Juan Osorno, NDSU dry edible bean breeder and associate professor of plant sciences, was honored with the Distinguished Achievement Award by the Bean Improvement Cooperative during the group's biennial meeting Nov. 2-4, in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.
The award is presented to a scientist who has worked in bean improvement fewer than 15 years. It recognizes outstanding scientific accomplishments relating to bean improvement or education. James Beaver, bean breeder at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, and NDSU plant sciences adjunct professor, nominated Osorno for the award.
Osorno completed his master’s degree work under Beaver at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, and his doctorate at NDSU. They have continued to collaborate on research. In addition, Osorno grows a winter nursery in Puerto Rico, which Beaver oversees.
Osorno has been the dry bean breeder at NDSU since 2007. The objective of the dry bean breeding program is to develop high yielding, high quality bean genotypes adapted to the Northern Great Plains. This involves many characteristics of dry beans and different disciplines of research including genetics, pathology, physiology and nutrition. His current research focus is developing bean cultivars with enhanced levels of disease resistance and greater tolerance to abiotic stress such as waterlogging.
Osorno has developed and released several germplasm lines and cultivars during his career. He has published several articles on plant breeding and the development and application of molecular markers in breeding programs. He also serves as adviser to breeding programs in Guatemala, China and Colombia.
In 2014, Osorno was a member of a national research team that successfully completed the sequence of the common bean genome. He organized a national field trial that identified regions of the genome associated with seed size and other traits of economic importance.
In addition to his research work, Osorno teaches genetics and has been the major adviser for 10 graduate and numerous undergraduate students and interns at NDSU.
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