March 27, 2019

NDSU graduate student group hosts symposium



The NDSU Plant Sciences Graduate Student Association hosted the 35th annual Plant Science Graduate Student Symposium March 15-16. A total of 40 graduate students studying plant sciences, plant pathology and animal sciences at NDSU, South Dakota State University, University of Manitoba and University of Saskatchewan attended. 

The symposium theme, "Integrated Approaches in Agriculture," aimed to foster conversation among students, researchers and professionals about the importance of collaboration between fields and disciplines.

Matthew Rouse, research plant pathologist in the USDA-ARS Cereal Disease Laboratory at the University of Minnesota, gave the keynote address.

Burton Johnson, NDSU professor of plant sciences, gave a presentation on the importance of sustainable agriculture and the use of cover cropping and inter-cropping to protect the soil and enhance land use efficiency.

Students presented their research in five categories, and a panel of judges comprised of industry professionals and faculty from the University of Minnesota and NDSU scored the presentations. First, second and third place awards in each category were presented during the closing banquet at the Plains Art Museum. NDSU Department of Plant Sciences assistant department head Harlene Hatterman-Valenti addressed the group and presented awards.

The winners in each category were:

Plant Genetics, Breeding and Bioinformatics 

• 1st place: Ahasanul Hoque, NDSU, plant sciences, “Genetic Diversity Analysis of a Flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) Global Collection”

• 2ndplace: Edgar Escobar, NDSU, plant sciences, “Magic Population: Improving Resistance to White Mold in Dry Beans”

• 3rdplace: Seyedali Hosseinirad, NDSU, plant sciences, “Understanding the Relationship Between Yellow Pigment and Polyphenol Oxidases (PPO) Activity in Durum Wheat and Identifying Markers Associated with the Two Traits”

Plant Pathology

• 1st place: Bikash Poudel, NDSU, plant pathology, “Genome-Wide Association Study of Aggressiveness, DON Production and Spore Productivity in a Population ofFusarium graminearumCollected from North Dakota

• 2ndplace: Bryn Halley, NDSU, plant pathology, “Fungicide Application Timing to Manage Stripe Rust in Hard Red Spring Wheat in North Dakota” 

• 3rdplace: Sarah Budd, NDSU, plant pathology, “Determiningin vitroSensitivity of Small-Spored Alternariaspp. to SDHI Fungicides”

Agronomy, Horticulture and Weed Science

• 1st place: Amy Mangin, University of Manitoba, “Minimizing Lodging Risk of Spring Wheat Through Planting Density, Nitrogen Application Timing and Plant Growth Regulator Application”

• 2nd place: Sergio Cabello-Leiva, NDSU, plant sciences, “Cover Crops Decreases Initial Water Content, Sugarbeet Yield, and Residual N-NO3 in the Northern Great Plains”

• 3rd place: Jesse Puka-Beals, NDSU, plant sciences, “Combining Cover Crops, Strip Tillage, and Novel Mulches to Manage Weeds in Carrot”

Cereal and Food Science

• 1st place: Jane Snelling, NDSU, cereal science, “Vacuum Steam Pasteurization of Hard Red Spring Wheat”

• 2ndplace: Ana Magallanes López, NDSU, cereal science, “Is Wet Milling an Alternative for Fusarium Infected Wheat?”

• 3rd place: Supun Fernando, NDSU, cereal science, “De-Hulling, Milling, and Flour Properties of Black Beans”

Research Proposal

• 1st place: Myra Van Die, University of Manitoba, “Forage Resources and Farm Management for Pasture-Based Livestock Production”

• 2ndplace: Hanaa Mansour, NDSU, animal sciences “Influence of Melatonin Supplementation and Restricted Nutrition During Mid to Late Pregnancy on Placental Lactogen Expression in Sheep”

• 3rd place: Katherine Running, NDSU, genomics and bioinformatics, “Mapping Necrotrophic Fungal Susceptibility Genes in Wheat”

 NDSU Plant Sciences Graduate Student Association members led the symposium planning committee. Felicity Merritt served as symposium chair, Nickolas Theisen was in charge of food and catering and Katherine Running helped with event coordination, decorations and set up. Johnson and associate professor Juan Osorno advise the student association.

“I was honored to serve as chair for this symposium,” said Merritt. “It was a great opportunity to develop relationships between students of different backgrounds, universities and countries. I believe NDSU put its best foot forward, and I am proud to have been a part of it.”

The symposium was initiated for graduate students at universities in the northern U.S. and Canada to present their research and network with fellow students, faculty and industry professionals.

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