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Steven R Larson

Research Geneticist (Plants)

Steve Larson, PhD
Forage & Range Research Lab
Utah State University
Logan, UT 84322-6300


Private landowners and public land managers in the Great Basin and other parts of the western U.S. face growing challenges of water scarcity, invasive weeds, and degradation of fragile environments including critical soil properties. The Forage and Range Research unit identifies and develops perennial grasses, legumes and forbs needed to overcome these challenges for a wide range of agricultural, landscaping and conservation uses.

Project Description

Next-generation DNA sequencing and plant genomic research is used to identify and develop perennial grasses for sustainable stewardship of rangelands, croplands, pastures, and other landscapes of the Western U.S.

  • High-throughput and high-density DNA genotyping approaches are being used to determine the genes and genetic architecture of functionally important plant traits such as nutrient uptake, biomass production, forage quality, rhizome development, root growth, seed size, seed shattering, seed germination, and seedling vigor,
  • Developing models of plant genome sequence variation to predict complex traits that are difficult or time consuming to evaluate such as seedling establishment and plant survival on highly variable or degraded rangeland environments
  • Combining traditional breeding and genomics to accelerate the domestication, improvement, or utilization of perennial grass species and hybrids for novel applications in agriculture, conservation, and landscaping

Forage and Range Research Laboratory