Backyard Orchard News
What a nice move! Especially since the United States is busily restoring diplomatic relations with...
Female mosquito, Aedes aegypti, also known as "the dengue mosquito," drawing a blood meal. (Photo by James Gathany. United States Department of Health and Human Services)
The U.S. Grains Council sponsored a team of managers from leading dairies in China to visit local dairy operations in California, discuss feed and nutrition issues, and to attend the World Dairy Expo in Chicago. The team, made up of nutritionists, farm managers, and general managers met with Jeff Dahlberg, Director of the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, and sorghum expert to discuss the potential use of sorghum forages and grain for dairy feed. Dahlberg spent several hours providing the delegation with a field tour and lecture on “what is sorghum” and its potential use as a low input, low water source for nutritious dairy feed. Dahlberg is investigating the potential of sorghum for dairies in California and information about its potential and evaluation of potential commercial sorghum forage hybrids can be found at sorghum.ucanr.edu.
Chinese delegation that visited Jeff Dahlberg's field research on the use of sorghum as a dairy forage.
Kearney is participating in a $12.3M study of crop drought tolerance funded by the US Department of Energy. The five-year project is called Epigenetic Control of Drought Response in Sorghum, or EPICON. Peggy Lemaux, cooperative extension specialist at UC Berkeley's Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, is heading the entire project. Co-investigators are Devin Coleman-Derr, Elizabeth Purdom and John Taylor from UC Berkeley; Jeffrey Dahlberg and Robert Hutmacher from UC Agriculture and Natural Resources; Chia-Lin Wei from the DOE Joint Genome Institute; and Christer Jansson from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Sorghum will be studied to explore the epigenetic mechanisms that allow a crop to survive drought conditions. Epigenetic modifications turn genes on or off without modifying the DNA sequence.
“Historically, the genetic manipulation of crops, which has been critical to increasing agricultural productivity, has concentrated on altering the plant's genetic sequence, encoded in its DNA,” said Lemaux. “However, recent studies have shown that environmental stresses – in our case drought – can lead to epigenetic changes in a plant's genetic information. Because epigenetic changes occur without altering the underlying DNA sequence, they allow plants to respond to a changing environment more quickly.”
For The Daily Californian article, please click here.
Sorghum being tested for epigenetic control of drought response at Kearney.
Mark your calendar! The UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology has scheduled a fall open...
A viable bee hive is a new addition in the bee garden, which was planted in the fall of 2009.(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A view through Orchard Alley of the be garden. Orchard Alley includes almonds, plums and apples. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A Gulf Fritillary flying through the garden. The garden includes its host plant, the passionflower vine (not pictured). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Nice to see you! In early spring and throughout most of the summer, we saw scores of digger bees,...
A male digger bee, Anthophora urbana, (as identified by Robbin Thorp of UC Davis) heads for a lavender blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Male digger bee, Anthophora urbana, nectaring on lavender. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Male digger bee, Anthophora urbana, finishes foraging on lavender. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)