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Horticultural Science Seminars Spring 2013

Spring 2013 Seminar Schedule

DATE: Monday, April 8, 2013
SPEAKER: Dr. Sandy Stewart, Director, NCDA & CS Research Stations Division and Dept of Crop Science, NCSU
TITLE: Improving Research Stations in North Carolina
In a cooperative arrangement, NC State and NCDA & CS operate one of the largest and most diverse system of research stations in the nation. Comprised of 18 different locations, the research stations represent the major soil and climatic regions of North Carolina and host research on more than 80 different commodities. Like other parts of the university and state government, the economic and budget climate has resulted in reduced staffing levels, lower operating funds, delayed repair and renovation, and even the contemplation of closure on some stations. Despite that, the research stations have remained viable. The future challenge is to become more efficient, more creative, and make the best use of our resources so that we are improving and not just maintaining the field research platform we have. The seminar will highlight some areas of challenges as well as opportunities for improving the research stations and faculty involvement.

DATE: Monday, April 1, 2013
SPEAKER: Dr. Allan Brown, Assistant Professor, Dept of Horticultural Science, NCSU
TITLE: A High Density SNP Map of Broccoli and QTL Associated with Glucosinolates, Carotenoids, and Mineral Content
Broccoli is perhaps one of the healthiest vegetables you can consume to avoid chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and age related macular degeneration. In a series of experiments, our lab has documented the variation of glucosinolates, carotenoids, tocopherols, vitamin K, calcium, iron, zinc and others in a segregating F2:3 broccoli population. The genetic linkage map for this population has recently been saturated in cooperation with the General Mills Corporation and for the first time we have moved from mapping individual compounds to mapping bioactivity as measured through cell culture assays. The challenges and opportunities of this are discussed.

DATE: Monday, March 25, 2013
SPEAKER: Mr. Kyle VandenLangenberg, PhD Candidate, Dept of Horticultural Science, NCSU
TITLE: Downy Mildew in Cucumber: Past and Present
Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) is the fourth most widely grown vegetable in the world behind tomato, cabbage, and onion. It is eaten fresh, pickled, or fried and has various uses in the cosmetics industry. Currently, the oomycete pathogen Psuedoperonospora cubensis (downy mildew) represents a significant challenge to production throughout the world. Downy mildew infects over 50 species of cucurbits, with important hosts including melon, watermelon, and squash. For nearly half a century in the United States, planting resistance cultivars developed in the mid-20th century has controlled epidemics of downy mildew in cucumber. However, in 2004 the downy mildew pathogen population underwent a significant change and the single-gene resistance deployed in most commercial cultivars no longer confers resistance. Without genetic sources of resistance, frequent and heavy fungicide applications are now required for high yield and quality under disease pressure. New sources of resistance were identified in a multiyear germplasm screening and retest conducted at North Carolina State University by Criswell (2008) and Call (2010). Currently, multiple studies are being conducted in order to both understand the genetics and mechanism of the new form of resistance as well as develop material with high resistance and good horticultural traits. Studies include: inheritance pattern, adult stage resistance, recurrent selection, backcross development, and an F2:3 and recombinant inbred line QTL identification program.

DATE: Monday, March 18, 2013
SPEAKER: Ms. Elizabeth D. Riley, PhD Candidate, Dept of Horticultural Science, NCSU
TITLE: Substrates and Species for Rain Gardens and Herbaceous Perennial Nutrition
Elizabeth will present the proposed research for her PhD that will focus on two projects. First, she will be examining remediation of storm water pollution by plants growing in current utilized rain garden substrates that have been amended by either incorporating or banding two different organic matter sources (pine bark fines or composted yard waste). She will also be evaluating several plant species for their abilities to withstand the drought conditions typically found in rain gardens. The second focus of her PhD research will evaluate the effects of varying N: P: K ratios and N rates on herbaceous perennials while using controlled release fertilizers on both an overhead and a low-volume irrigation system.

DATE: Monday, March 11, 2013
SPEAKER: Ms. Aimee Rankin, Assistant Horticulture and Forestry Agent, NC Cooperative Extension, Anson County
TITLE: North Carolina Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Training: Recommendations for Incorporating Organic Gardening
Interest in organic home gardening has been on the rise as people have become more concerned about the health and safety of their families, pets, and the environment. Two surveys were conducted to assess interest and feasibility of introducing an advanced training component to the existing North Carolina Extension Master Gardener Volunteer (EMGV) program that would address organic/sustainable topics. A national survey of EMGV Coordinators (100% response rate) examined how advanced training programs were being conducted across the country. Twenty states had adopted advanced certification programs for specialized training and to encourage volunteer retention. Two states were in the process of developing but had not yet implemented advanced certification programs. The 29 states (including the District of Columbia) without advanced training indicated certain challenges associated with maintaining such a program: lack of funding, state-wide acceptance, and concern about hierarchy between volunteers. EMGV organizations have designed programs that best fit their volunteers, the public, and extension programs in order to promote success.

DATE: Monday, February 25, 2013
SPEAKER: Ms. Sushila Chaudhari. PhD Candidate, Dept of Horticultural Science, NCSU
TITLE: Critical Weed-free Period and Herbicide Tolerance of Fresh Market Grafted Tomato
Sushila will be presenting her proposed PhD research on critical weed-free period and herbicide tolerance of grafted tomato. Part of her research will include the greenhouse and laboratory experiments to investigate the effects of grafting on the absorption, translocation, and metabolism of C14 herbicide. Additionally, the herbicide tolerance of grafted tomato will be determined under different environmental stress conditions. The goal of this research is to provide information to farmers about adequate timing of weed control and suitable herbicides for weed management in grafted tomato.

DATE: Monday, February 18, 2013
SPEAKER: Dr. Paul Zorner, Adjunct Professor, Department of Horticultural Science, NCSU, Operating Partner, Pegasus Capital Advisors
TITLE: A View Towards Building a Green Economy in the Tropics: Deploying Global Best Practices for Sustainable Energy as a Foundation for Local Economic, Environmental and Human Prosperity
Economic dependence on various forms of imported, petro-carbon energy removes capital from communities, and limits their autonomy as well as their fundamental economic and environmental well-being. Locally and sustainably produced food and renewable energy, and the capital retained from reduction of imports of these basic requirements are critical to supporting human health, job creation, economic prosperity and peace in a world increasingly limited by available resources. Tropical and sub-tropical regions in particular are positioned to lead a global transformation from dependence on others to greater local autonomy, as they possess several of the physical keys necessary to drive distributed energy and food production platforms which in turn can bring capital investment, infrastructure and other development to support increased prosperity in what normally would be considered remote isolated communities. Collecting global best practices throughout the “flat” world described by Thomas Friedman is important for technical deployment in remote communities, as are business models that stress community engagement and uplift Agriculture related projects must engage a vision broader than just renewable fuels, food and jobs. People need careers that support long-term self-reliance. Integrating innovative technology and appropriate business skills appropriate to a particular community is a necessity as it will drive productivity, and along with responsible community outreach and economic integration can bring both sustainable corporate returns and greater prosperity, self-reliance and sustainable development to the community in which these businesses are developed.

DATE: Monday, February 4, 2013
SPEAKER: Will Hooker, Professor, Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University
TITLE: Ephemeral Bamboo Sculptures
Teaching in the design/build Landscape Design Option in the NC State Department of Horticultural Science, Will Hooker wanted to give his students a building experience. With bamboo being all but free – “Please take it all!” – he chose ephemeral sculptures as the venue for this experience and has been building one each semester for 20 years. He has two rules for each sculpture: It is best if it is interactive for the viewer, and it has to make viewers at least smile, with a chuckle or an outright guffaw being the most desired reaction.

DATE: Monday, January 28, 2013
SPEAKER: Drew Marticorena, PhD Candidate, Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University
TITLE: Quantifying the Multiplier: What Sustainable Local Food Systems Can Mean to Local Communities
What can be done to help communities, both rural and urban, in North Carolina thrive? What industries can be drivers for economic growth and prosperity across North Carolina today? More and more people these days are wondering whether agriculture and specifically “local foods/agriculture” may be such an industry but the appropriate economic analyses have never been conducted to determine if this is true. In order to determine the long-term opportunity for growth for both agriculture and local agriculture, the Center for Environmental Farming Systems has partnered with Cooperative Extension to collect the necessary data to do these analyses; this project is funded through the USDA. Working in an array of counties representative of the state as a whole (Anson, Carteret, Chatham, Henderson, Transylvania, Yancey, Rowan, Wayne, and Robeson) this project will build the most comprehensive understanding of how agriculture, the state's most important industry, is structured. Only through understanding this can we begin to determine where agriculture and local agriculture has the potential to enrich communities across the state.