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NDSU plant sciences research team creates documentary

A 30-minute documentary on plant breeding has been created as part of the educational outreach efforts of the Bean Coordinated Agricultural Project, known as Bean CAP.

The film, titled “Plant Breeding: Science + Creative Problem Solving,” is available for viewing, along with other Bean CAP videos on bean nutrition and breeding research, on the Bean CAP YouTube channel,

The documentary was written, filmed, animated and edited by NDSU Bean CAP team members Shane Reetz and Bree Reetz, and produced by Phil McClean, director of the NDSU genomics and bioinformatics program, professor of plant sciences and Bean CAP director. Juan Osorno, NDSU dry bean breeder and associate professor of plant sciences, appeared in the film as a content expert.

The film is part of a Bean CAP Educational Video Series available on YouTube. The team created five other videos for the series, each three to eight minutes in length, covering topics such as an overview of plant breeding, Norman Borlaug and the Green Revolution, genetics and disease resistance, bean plant architecture and food security. The video “What’s Plant Breeding?” features Osorno’s dry bean breeding project at NDSU. Osorno, graduate student Alison Stone, and doctoral graduates Magan Lewis and Angela Linares-Ramírez appear in the video.

The video series has gained notice nationally as a valuable source of information about plant breeding. “Instructors at other universities tell me they are using the Bean CAP videos in their classes,” said Osorno.

After four years of multi-state efforts in research, extension and education, the Bean CAP is wrapping up this year. NDSU bean breeding researchers who participated in the Bean CAP helped categorize more than 27,000 genes of the common bean, many directly related to traits of economic importance. The research was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

To learn more about the Bean CAP, visit

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