protection than vaccination because it introduces permanent genetic resistance that is transmittable to a bird's offspring. In contrast, many vaccines provide protection for a given period of time and must be re-administered periodically.

Multiple types of animals and disease could be targeted. This technology could also be applied to avian influenza and swine flu.  To read the full story, "Delayed Newcastle disease virus replication using RNA interference to target the nucleoprotein," is available at www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1045105615000275.

 



ARS News Articles

A New Vaccine to Fight Poultry Diseases
Mar 20, 2015
A New Spanish Peanut Variety for Consumers, Growers
Feb 24, 2015
Killing Fish Egg Fungus with a Disinfectant
Feb 18, 2015
USDA Research Yields Cotton Resistant to Top 20 Ag Threat
Feb 12, 2015
ARS Study Shows No Damage to Soils from Grazing of Cover Crops
Feb 11, 2015
Last Modified: 7/31/2015