Agronomy and horticulture seminars begin Sept. 15

Agronomy and horticulture seminars begin Sept. 15

Deanna Funnell-Harris' research focuses on responses of sorghum metabolically modified for increased usability, to grain and stalk pathogens.

Nebraska’s annual fall Agronomy and Horticulture Seminar Series opens Sept. 15 with an exploration into if modifications to sorghum and wheat make the crops more susceptible to diseases.

The talk, “Responses of Sorghum and Wheat Modified for Increased Usability to Pathogens,” will be led by Deanna Funnell-Harris, associate professor of plant pathology at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. The presentation, which is free and open to the public is 3:30 p.m., Sept. 15 in Keim Hall, Room 150. Refreshments will be served at 3 p.m.

Funnell-Harris’ research focuses on impacts of grain and stalk pathogens on sorghum metabolically modified for increased usability.

Recently, she studied the response of modified wheat to the insidious disease Fursarium head scab. Results demonstrated that the changes do not always result in a more susceptible plant.

Along with her faculty post at Nebraska, Funnell-Harris is a research plant pathologist in the wheat, sorghum and forage research unit. The group is part of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service.

All seminars in the series are held at 3:30 p.m. on Fridays in Keim Hall, Room 150. The presentations are streamed online. Learn more about the series.

Other talks in the fall 2017 seminar series include:

  • Sept. 29 — “Harnessing Components of the Root Microbiome for Integrated Management of Soil-borne Plant Diseases,” Tony Adesemoye, assistant professor, plant pathology

  • Oct. 6 — “Fixing the Soybean Nitrogen Credit: Is Cropping Systems Diversity Always Good,” Michael Castellano, professor of soil science and agronomy, Iowa State University

  • Oct. 20 — “Serendipitous Applied Agronomy: Extension and Research in the Blender (and some Philosophy),” Roger Elmore, professor of agronomy and horticulture and Nebraska Extension cropping systems agronomist

  • Oct. 27 — “How and Why Does the Season and Frequency of Burning Affect Plant Biomass Production,” Timothy Dickson, professor of biology, University of Nebraska at Omaha

  • Nov. 3 — “Assembling Soil Microbiomes that Modify Plant Traits,” Jenny Kao-Kniffin, assistant professor of horticulture, Cornell University

  • Nov. 10 — “Integrating Genomics and Bioinformatics in the Wheat Breeding Program for the Development of Superior Cultivars,” Vikas Belamkar, research assistant professor of agronomy and horticulture

  • Nov. 17 — “Changing Cell Walls to Improve Sorghum for Bioenergy and Forage Uses,” Scott Sattler, adjunct associate professor of agronomy and horticulture

  • Dec. 1 — “Switchgrass Metabolism,” Gautam Sarath, adjunct professor of agronomy and horticulture

  • Dec. 8 — “Leveraging Genomics, Genetics and Breeding to Understand Crop Adaptation to Nutrient Stress,” Jamie O’Rourke, research geneticist, USDA-ARS and affiliate with Iowa State University