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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

David Peters

Geneticist Plants


GEM Coordinator logo


Michael H. Blanco

 Dr. Michael Blanco


GEM Project Coordinator




Dr. Blanco serves as the Coordinator of the Germplasm Enhancement of Maize (GEM) Project which is a collaborative effort of the USDA-ARS, universities, private industry, international, and non-governmental organizations to broaden the germplasm base of maize.  Dr. Blanco's role is to coordinate germplasm and information exchange, collaborative research projects, and assign in kind support for nursery and trials.  In addition, he also conducts his own research program for breeding and evaluation of germplasm derived from breeding crosses of exotic x adapted lines.

Special Interests:

Several areas of particular interest include research on breeding methods for effective use of exotic germplasm, and evaluation of germplasm for value-added traits, disease, insect, and abiotic stress resistance. Exotic germplasm adapted to the Midwest offers interesting opportunities for commercial corn breeders, and basic researchers in genetics, genomics, pathology, entomology, and crop evolution. Dr. Blanco also has interest in identifying, and adapting germplasm from maize races that may offer potential for useful allelic diversity in the future.


 Ph.D.Maize Breeding and Genetics, University of Missouri, Columbia, 1977.
 M.S.Plant Pathology, Penn State University, 1973.
 B.S.Plant Pathology, University of Georgia, 1968.

Employment History:


GEM Project Coordinator, USDA-ARS, Ames, Iowa.

 1995-2001:Director of Plant Genetics, Akkadix Corp, San Diego, CA.
 1989-1995:Director-Internat. Research, Mycogen Corp, San Diego, CA.
 1983-1989:Research Director, McCurdy Seed Co., Fremont, IA.
 1977-1983:Station Manager, O's Gold Seed Co., Farmer City, IL.



Last Modified: 8/12/2016
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