Research Updates

Rebecca Roston, assistant professor of biochemistry, holds a pea plant outside the Beadle Hall greenhouses. Roston, who recently earned a National Science Foundation CAREER award, is studying how more than 30 species of plants respond to freezing. (Photo by Craig Chandler)
Rebecca Roston, assistant professor of biochemistry, holds a pea plant outside the Beadle Hall greenhouses. Roston, who recently earned a National Science Foundation CAREER award, is studying how more than 30 species of plants respond to freezing. (Photo by Craig Chandler)

NSF Award Boosts Research into Freeze-Tolerant Crops

March 8, 2019

For some plants — like corn — below-zero temperatures trigger a cascade of lethal damage. For others, the damage isn't permanent. UNL biochemist Rebecca Roston is working to identify key properties so one day more freeze-tolerant crops might be developed.

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Dry edible beans being cooked to test various variety attributes, including cooking time

When Developing New Lines of Dry Edible Beans, Cooking Time Matters Too

March 8, 2019
When breeding new lines of dry edible beans, disease resistance, drought tolerance, and plant architecture can be observed in the field, but measuring cooking time is a chore for the laboratory. Cooks prefer varieties that cook in 30-45 minutes.

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Figure 1. Crimping rye at a mild angle using a newly designed roller-crimper with two 10-foot barrels. (Photos by Rich Little)

A Roller-Crimper for Cover Crop Termination and Weed Suppression

March 7, 2019
Following unsatisfactory crimping results with a commercial crimper, in 2016 researchers built a crimper with a unique design with two gangs that pull at an angle to the direction of travel. View research results from field tests with the new crimper.

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Triticale crimped before adding green beans

Production of Soybean or Green Bean Following a Crimped Cover Crop

March 7, 2019
Based on Nebraska research and a review of findings from other studies, best management practices for crimping rye before planting soybean or green bean are explored. Data on degree of weed control and soybean yields are included.

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Figure 1. Nebraska's Joe Louis with a collection of leaves infested by corn-leaf aphids. Louis and his colleagues have found that spraying a corn plant with one of its own defensive compounds might reduce aphid colonization by as much as 30%. (Photo by Craig Chandler, University Communication)
Figure 1. Nebraska's Joe Louis with a collection of leaves infested by corn-leaf aphids. Louis and his colleagues have found that spraying a corn plant with one of its own defensive compounds might reduce aphid colonization by as much as 30%. (Photo by Craig Chandler, University Communication)

Experiments Underscore Overlooked Aspect of Defending Corn from Pest

March 4, 2019
Spraying a corn plant with one of its own compounds — 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid, or OPDA — can help deter the virus-carrying, pollination-disrupting insect known as the corn-leaf aphid.

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Visual representation of gene sequences
Nebraska's James Schnable has helped sequence nearly the entire genetic catalog of proso millet. The resulting genetic insights could help raise yields of the drought-resistant crop in the Nebraska Panhandle and infertile regions likely to face food shortages in coming decades. (Nature Communications / James Schnable / Scott Schrage)

Sequencing of Proso Millet Genome Could Raise Yields, Expand Production Range

March 4, 2019
Researchers have now sequenced and mapped the genome of proso millet – a feat essential to raising yields of the drought-resistant crop in the Nebraska Panhandle and semiarid regions where population booms foreshadow food shortages.

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David Holding and Leandra Marshall analyzing corn
Nebraska's David Holding (right) and Leandra Marshall (left) are developing lines of popcorn featuring higher levels of lysine, an amino acid essential to the diets of humans and some livestock. (Photo by Craig Chandler, University Communication)

Genes to Proteins: Enriching the Nutritional Value of Popcorn, Sorghum

February 21, 2019
After years of research a University of Nebraska-Lincoln team led by David Holding has roughly doubled the content of lysine, an essential amino acid, in both popcorn and sorghum. For sorghum it could mean a more complete source of nutrition for many in the developing world.

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Plots of field peas and chick peas studied as possible alternatives to fallow in more arid production areas.

Research Examines Water Balance of Field Peas, Chickpeas and Soybeans vs Fallow

February 21, 2019
This research compared fallow to field peas, chickpeas, and soybeans in terms of water balance, impact on next year’s wheat crop, and profitability. It was conducted near Grant in western Nebraska.

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