Posts Tagged: drought
Sorghum research at the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Research & Extension Centers available to the public.
If you are interested in getting information regarding research on the use of sorghum as a multi-purpose low-input crop for California, please go to this link. Under the research link, there are some videos showing the harvest of experimental plots as well as the use of a drone to perform rapid, robotic phenotyping of sorghum for character traits such as plant height, leaf area, and biomass area--data points used to help search for genes that control mechanisms involved in both drought tolerance and salinity tolerance in sorghum. Research is currently being performed at Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Desert Research and Extension Center, and West Side Research and Extension Center.
Photograph of sorghum plants.
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.
The severe California drought--we're in the fourth year--is affecting us all, but it's also...
he drought has caused a number of immature praying mantids to die for lack of food. This is a female female Stagmomantis californica, as identified by Andrew Pfeiffer. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
In their capacity as California Agriculture Systems Innovation members, Jeff Mitchell, Cooperative Extension cropping systems specialist at the UC ANR Kearney Agricultural Research & Extension Center and in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis specializing in vegetable cropping systems, irrigation management, soil quality, organic soil amendments, extension models, and postharvest physiology and innovative conservation agriculture farmer John Diener of Red Rock Ranch in Five Points, CA were part of a panel organized by the Berkeley Food Institute that discussed "farming practices to reduce risks tied to drought." Read more.
See the video of the panel discussion.
Jeff Mitchell and John Diener discussing farming practices to reduce risks tied to drought.
In case you've forgotten amid all the horn-blowing, champagne-sipping and singing of "Auld Lang...
Cabbage white butterfly on catmint. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)