More about Victor Raboy:
More about Perry Cregan:
Scientists Honored for Moving Research
Results to Market By
February 8, 2001
BELTSVILLE, Md., Feb. 8--Discoveries that reduce
phosphorus pollution of streams and bays, boost the nutritional value of
corn-based foods, or streamline breeding of superior soybeans have garnered top
technology-transfer honors for two Agricultural Research Service scientists.
Research geneticists Victor Raboy at Aberdeen, Idaho, and Perry
B. Cregan, at Beltsville, Md., were honored yesterday by the
ARS Office of Technology Transfer for
moving their pioneering research out of the laboratory and into the hands of
growers, educators and other users in the United States and abroad.
Raboy and Cregan received plaques during an afternoon ceremony
at the agency's Henry A. Wallace Beltsville
Agricultural Research Center. ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief
Raboy, with the
ARS Small Grains and
Potato Germplasm Research Unit at Aberdeen, developed a patented
technique--now licensed to three U.S. companies--that lowers the amount of a
compound called phytate in grains. "Phytate interferes with the ability of some
animals to absorb phosphorus," explained ARS administrator Floyd P. Horn. "Dr.
Raboy's unique, low-phytate grains increase the amount of phosphorus that pigs,
poultry and fish can absorb from grain-based feed. That reduces phosphorus
loads in their manure and helps minimize leaching and pollution.
"Besides helping animals and the environment," Horn noted, "Dr.
Raboy's low-phytate grains may battle iron deficiency anemia in humans by
making iron, an essential mineral, more available to our bodies. We've already
seen that happen in preliminary studies with volunteers who ate tortillas made
from this low-phytate corn."
Geneticist Cregan, based at ARS'
Genomics and Improvement Laboratory in Beltsville, identified "simple
sequence repeat" DNA markers that make it fast and easy for soybean breeders to
determine if the soybean plants they are developing carry such traits as
resistance to soybean cyst nematode. The nematode, a microscopic worm, "causes
more damage to the U.S. soybean crop than all other pests combined," said Horn.
"In addition," Horn noted, "a selected set of simple sequence
repeat markers developed by Dr. Cregan is being used to create DNA fingerprints
of new and improved soybean varieties. These fingerprints establish the unique
identity of each variety so that ownership and rights to the use of the new
varieties can be protected."
More about Allen Cohen:
Three other researchers and three research teams were also
honored for their technology transfer accomplishments at yesterday's ceremony.
- Allen C. Cohen, research entomologist,
ARS Biological Control and
Mass Rearing Research Unit, Mississippi State, Miss. His patented and
licensed technologies for indoor rearing of large colonies of beneficial
insects like green lacewings and big-eyed bugs are among the most successful
ever developed. His research has lowered the cost of producing healthy,
vigorous insects that, when released outdoors, can devour crop pests and help
reduce growers' reliance on chemical pesticides.
More about Anna McClung:
- Anna Myers McClung, research geneticist,
ARS Rice Research Unit,
Beaumont, Texas. McClung was honored for developing new rices that offer prized
traits such as improved yield, better milling and cooking quality, or increased
resistance to disease. Working with ARS, industry, or university colleagues,
McClung produced the cultivars Cadet, Dixiebelle, Jacinto, Jefferson, Madison,
and Saber--and two disease-resistant breeding lines.
More about Jurgen Garbrecht:
- Jurgen D. Garbrecht, research hydraulic engineer,
ARS Grazinglands Research Laboratory, El
Reno, Okla. Garbrecht developed a computer-based program for inventorying key
landscape features that can affect rainwater runoff, erosion, or water quality,
for example. The software and user manuals that Garbrecht wrote for the
program, called "TOPAZ" for "topographic parameterization computer model," have
made it a user-friendly tool for watershed managers, engineers, educators and
others in the United States and overseas.
More about Thomas Jenkins and Charles Williams:
- Thomas G. Jenkins and Charles B. Williams, research animal
scientists at the ARS Roman L. Hruska U.S.
Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, Neb. In collaboration with the
National Cattlemen's Beef Association,
Jenkins and Williams developed an easy-to-use, science-based computer program
that assists cattle producers in making decisions on breeding, feeding and
managing their herds. Called "DECI" for "decision evaluator for the cattle
industry," more than a thousand copies of this decision-support software have
been distributed to individuals and organizations--including professors at a
dozen universities for use in their classrooms and labs.
More about the fly decoy:
- Michael R. McGuire, research entomologist, formerly with the
ARS National Center for Agricultural
Utilization Research, Peoria, Ill., and now with ARS at Shafter, Calif.;
and entomologist Robert W. Behle and chemical engineer J.L. Willett at the
Peoria Center. These scientists worked with university and industry
collaborators to improve and commercialize an ingenious, apple-shaped
device--made of farm surplus materials--that attracts and kills apple maggot
fly and reduces the amount of insecticide needed to control this pest. If left
uncontrolled, the fly can cost apple producers in the northeastern United
States millions of dollars each year in damaged fruit.
about the AIPL:
- Eight members of the ARS Animal Improvement Programs
Laboratory, Beltsville, Md. These scientists and their colleagues
streamlined the collection and delivery of vital information about the genetic
background of dairy cattle. Farmers and others need these detailed evaluations
when deciding which cows to retain in their herds, and which semen or embryos
to purchase to ensure that tomorrow's milking cows have the best genetic
Contact: Michael D. Ruff, ARS
Office of Technology Transfer,
Washington, D.C.; phone (202) 720- 3973, fax (202) 720-7549,