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Plant sciences students excel at competition

Members of the NDSU Plant Sciences Graduate Student Association earned honors at the 33rd annual Plant Science Graduate Student Symposium at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, on March 31-April 1. The symposium theme was “Agrobiodiversity: Acknowledging the Differences, Utilizing them for the Future.”

Attendees presented research and competed in five categories. Eight NDSU graduate students won awards for their presentations.

NDSU swept the awards in the Agronomy and Weed Science category. Cassie Anderson, from Chanhassen, Minnesota, won first place with her presentation, “Physical and biodegradability properties of arabinoxylan films.” Patricia Cabas-Luhmann, from Chile, took second place with her presentation, “Delayed harvest affects gain and semolina quality of durum wheat.” Erin Endres, from Carrington, North Dakota, placed third with her presentation, “Metribuzin tolerance of soybean genotypes.”

In the Plant Pathology and Host-Pathogen Interaction category, Luz de Maria Montejo Dominguez won first place and Amanda Peters took third place. Montejo Dominguez, who is from Guatemala, presented “Rust resistance in the Guatemalan climbing bean germplasm collection.” Peters, from Lonsdale, Minnesota, presented “Characterization of disease expression conferred by three host gene-necrotrophic effector interactions in the wheat-Parastagonospora norodum pathosystem.”

Katelynn Walter, from Dickinson, North Dakota, won first place in the Plant Ecology, Physiology and Metabolism category with her presentation, “Flooding tolerance at germination stages in dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.).” Maria Gabriela Tobar Pinon, from Guatemala, took second place in the Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology category with her presentation, “Genetic diversity of the Guatemalan climbing bean collection.” Nathan Haugrud, from Rothsay, Minnesota, placed third in the Research Proposal category with his presentation, “Cultivation effect on residual sugarbeet herbicides applied early post-emergence.”

The annual symposium brings together graduate students studying disciplines in the plant sciences from NDSU, the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Manitoba. Student organizations from these universities take turns planning and hosting the symposium. Students from the University of Alberta, Montana State University and Kansas State University also attended this year.

Attendees also learned from university and industry researchers from Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States and took tours of the National Synchrotron Research Facility and the University of Saskatchewan's Museum of Natural Sciences.

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