story to find out more.
This herd of Gyr, a tropical cattle breed, is
being studied as part of Labex research on cattle genetics. Above, animal
caretaker José Cristiano dos Santos takes the cows for a health
inspection at the Coronel Pacheco Experimental Click the image for more
information about it.
U.S.-Brazil Research Partnership Paying Off for
Both Countries By
December 4, 2001
Labex , a successful, growing collaboration between the
Agricultural Research Service and a
partner from Brazil, promises a range of agricultural benefits for both
The Labex program, proposed by ARSs Brazilian counterpart
Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuaria (EMBRAPA), is proving to be a fruitful
collaboration. Labex is a Portuguese term for Virtual Lab, so named
because the program is a laboratory that exists only as a concept, without any
lab buildings of its own.
Central to the program is bringing Brazilian scientists to ARS
laboratories for two- to three-year terms and pairing them with appropriate ARS
partners. Unlike many cooperative programs that focus on post-doctoral
training, the Brazilian researchers in this program are all senior scientists.
Labex also encourages other formal and informal exchanges between scientists of
the two research services.
Active only since 1998, the program is already paying off in research
results in integrated pest management, precision agriculture, soil science and
genetic research. For example, Labex is facilitating cooperative work to find
genetic resistance to internal parasites in cattle, which would be welcome in
both countries. Internal parasites cost the beef and dairy industries $2
billion annually in the United States alone.
Another collaborating team is developing better biocontrols for the
stink bug, a major pest of soybeans in both Brazil and the United States. The
team has already identified a more complete pheromone blend to attract
neotropical brown stink bugs, making it possible to monitor fields for the
pests appearance so pesticide use can be narrowly targeted. They have
also developed an effective trap design to go with the pheromone lure, for
which they are currently seeking commercial producers.
Brazil proposed the Labex program because the country saw itself and
the United States as natural partners in agricultural research, with many
similar agricultural and environmental problems to solve. Both are also world
leaders in agricultural research and technology.
To learn more about this research,
see a more
detailed story in the December issue of Agricultural Research
ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.