More about Buckler's research (Feb. 2001)
WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 Edward S. Buckler, a research geneticist with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), today will receive that agencys highest honor for a young scientist, the Herbert L. Rothbart Outstanding Early Career Research Scientist Award. ARS is the U.S. Department of Agricultures chief scientific agency.
Buckler, who works at the ARS U.S. Plant, Soil and Nutrition Laboratory in Ithaca, N.Y., is being recognized for pioneering genetic approaches that let researchers identify individual genes controlling complex agronomic traits.
Buckler and other ARS scientists will be honored for their 2004 accomplishments here today at a 1 p.m. ceremony at USDA headquarters. Buckler will receive a plaque, a cash award and additional funding for his research program.
Dr. Buckler has had a substantial impact on maize research and the scientific community at large, said ARS Administrator Edward B. Knipling. This is evidenced by his authorship of 26 publications in high-profile journals, as well as five software packages and the presentation of more than 38 invited papers to various groups at international and national symposia, seminars and scientific meetings.
Buckler started his ARS career in 1998, at its Plant Science Research Unit in Raleigh, N.C. He joined the Ithaca laboratory in 2003.
He has spent the past five years developing and adapting strategies for mapping complex traits in plants to within a single gene, vastly improving gene-research resolution. These new strategies, which previously had virtually no application in plant genetics, make it possible to exploit the natural variation and diversity that have developed over the history of a crop species.
This work extends strategies that have been used extensively in medical genetics to pinpoint the causes of diseases in humans.
Also significant is Bucklers subsequent use of this new method to evaluate genes in maize. According to Knipling, Bucklers discovery of genes controlling starch content will permit the breeding of corn that is more efficient for ethanol production, and his discovery of genes involved in flowering time will permit the rapid adaptation of corn from one climatic zone to another.
Buckler received a bachelors degree in 1992 from the University of Virginia and a doctorate in 1997 from the University of Missouri. He also conducted postdoctoral research at North Carolina State in 1997 and 1998. Buckler has been elected to the Maize Genetics Executive Committee, and he serves as an advisor to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the U.S. National Science Foundation and the European Unions Scientific Framework.
A native of Arlington, Va., Buckler lives in Ithaca with his wife Carlyn and son Edward.