An NC State University agricultural research project that started with a high-technology nanoparticle solution to food security problems has gone low-tech. And in doing so, the project has won a $1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges Explorations initiative.
Cassava is Africa’s number two crop and a major source of calories for 700 million people, but it’s highly susceptible to pathogens such as cassava mosaic disease. With African colleagues and students, Dr. Linda Hanley-Bowdoin of NC State University’s College of Agriculture conducts basic research aimed at gaining a better basic molecular-level understanding of viruses and how they affect cassava.
J.C. “Jay” Wells, of Greenville, the second full-time Extension plant pathologist at North Carolina State University, died Nov. 10 at the age of 92.
Miranda Ganci has a clear vision of her future career. “I see myself working as an extension agent in order to assist growers with disease identification and management,” she says. “Additionally, I am interested in working in the crop protection industry in a role in which I could assist plant breeders with developing disease resistance in crops.” She’s already playing that role.
Mary Lewis spent six weeks traveling around Costa Rica working on research designed to shed light on one of the most important diseases affecting bananas. While her focus was the fungal disease black sigatoka, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences student says the experience taught her just as much – or more – about what it takes to work in a foreign country and to interact with people from other cultures.
Dr. Steven Lommel, associate director of the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service and North Carolina State University assistant vice chancellor for research, has been accepted to the two-year Food Systems Leadership Institute program.
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Environmental Expertise: Pest Management
Over the years he’s spent studying cassava mosaic disease, Tanzanian scientist Dr. Joseph Ndunguru has noted something curious: Wherever there are DNA molecules called satellites associated with the geminiviruses contributing to the disease, symptoms are greater and losses are heavier – even in plants bred specifically to resist the disease.
Figuring out more about those subviral particles could be key, Ndunguru believes, to developing a strategy to beat the disease for good. That’s why he has teamed with CALS’ Dr. Linda Hanley-Bowdoin on a project designed to yield the scientific insight necessary to do just that.
Jacobo Rozo Posso developed an interest in science and plants as an 8-year-old. He’s 17 now, a junior at Cary High School. Science is still his passion and an interest that is being nurtured in a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences laboratory.
N.C. State’s Micropropagation and Repository Unit has been recognized with the 2012 Foil McLaughlin Award, which notes work that impacts North Carolina’s seed industry.