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Author: Mollie Rappe

crate of sweetpotatoes

Sep 23, 2020

NC State Team Finds Solution for Sweetpotato Problem

An NC State team led by Jonathan Schultheis has determined a new curing process that greatly reduces internal necrosis in Covington sweetpotatoes. This will save N.C. sweetpotato producers millions of dollars in crop loss. 

A wooden crate being hoisted by a crane into a building with a blue sky.

Sep 2, 2020

Syngenta Donates One-of-a-Kind Laboratory Equipment to N.C. PSI

Syngenta donated four plant growth chambers and a specialized weighing system to the N.C. Plant Sciences Initiative. At more than $1.5 million, this is the largest corporate donation to N.C. PSI, so far. 

Three different varieties of sweetpotatoes with different skin colors.

Jul 10, 2020

‘Map’ of Sweetpotato Genome to Improve Breeding Efforts

NC State scientists recently published a scientific paper that mapped the genetic locations of economically important traits in sweetpotatoes such as higher yield and disease resistance. Their genetic map may lead to breeding better sweetpotatoes. 

A group of students in a corn field as the sun sets. (From Summer 2019)

Jun 22, 2020

CALS Researchers Return to the Bench and Field

As NC State ramps up the Research Restart process, here’s how three researchers from across the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences are returning to the lab bench and test field after time away due to COVID-19. 

A bunch of sweetpotatoes

May 27, 2020

Big Data for Better Sweetpotatoes

An interdisciplinary team led by Cranos Williams is setting out on a three-year project to use artificial intelligence to make sweetpotatoes even more profitable. The team will image hundreds of thousands of sweetpotatoes to increase the percentage of sweetpotatoes grown that are USDA grade 1. 

The new greenhouse at Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in western North Carolina.

May 26, 2020

Topping-off for Tomato Breeding

NC State’s tomato breeding efforts, led by Dilip Panthee, just got a boost in the form of a new 1440-square-foot greenhouse at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center. 

Soybean plants in a laboratory with colorful tubes in the background.

May 11, 2020

CRISPR Plants: New Non-GMO Method to Edit Plants

Wusheng Liu has developed a new way to get CRISPR/Cas9 into plant cells without inserting foreign DNA. This will allow for precise genetic deletions or replacements for specialty crops, without GMO regulatory hurdles. 

Soybean plants in a laboratory with colorful tubes in the background.

May 11, 2020

CRISPR Plants: New Non-GMO Method to Edit Plants

Wusheng Liu has developed a new way to get CRISPR/Cas9 into plant cells without inserting foreign DNA. This will allow for precise genetic deletions or replacements for specialty crops, without GMO regulatory hurdles. 

Craig Yencho and Bernard Yada ’14, Ph.D., survey sweetpotato vines at a research farm outside Kampala, Uganda.

May 4, 2020

NC State Researchers Continue Improving Sweetpotatoes for Africa

Craig Yencho and his team recently received part of a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to continue their work improving sweetpotatoes in Sub-Saharan Africa. The genomic tools developed through the three-year, $15-million-dollar grant will also improve sweetpotato breeding for North Carolina farmers. 

Aerial of tractor spraying fields at Lake Wheeler farms.

Mar 30, 2020

Fertilizer of the Future

An interdisciplinary team led by Katharina Stapelmann is setting out on an ambitious three-year project to completely rethink how nitrogen-based fertilizers are produced and used. From on-farm fertilizer production to on-demand, precision irrigation, their project aims to cut energy use, protect the water supply and increase yields.