1|1|Tracking Corn Gene Regulation--Learning More about Basic Gene Mechanisms|August 30, 2000%0ASusan McGinley%0A
%0AMolecular geneticists in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences are currently studying genes they've already identified in corn to learn more about how those genes are regulated and expressed. Their results, funded by a $10.5 million grant from the NSF in 1999, will assist scientists around the world in breeding and improving crop plants.
"It's a tool-building project," says Vicki Chandler, a molecular geneticist in the Department of Plant Sciences. "We're getting the corn genes into the test tube so we can work with them in a variety of ways to get a better corn plant." This research builds on continuing results from a structural genetics project Chandler began last year to find all 50,000 genes in corn. About 10,000 genes have been identified so far.
"I study gene regulation, how appropriate genes are turned on in the leaves, the flowers, the roots, how genes are turned on in response to environmental signals," Chandler says.
Chandler and Richard Jorgensen, also a molecular geneticist in plant sciences, plan to identify and functionally analyze the genes in both corn and Arabidopsis, a plant in the cabbage family, that contribute to chromatin level control of gene expression. Arabidopsis has a%0Avery small genome, making it simpler to sequence the entire genome, and a fast growth cycle, which makes it convenient to perform genetic experiments.
"We're using Arabidopsis as a starting point and applying it to understand our work with maize," Jorgensen says. Seventy percent of the Arabidopsis genome is currently known, compared to only 20%25 of corn genes. %0A
Their method takes advantage of a natural gene silencing mechanism in plants that%0Aprobably evolved as virus protection in plants. The genes selected for study may only be 1%25 of the full set of genes, but they are the ones that control the expression of the other 99%25.
%0A Chandler and Jorgensen are working with a team of scientists, technicians, undergraduate and graduate students and post-doctoral associates at the UA, and are collaborating with scientists from five other universities on this project.
The team has characterized about 30 Arabidopsis genes so far, and plans to study 130 more Arabidopsis genes and 100 maize genes within the five-year time frame of the study. As they determine the function of each targeted gene, this information is entered into a computer database and becomes accessible to plant breeders, plant genetic engineers and researchers in basic biology around the world who want to know more about how plants work. They can look up gene functions and select only the genes they need to perform certain operations in plants.
%0A As demand in the United States for medicinal herbs skyrockets, so does the need for high quality raw herbal plant material, including roots, bark, leaves, flowers and seeds. Many traditional herbs can be difficult and time-consuming to cultivate and harvest, and the amount of active constituents may vary from one plant to the next. Anita "Teena" Hayden and Guillermo "Bill" Quiroga are testing a lesser known horticultural method called aeroponics to grow cleaner, more consistent herbs for a special product line under the name Native American Botanics (see sidebar).
"We're looking at this method as an avenue of economic development for interested Indian tribes throughout both North and South America," says Hayden, principal investigator and a doctoral student in the Office of Arid Lands Studies (OALS), part of the University of Arizona's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.
"We want to make sure the information is acceptable culturally as well as environmentally. We've had interest from tribes all over the country, including some who want to get out of growing tobacco and diversify into other crops."
Native American Botanics
"Native American Herbs by Native Americans"
Native American Botanics Corporation is dedicated to developing agricultural opportunities for low-income native Americans through the production and marketing of native, traditional herbs as a branded product in the herbal dietary supplement industry.
Guillermo "Bill" Quiroga, a Pascua Yaqui from Tucson, is president and CEO of the company, joined by Anita "Teena" Hayden, vice president and chief development officer. Quiroga is a 1998 MBA graduate of the UA's College of Business and Public Administration and Hayden, who also attended the UA's business college, is currently pursuing a doctorate in Arid Land Studies in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Quiroga manages and operates the company; Hayden researches and develops its production methods. Their work is supported through three federal Small Business Innovation Research grants, including a recent $93,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine; two USDA grants in rural and community development, and marketing and trade; and a $150,000 convertible loan from the Pascua Yaqui Tribe.
The company is currently focusing on marketing traditional herbs and researching efficient production methods for high value herbs.
Hayden began preliminary work several years ago at the OALS Bioresources Research Facility, and is currently conducting this research through the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center's greenhouse complex at the Campus Agricultural Center in Tucson. To test the system, Hayden and Quiroga decided to start with just one herb: Arctium lappa, or burdock, a biennial plant used as a blood purifier by Native American tribes for centuries. The root is currently marketed in the U.S. as an herbal dietary supplement, and produces a high biomass in a short amount of time, up to a pound of fresh root in one growing season.
"This plant has a very deep tap root," Hayden says. Harvesting field-grown burdock involves digging a ditch next to the plants, yanking the 12-36"-long roots--often by hand--and washing off the grit.
Aeroponics, a type of hydroponic greenhouse agriculture, eliminates all of that because the plants are grown without soil or aggregate media of any kind. Instead, the seedlings are transplanted into wooden frames with their roots suspended in an enclosed chamber below. Irrigation water containing nutrients is sprayed on the roots, which remain clean and unadulterated by other plant roots, insects or soil pathogens.
"This method is much cleaner, more water efficient and far less labor intensive than soil production," Hayden says. "It also features a higher density per square foot of greenhouse space than conventional greenhouse production schemes."
Because phytochemicals--the medicinally active ingredients in plants--can vary in response to environmental influences, the goal of this project is to develop a horticultural system that reduces environmental variation to improve the uniformity of the plant material, according to Hayden. Her experimental design maximizes root production. She will dry the roots after harvest and analyze their horticultural and phytochemical yields statistically against figures for roots grown in soil. Future studies will evaluate other root crops, as well as automated systems for successive harvests of roots from perennial species.
Hayden and Quiroga have already given presentations on this technique to two tribes: the Cherokee in Oklahoma, and the Pascua Yaqui in Tucson. "More research needs to be done before we build the larger units," she says. "The commercial potential for this technology lies in providing large and small scale growers a method for producing clean, consistent raw materials for the herbal and phytopharmaceutical industries."
Vivid green lawns often exact a high price in Arizona, guzzling loads of expensive water due to the desert climate and harsh soil. Although Bermuda grass may handle the heat, it still needs regular irrigations and doesn't tolerate excessively high salt conditions.
Looking for an alternative, University of Arizona researchers in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences began collecting native saltgrass plants from open areas in Colorado in 1995, and have been testing them for possible turf cultivation in Arizona.
"We got interested in this grass because it grows in areas that only get periodic water," says David Kopec, a professor in the UA Department of Plant Sciences. "It grows in dry, salty soils and tolerates salty water. We grow it at the college farm with well water and it does fine."
Saltgrass, in the genus Distichlis, includes two species. One is a seashore type characteristically found along the east and west coasts of the United States, and an inland type that grows in scattered dry areas in central California, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Utah.
"Both are very salt tolerant," Kopec says. "They have deep underground rhizomes, deeper than Bermuda. They are found where there is runoff water, in saline soils. They are often the only grass growing there." Like Bermuda, inland saltgrass is a warm-season grass that goes dormant in the winter, but it's slower growing than Bermuda, and could be more invasive. Yet it doesn't need mechanical aeration because it lacks the stolons that make thatch. Instead, multiple stems shoot straight out of the ground.
Kopec collected more than 200 individual inland saltgrass specimens in Colorado in 1995, and brought them back to the UA Karsten Turfgrass Center (see sidebar), where he conducted greenhouse trials on them in 1996 and 1997. He mowed the individual plants three times per week to find out which could tolerate mowing and would thus be suitable for lawns. He and his team then selected the best types and planted them outdoors in replicated plots in 1998.
After treating them just like turf for three years, they identified seven or eight plants out of the original collection that would fit the bill as true lawn types, according to Kopec. These plants had a good, green color, high shoot density, were softer to the touch, and covered the soil completely under mowing stress. Each was an individual genetic type.
Between 1998 and 2001, Kopec noted that these plants survived for four to six weeks each summer without any irrigation at all, although some did lose color. "It would be a big improvement to have a grass that needs very little watering," he says. "A standard lawn of Bermuda grass needs more frequent irrigation than the Distichlis, and the water quality has to be better. Other grasses would struggle on the amount and type of water that saltgrass survives on."
Kopec plans to patent the better plant types through the UA and is looking at ways to protect the germplasm. The cultivars don't have names yet, just experimental designations. He is cooperating on this project with researchers from Colorado State University, who are studying ways to propagate these plants from both seed and sod. In about five years Kopek hopes a public variety will be available.
While collecting other specimens to test, Kopec found new saltgrass types growing undetected on golf greens, tees and fairways. "And in Fredonia, Ariz., I found a plant growing in a restaurant parking lot where trucks were driving over it," Kopec says. "I took it back to the greenhouse and grew it out. It was so vigorous it practically turned into a pine tree."
In his field trials Kopec is running more tests to find out how to manage saltgrass as a lawn, including its tolerance to increased mowing and different mowing heights, to increased traffic stress, and to pesticides (although it doesn't appear to be susceptible to many insect pests). The toughest specimens will be planted later in "really bad spots" to see how well they do. One thing he's already figured out, though, is how to handle the weeds. "That's easy," he says. "We just throw salt on the plots."
Vicki Chandler, a professor in the departments of plant sciences and in molecular and cellular biology at the University of Arizona, was elected the new president of the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) on Oct. 1.
This is the highest elected office within the Society, and Chandler's term is one-year. She was president-elect of ASPB beginning Oct. 1, 2000. Chandler, who has a doctorate from the University of California at San Francisco, came to the University of Arizona in 1997 from the University of Oregon. Her research involves the study of genetic mechanisms controlling gene expression in different cell types and at particular times during their development.
Her colleague at the UA, Brian Larkins, was President of ASPB from 1998 to 1999.
ASPB is a non-profit science society with nearly 6,000 member scientists from the United States and four dozen other nations. Its members are scientists from academia, government and industry, including teachers and students, biochemists, cell and molecular biologists, geneticists, physiologists and other plant scientists. Research by ASPB members greatly increases existing knowledge of biological processes of plants resulting in many benefits including new and more efficient practices in the growth of plants for food, fiber, fuel, industrial chemicals, medicine and protection of the environment. ASPB publishes two internationally respected science journals: Plant Physiology and The Plant Cell. This year, ASPB changed its name from the American Society of Plant Physiologists, founded in 1924, to reflect its expanded membership.
|January 07, 2002|
7|7|'Great Trees' named at UA|%0A%0AMarch 25, 2002%0ASusan McGinley%0A The University of Arizona announced that it will be the new home to a $3-4 million a year genetic research program. Dean Gene Sander of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) said the UA has hired internationally recognized plant scientist Rod A. Wing. Wing is currently director of the Clemson University Genomics Institute, where he researches crop plant genomics, unraveling the genetic codes for corn, rice, soybeans and similar foods.
UA Attracts Top Plant Scientist
Monday January 07, 2002
Rod Wing interviewed by KVOA-TV news
%0ASeed money to attract Wing's program to Arizona came from CALS and Proposition 301 monies, an addition to the state sales tax that Arizona voters approved in an election last year. The UA will receive $15-18 million this year from Prop. 301, which mostly benefits kindergarten through grade 12. "The availability of Proposition 301 funds made our ability to attract a noted researcher of this quality much easier," Sander said.
%0AWing is moving his laboratory to the UA, where the program is expected to employ 60-70 researchers, graduate students, technicians and support personnel, as well as about 20 undergraduate students.
%0AWing said he's moving to Arizona because "the UA plant sciences department is one of the top programs in the country. I'm looking forward to being around a fantastic group of colleagues."
%0ARobert Leonard, chair of plant sciences, said Wing will join a distinguished team of more than 25 faculty scientists, many with expertise and research projects in related biotechnology and genetics.
%0AThe research focus of Wing's lab is to discover, map and sequence the billions of combinations of genes in beans, rice, tomatoes and similar food crops. Wing's research attracts $3-4 million a year in outside grant funding. Most of that funding comes through the National Science Foundation Plant Genome Program and USDA-CSREES. Wing's team has just received $2.7-million grant from the NIH. Cotton Incorporated has provided substantial support over the years.
%0AWing's lab will eventually become part of the UA's Biomedical Science and Biotechnology Institute, which will be funded by Proposition 301 monies and federal dollars. The Institute's chief planner, Tom Baldwin, department chair of biochemistry and molecular biophysics, said the institute will include more than 100 UA faculty from various departments with related research interests.
The University of Arizona announced that it will be the new home to a $3-4 million a year genetic research program. Dean Gene Sander of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) said the UA has hired internationally recognized plant scientist Rod A. Wing.
Wing is currently director of the Clemson University Genomics Institute, where he researches crop plant genomics, unraveling the genetic codes for corn, rice, soybeans and similar foods.
A flowering baobab, a rare calabash and an immense southern live oak - all on the University of Arizona campus - have been designated Great Trees of Arizona by the Arizona Community Tree Council. Nominations were made on behalf of the University of Arizona Campus Arboretum in February.
The designation refers to any individual tree or group of trees considered to be of local, state, national or international significance. Each tree is selected based on criteria that may include a unique history, great age, extraordinary size, or being of a rare or unusual species.
The 32-foot-tall baobab (Adansonia za) near the southwest corner of the UA Administration Building is the only flowering individual tree of its species in the United States, according to a botanist at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Seeds brought from Madagascar were germinated in Virginia, and the seedling was subsequently held to 15-gallon size at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. It was planted in 1981 by Warren Jones, a professor of landscape architecture at the UA during the 1970s and 80s.
>Jones also planted the rare calabash tree (Crescentia alata) at the southeast end of the UA Main Library. It is one of only three on campus and possibly the largest one in Tucson. This evergreen tree, native to Central America, is unique for its bat pollinated flowers and fruits that develop on multiple trunks. The fruits can be used as bowls and vessels. The seed for this tree was collected on the western coast of Mexico, germinated at the UA Campus Agricultural Center and planted in the 1970s as an experiment. The tree stands 24 feet tall, with a 30-foot canopy.
%0AAt 37 feet in height with a 65-foot canopy, the southern live oak (Quercus virginiana) near the UA Main Gate is most likely the largest specimen in Tucson. Steve Fazio, a professor of horticulture, planted the tree in the 1940s before the species became more common in the nursery trade. The dark, vigorous spreading tree is native to the southeastern U.S. Of the three seedlings Fazio planted in the Park Avenue green belt area on campus, this one remains. This tree gives a dignified indication of the potential size of the species, according to Elizabeth Davison, director of the UA arboretum.
On March 22, as part of Arizona Arbor Day, a Tree City USA awards presentation was held at the Arizona State Capitol. Professor Emeritus Jones and Davison accepted commemorative plaques for placement at the base of each tree.
The Arizona Community Tree Council facilitates tree planting and care in Arizona by developing, identifying, monitoring and distributing resources to promote public awareness and education for the betterment of the environment. It promotes preservation and correct care of great trees of Arizona.
Because growers in Yuma County regularly monitor the health of their lettuce crop, they aren't expecting to find a new plant disease. And when they do see a change in crop appearance, it doesn't always signal a pathogen.
For example, yellowing of the leaves can be caused by many factors such as sudden temperature change, mineral deficiencies or herbicide residue from a previous crop. Yet it can also signal the presence of fusarium wilt, a fungus disease that streaks lettuce leaves a red-brown color and stunts their growth, leaving the heads unmarketable.
The production of head lettuce in Arizona is big business for Yuma County growers with a gross income of over $329 million in 2001.
University of Arizona plant pathologist Michael Matheron has been studying fusarium wilt on lettuce since the fall of 2001 after a plant sample was brought to him and identified.
"When we cultured organisms from the plant we isolated Fusarium oxysporum," he says. The disease was first identified in iceberg lettuce grown in central California in 1990, and it's possible that the soil-borne fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lactucae has been affecting plants in Arizona for some time without being detected.
"Not all fusariums in the soil are bad guys," Matheron says. "A lot of them are just free-living. They don't really cause disease and they look very similar to the ones that are pathogens." The best tactic, then, is to follow clean field practices. Because the fungus moves slowly through
the soil but will survive if the soil is transported, growers are encouraged to remove soil from
tractors, implements, harvesting equipment and even worker's boots.
"After every crop is harvested, the debris from the previous crop is disked into the soil," Matheron says. "Every time a tractor goes by with an implement, it's dragging soil from one place to another. If there's a spot that has this particular fusarium fungus in it, it's going to be spread further and further." Thus a field that may have had just a single infected plant one year may develop larger fungus-infested areas in subsequent seasons as the spores from the pathogen are spread mechanically on disk blades and other tractor implements.
Planting different cultivars of lettuce may also help, but it isn't yet clear which ones will work. Matheron is conducting field trials in infected soil with the help of the Yuma grower who first found the fusarium-infected lettuce in his field to determine which varieties of lettuce are more fusarium-resistant than others. They have planted the cool season cultivars of lettuce that are typically grown in the Yuma area along with other types normally produced in Salinas, Calif., where lettuce is grown in the warm season.
"On the first planting we took three different disease ratings -- one about 25 days to a month after planting, one 14 days after that and one at maturity," Matheron says. This practice shows the development of the disease over time so growers will have visual clues to look for at different growth stages.
"Yet right now, because we don't really know anything about the relative susceptibility of the various types of lettuce, the immediate recommendation would be not to plant lettuce where fusarium has been found," Matheron says. "At least not for a few years until we can find out if there's some genetic resistance in any of these types of lettuce." This strategy may also give lettuce breeders time to discover resistance in different seed varieties and get them into commercial production.
Fusarium Wilt of Lettuce
The first symptoms of Fusarium wilt may occur as early as thinning, when some seedlings wilt and die. Infected plants display a characteristic red-brown streak extending from the upper taproot into the cortex of the crown. Older affected heads exhibit a tipburn that may often be limited to one side of the plant. Yellowing of leaves and a brown to black streaking of the foliar vascular tissue is often present. Infected plants may be stunted or fail to form a head. The cortex of the crown turns a reddish-brown in color, and vascular darkening extends into the root tissue on the affected side of the plant.
University of Arizona researchers are included in an international consortium of scientists who have collaborated to decode the sequence of the rice genome, furthering work in improving a crop consumed by more than half the world’s population. The completion of the advanced draft sequence – high-quality blueprint – of the rice genome was announced Dec. 18 in Japan, the lead country in the effort, and in Washington, D.C.
Each of the 10 countries participating in the project was assigned parts of the genome to sequence. The other eight countries collaborating in the International Rice Genome Sequencing Project (IRGSP) include Brazil, China, France, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Kingdom.
Under the direction of Rod Wing, director of the Arizona Genomics Institute and a professor in the UA plant sciences department in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Arizona researchers completed a draft sequence of the “short arm” of chromosome 3. Wing, who arrived at the UA six months ago from Clemson University, had worked there since 1996 on the sequencing of most of chromosome 10. The Clemson group also developed a framework to sequence the rice genome, a physical map that was used by the entire IRGSP in completing the sequence.
The United States was assigned chromosomes 3, 10 and half of chromosome 11. The U.S. rice genomics program involves three collaborative groups. The ACWW includes Clemson University in South Carolina, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, Washington University in Missouri and the University of Arizona. The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) and the Plant Genome Initiative at Rutgers (PGIR) are the other partners.
The milestone project involved an unprecedented world collaboration among academic, governmental and private sector entities from the 10 countries. The entire genetic draft has been
released for full and unrestricted public access on GenBank, a National Institutes of Health
database, allowing rice improvement, comparative cereal studies and basic plant research to
proceed simultaneously worldwide.
“The nice thing about rice is that it has a very compact genome,” Wing says. “It has 12 chromosomes and is considered a model plant for research in cereals.” Rice contains certain genes arranged in the same order or direction as those found in other cereal grasses, including wheat, maize, oats, barley and sorghum.
“By decoding the complete rice genome, we’ll understand the regulatory networks involved in disease tolerance, drought tolerance and other mechanisms that will help in the breeding of rice varieties that are higher yielding, more stress tolerant and more environmentally friendly,” Wing says.
The high-quality draft sequence just released gives researchers enough to work with developing their projects. The next step for all IRGSP members, including the University of Arizona, is to “finish” the genome within the next two to three years by characterizing, annotating and identifying the functions of the individual rice genes. U.S. funding for the project was provided by the USDA, the National Science Foundation and the United States Department of Energy.
|Vicki Chandler is the 25th member of the NAS in Arizona and the 19th at the UA.|
Vicki Chandler, a University of Arizona molecular biologist and geneticist known for her pioneering work in clarifying the mechanisms of gene regulation in maize, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences on April 30.
"Vicki is an exceptional scientist who helped Arizona set a new standard of excellence in plant molecular biology when she elected to join our faculty in 1997," said Eugene Sander, vice provost and dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Her findings are contributing to deeper understanding of the way plants grow, develop and evolve.
Election to membership in the Academy is considered one of the highest honors a U.S. scientist or engineer can achieve. Chandler was among 72 new members and 15 foreign associates from 12 countries recognized for distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Those elected this year bring the total number of active members to 1,907. Chandler is the 25th member of the NAS in Arizona and the 19th at the UA.
"Vicki is an outstanding choice for this honor, because not only does she do important research in genetics, she also is an excellent teacher of both undergraduate and graduate students, and a caring University citizen," said Robert Leonard, head of the department of plant sciences.
Chandler has spent 17 years studying the mechanisms that turn genes on and off in maize. She uses methods based on molecular genetics and classical Mendelian genetics to figure out how genes regulate one another when they communicate in the nucleus of the cell.
In particular, she has focused on epigenetic, or nontraditional control of gene expression in plants. This is a natural occurrence where heredity is somehow controlled not through the usual DNA sequence, but through proteins that interact with the sequence to reversibly silence genes. As a graduate student, Chandler read about this phenomenon and became fascinated by the gene regulation systems in corn.
"I love studying this and I won't quit until I figure it out," she says. "We've developed the tools to crack this during my lifetime." Her findings are contributing to a better understanding of plant physiology, development and evolution that has practical applications in agriculture and in biology.
"Dr. Chandler is a preeminent scientist in her field," said Colin Kaltenbach, director of the Arizona Agricultural Experiment Station in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. "This an appropriate honor for her, and it represents significant recognition for both Dr. Chandler and the University of Arizona."
Chandler holds a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of California, San Francisco (1983). She was a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow in the department of biology at Stanford University from 1983-1985. From 1985-1997 she moved through the professorial ranks in the department and the Institute of Molecular Biology at the University of Oregon in Eugene.
In 1997 she continued her work at the UA, where she is a professor in the department of plant sciences, a member of the Interdisciplinary Program in Genetics, and has a joint appointment in the department of molecular and cellular biology. She was recently appointed associate director of the newly formed Institute for Biomedical Science and Biotechnology (IBSB) at the UA. In addition to her research, Chandler teaches advanced genetics courses for graduate students.
"I have top-notch people in my lab," Chandler said, "a lot of great students. And I have had three exceptional professors as mentors along the way: Keith Yamamoto at UC San Francisco, Virginia Walbot at Stanford University and Randy Schekman at UC Berkeley. All have been very influential in my training as a scientist."
Among Chandler's numerous affiliations, she is on the board of trustees for the Gordon Research Conferences (1997-2003) and is past chair of that board. She is currently president of the American Society of Plant Biology and is active in the Genetics Society and International Society of Plant Biology where she served on the board of directors. She is also on the Biological Directorate Advisory Committee for the National Science Foundation.
Her awards include the 1983-1985 NSF Plant Biology Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1985-90 Presidential Young Investigator Award Recipient, 1988-91 Searle Scholar Award and the 1991-1996 NSF Faculty Award for Women Scientists and Engineers.
The NAS is a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for science and the general welfare. Established by a Congressional Act of Incorporation signed by Abraham Lincoln in 1863, the Academy acts as an official adviser to the federal government, upon request, in any matter of science or technology.
Additional information about the National Academy of Sciences is available online.
A full directory of NAS members can be found online.
Scientists at the University of Arizona in Tucson and the United States Department of Energy (DOE) recently completed mapping the genetic sequence of a microbe used in research laboratories worldwide. The bacterium, Azotobacter vinelandii, commonly found in soil, is important in understanding a range of scientific problems from agriculture and medicine, to energy and industrial uses.
Working together, scientists from the UA and the DOE Joint Genome Institute in Walnut Creek, Calif., sequenced the entire genome of A. vinelandii in a joint project. Next week (July 8-13), scientists from nine institutions in five countries will convene at the UA to annotate the genome using computer software developed for the project. UA undergraduate researchers are included in the project.
The DOE and the Arizona Research Laboratory at the UA are sponsoring the project as part of the Microbial Genome Program, a DOE spinoff of the Human Genome Project. The goal is to completely sequence the genomes of microbes that have properties important to current scientific investigations and make them available in public databases.
This is the first whole genome annotation to be held at the UA. Christina Kennedy, a microbiologist in the UA plant pathology department, and Nirav Merchant, head of the UA Biotechnology Computing Facility, which developed the software to be used in the annotation, are the principal investigators on the project.
Academic and industrial scientists will use this data to make comparisons they were not able to do before among genes and with the genomes of other organisms. The results could help in solving problems pertaining to agriculture, medicine, industrial processes, and energy production and use.
"By having the sequence of every gene in A. vinelandii, we will know the sequence of every protein," Kennedy said. "We will then recognize the appearance of new genes we hadn't known before, with new functions related to nitrogen, carbon and energy metabolism."
Found in soils worldwide, A. vinelandii has been studied for its unique characteristics by scientists for more than 90 years. It can utilize nitrogen gas from the atmosphere and convert it to a form that serves as a nutrient for plant growth and development. Unlike other nitrogen-fixing bacteria, it can perform this process in the presence of oxygen. This attribute makes it more flexible in adapting to a wider range of environmental conditions.
In addition, A. vinelandii has the unusual ability to carry out nitrogen fixation by using any one of three different enzymes with different metal content–molybdenum, vanadium, or iron–all of which are encoded by different genes, according to Kennedy. It has a very high respiratory rate, and can grow on a wide variety of organic acids, alcohols and carbohydrates, making it useful for applications in a wide variety of scientific studies.
"We still do not understand all of the genes in this organism. We already know the sequence of 250 because they were individually discovered and analyzed over the last 20 years," Kennedy says. "The total number of genes in Azotobacter vinelandii is 5,000, so there are 4,800 in this recently sequenced genome that we have not seen before." (The human genome contains approximately 10 times the number of genes in A. vinelandii.)
The week-long annotation process will be overseen by bioinformatics expert Paul Rudnick, a UA graduate now working at Scientific Applications International Corporation, National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Md. Scientists from the United States, Germany, Norway, Canada and Mexico will be assisted by computer scientists, by DNA sequencers from the DOE, and also by five undergraduate students from the UA who have studied microbial genetics and have learned the process of gene annotation.
The team will refine the computer annotation process by examining each gene in the database individually to correct errors. After the week-long workshop, they will return to their home institutions where they will continue to annotate the remaining genes and communicate their findings for inclusion in the public database.
A program to shade local homes with trees has saved homeowners who planted them more than a third of a million dollars in cooling bills.
Studies show that trees do more than just decorate your yard. A properly shaded home can reduce energy consumption by as much as 20 percent. Which is why the Pima County Cooperative Extension in Tucson and Trico Electric Cooperative are distributing shade trees at reduced prices to residents for energy conservation.
The program, known as “Operation Cool Shade,” began in 1997 when Trico and Pima County Extension began distributing shade trees to in neighborhoods. A requirement of the program was that homeowners plant trees in locations around the house to ensure maximum shading. The residents received training from Extension on correct placement, planting and care of trees, says John Begeman, an urban horticulture agent with the Extension.
Tree species have included desert willow, eldarica pine, blue palo verde, mesquite and live oak. Trico customers are eligible to receive up to three five-gallon trees at about $5 each.
Extension master gardeners were trained to help program participants select, place, plant and care for their shade trees. Master Gardener volunteers conducted four workshops and staffed a tree planting and care answer booth at the tree distribution day hosted at Trico's headquarters in Tucson. Trico employees subsequently went out to check on the health of the trees. Follow-up information and assistance with tree care has been provided by the Pima County Cooperative Extension.
In all, a total of 7,698 Operation Cool Shade trees have been distributed to 3,330 residential customer properties over the last five years. To date, the total projected savings for all Operation Cool Shade participants during the peak summer period of July, August and September alone has been $376,916.
The program is continuing during this fall, and according to Trico officials, is the most popular public service program the electric cooperative offers. Each year the number of participants exceeds the capacity of the program, and the waiting list is growing.
%0AWednesday, 27 November 2002
In 11 Arizona counties, trained volunteers teach environmentally responsible gardening in a dry climate, whether it’s in the desert or at 7,000 feet. Master Gardeners answer literally thousands of questions, and a statewide website is available for gardeners no matter where they live. %0A%0ADesert gardening in particular has its own set of challenges. "This is a fabulous place to garden, but different," says Lucy Bradley, urban horticulture agent in Maricopa County. "People find old rules don't work here."%0A%0AIn Maricopa County alone, about 400 well-organized and well-trained volunteers donated 28,000 hours fielding telephone calls coming into the main Extension office and three satellite locations. In addition, 20 Master Gardeners volunteer in area schools, working directly with students. %0A%0ABradley and Master Gardeners reach out to desert gardeners in many other ways: The volunteer Master Gardeners answer questions at Phoenix home garden shows on how to select desert-friendly plants that need little water, where to plant them, and how to keep them healthy. The volunteers also get the word out through e-mail and a bimonthly "Master Gardener Communicator" newsletter.%0A%0AThey are promoting the concept of an "earth-friendly backyard" that teaches about saving energy and water, using greywater while preserving water quality, and using integrated pest management techniques to control plant problems.%0A%0AIt works. About 75 percent of clients said they were willing to use alternatives to pesticides. And, 95 percent said they would contact Cooperative Extension again when they had a gardening question.%0A%0ADemonstration agents such as the vegetable and herb garden at the Extension office show techniques that succeed. An interpretive trail around the Maricopa County office attracts many visitor gardeners.%0A%0AObviously, Maricopa County is urban and located in the desert; Coconino County is not. The Master Gardeners still thrive here, says Tom DeGomez, Extension agriculture and natural resources agent, Coconino County.%0AAbout 200 dedicated people are working as trained volunteers, DeGomez says. "Here out main problem is telling people how to deal with the climate. At 7,000 feet, we have cool nights during the growing season, combined with too much sunlight. We deal with city forestry-Ponderosa pines in the yard. Elk and deer are another pressure; they like the backyards and they're especially fond of our golf courses."%0AMaster Gardeners in Coconino County answer gardening questions by telephone, and make house calls to help with perplexing queries. They have renovated landscaping for several non-profit agencies, including the Grand Canyon Trust, Riordan State Park, and the Arizona State Historical Society building.%0A%0ACoconino, Gila, and Yavapai County Master Gardeners work together to address high elevation gardening. They hold a three-day gardening conference annually to help other gardeners meet the challenges of growing plants in the mountains.%0A%0A"We're a large, mostly rural county," DeGomez says. "Our Master Gardeners are invaluable in helping people be responsible, environmentally concerned gardeners."%0A
Scientists at the University of Arizona in Tucson and several collaborating institutions are developing tools that will unlock the genetic codes of maize and rice and serve as models for biological, agricultural and environmental research worldwide.
%0ARod Wing and Vicki Chandler, in the plant sciences department at the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Cari Soderlund of the UA Institute for Biomedical Science and Biotechnology (IBSB) and the plant sciences department, are principal investigators on separate projects funded through the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of the National Plant Genome Initiative (see sidebar).
%0AWing, professor of plant sciences and director of the Arizona Genomics Institute, was awarded a $9.7 million grant to develop a complete gene map of Oryza, the genus for every species of wild and domesticated rice.
%0A"Rice feeds half the world's population and that's the group that will double in population in the next 50 years," Wing says. "We need to know all we can about it. We want to decode the rice genome to understand the regulatory mechanisms for disease resistance and drought control. Once we understand how this works we can design more drought-tolerant, disease resistant crops and grow them in a more environmentally friendly way on less land with fewer pesticides and less water."
%0AWing and his colleagues from the UA, Purdue and New York’s Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory are developing a closed model system to unravel and understand the evolution, physiology and biochemistry of the entire rice genus.
%0ACalled the Oryza Map Alignment Project, or OMAP, Wing says this will be the first project in any system where a complete genus - every species - will be characterized at the genome level. %0A%0A"This has never, ever been done in animals or plants," Wing says.
%0AOver millions of years the 13 known species of rice have evolved and adapted to different environments all over the world: swamp, shade, salt water and other conditions. Including the wild species of rice and aligning them with the genomes of domesticated rice species on the OMAP will enable researchers to find new genes for improving cultivated rice.
%0AThis resource will be a platform for researchers around the world to explore the diversity and evolution of rice genes and will serve as a model to establish similar systems in both plants and animals.
Vicki Chandler, a Regents' Professor and co-director of the IBSB, is developing low cost, public sector microarray resources for analyzing gene expression in maize, the most economically important crop in the United States.
%0AChandler has received a $3.7 million NSF grant to continue this work, along with UA plant scientist David Galbraith and researchers at the Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) in Maryland, the University of Wisconsin and the University of Minnesota.
%0AMicroarrays, also known as gene chips, are thousands of DNA samples arrayed in rows of orderly dots bonded to a specially prepared glass microscope slide. The first generation array that the Chandler group is designing will contain 50,000 genes out of an estimated 60,000 in the entire corn genome.
%0A"We are developing the microarray chips, supplying them to researchers and also making available a large amount of baseline data that can be used to generate hypotheses that others can use to design experiments," Chandler says. "The idea is to show what the technology can do and educate people in how to best use it."
%0AThe entire corn genome will eventually be available on two glass slides, enabling researchers to monitor genes by turning them on and off under different conditions and learn more about how they work. All of the data will be quickly available in a public database. Investigators at institutions lacking the resources to conduct these experiments themselves will have access to the data, according to Chandler.
%0AAdding to the strength of the maize genome project is Soderlund's research on the technical aspects of gene sequencing. Approximately 80 percent of the 2,400 megabase maize genome is repetitive DNA that generally does not contain genes. There is an initiative by the NSF Plant Genome Project to sequence the gene-rich regions of maize. Soderlund's contribution is the generation of sequences that will link the fragments of gene sequences across the repetitive regions.
%0A"We will develop a web-based genome browser in order to verify our results and elucidate the structure of maize," Soderlund says. "This will also allow scientists around the world to view their genes of interest."
Funded by a $925,712 grant from the same NSF genome initiative, this study will expedite maize genome sequencing and gene discovery, leading to more gene targets for crop improvement.
%0AThe increased emphasis on the plant genome in these and other projects will change fundamental plant science research related to agriculture, forestry, energy and the environment, as well as to the production of pharmaceuticals and other plant-based industrial chemicals and materials.
%0ANational Plant Genome Initiative funding has helped make the UA department of plant sciences one of the strongest in the country. The department has consistently pulled in $5 to 15 million annually for the past five years.
%0A"For these individuals to receive such large grants from this highly competitive program is a testament to the strength of their research accomplishments and to the quality of these proposals," says Robert Leonard, head of the UA plant sciences department.
%0A"Selection for grant awards of this magnitude does not occur without very strong endorsement from the scientific peers who reviewed the proposals. We are very pleased by and appreciative of their continued success," Leonard says.
%0A%0AFor the first time, scientists have figured out which of 22,000 genes are turned off and on in all the different types of cells that make up the growing root of a flowering plant. %0A%0AThe result is the first detailed map of when and where the genes are active in roots of the plant Arabidopsis. The achievement offers biologists a new way to explore how complex tissues and organs develop from a single cell, not only in plants but in other organisms, the researchers said. The new information will also contribute to more sophisticated methods for the genetic improvement of crop plants.%0A%0A"Each cell is defined by the different genes that are active within the cell," said David Galbraith, a professor of plant sciences at the University of Arizona in Tucson. "We are asking what makes a root a root." The researchers used methods pioneered in his lab, including use of a fluorescence-activated cell sorter, to isolate the different root cells.%0A
About twice the width of a human hair, this Arabidopsis root has one cell layer highlighted by green fluorescent protein. The cell walls have been%0Acounterstained and show up red. Photograph by Changqing Zhang, UA.%0A
%0A %0A%0A%0A%0A%0AJoanne Tornow, a program director with the National Science Foundation, which funded the research, said, "The creation of the root map is a terrific advance forward."%0A%0AGalbraith and Georgina Lambert from UA will publish their findings in the December 12 issue of the journal Science. Other authors on the paper include Philip Benfey and Jean Wang of Duke University in Durham, N.C., and Kenneth Birnbaum, Jee W. Jung and Dennis Shasha of New York University. %0A%0AA fundamental question in biology is how cells multiply and organize themselves to form discrete organs. While scientists knew some of the genes that were turned on in a growing root, no one had yet pinpointed in which root tissues and at what point in time all the genes switched on and off. Grinding up a root to see what genes were activated -- which scientists call "expressed" -- gave an overall picture but didn't provide specifics. %0A%0AWhen developmental biologist Philip Benfey heard David Galbraith give a seminar on his fluorescence-activated cell sorter technology, Benfey realized that Galbraith's technology might solve the problem. So the two teamed up. %0A%0AGalbraith said, "It was a nice balance -- we wouldn't have done it without their presenting the research problem, and they couldn't have done it without this technology." %0A%0APeople from Benfey's lab brought samples of Arabidopsis thaliana, the lab rat of the plant world, to UA so the two groups could work together. To distinguish the various layers of the root, Benfey's team used a telltale green fluorescent protein to highlight each of five different cell types within the roots. %0A%0A
Arabidopsis thaliana, the first plant to have its complete genome sequenced, is a member of the mustard family, which includes cultivated species such as cabbage and radish. Arabidopsis has about 28,000 genes.
Galbraith's fluorescence-activated cell sorting technology was then used to select individual root cells characteristic of the different cell layers. In addition, the researchers repeated the work using cross-sections of roots that represented various stages of growth, a technique to tell whether the five cell types expressed different genes at different times during development. %0A%0AOnce the researchers had separated a particular cell type of a particular age, they used thumbnail-sized DNA microarrays, or “gene chips,” to measure the activity of about 22,000 genes, about 80 percent of the genes present in an Arabidopsis cell. When genetic material from the cells are added to the gene chips, the chips indicate which genes are activated.%0A%0AThe researchers did not expect to find so many Arabidopsis genes involved in root development. %0A%0A%0A"To me one of the most surprising things was that almost half of the 10,000 genes expressed in the root showed dramatic levels of tissue-specific expression," said Benfey. "I would have guessed perhaps 10 to 20 percent of Arabidopsis genes would have been so expressed." %0A%0AGalbraith, whose forte is developing new technologies that other researchers can adopt for their own research, said, "This work is an example of how collaborative research can lead to great progress."%0A%0AAs a member of the UA's Institute for Biomedical Science and Biotechnology, Galbraith anticipates more opportunities for such fruitful partnerships. He said, "IBSB is designed to promote collaboration across disciplines."
|(Front) The Chorisia insignis may be the largest and oldest of its species in the state with a trunk circumference of more than 10 feet. (Above) This ancient African sumac (Rhus lancea), located between Maricopa and Yuma residence halls on the northern edge of the UA historic district, was planted in 1928.|
For the second year, three unique trees on the UA campus have been designated Great Trees of Arizona by the Arizona Community Tree Council. They include a silk floss tree, an African sumac and a fever tree. Nominations were made on behalf of the University of Arizona Campus Arboretum.
On April 9, in celebration of Arizona Arbor Day, the Arizona Community Tree Council will hold a "Tree City USA" awards ceremony at the Arizona State Capitol. UA Arboretum Director Elizabeth Davison will accept commemorative plaques for placement at the base of each tree.
The designation refers to any individual tree or group of trees considered to be of local, state, national or international significance. Tree are selected based on criteria that may include a unique history, great age, extraordinary size, or because they are a rare or unusual species. The Arizona Community Tree Council promotes preservation of Great Trees in Arizona.
"The big, fat white silk floss tree, south of Engineering near Old Main, is the largest and oldest of its species in the state, and maybe the entire Southwest," Davison says. It measures 37 feet tall, with a 40-foot canopy and a trunk circumference of more than 10 feet. Also known as Chorisia insignis, bottle tree or palo borracho, the rare tree is native to southern Brazil and Argentina. Its original planting date was not recorded, but Professor Emeritus Steve Fazio remembers this stately giant as being large and healthy when he arrived on campus in 1940. The UA Herbarium has a 1957 specimen that includes a pressed flower from that exact tree.
"It’s winter deciduous, but even as the leaves drop in late fall, the creamy lily-sized flowers remain through December or January if not damaged by frost," Davison says.
The state’s largest fever tree (Acacia xanthophloea) stands 38 feet tall, and is at the southwest corner of Cochise Hall, near Fourth Street and Park Avenue.
The ancient African sumac (Rhus lancea), located between Maricopa and Yuma residence halls on the northern edge of the UA historic district, was planted in 1928 by Homer Shantz, a former UA president. Although the species is not unusual and is now considered undesirable, the value of this individual tree lies in its unique history, according to Davison.
After Shantz collected the seeds in South Africa in 1919 they were propagated in Chico, Calif., then installed on the UA campus in 1928. “This makes this tree the first African sumac planted in Tucson, for better or worse,” Davison says. Another was installed at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior, Ariz., at about the same time. The tree’s current estimated height is 33 feet.
The state’s largest fever tree (Acacia xanthophloea) stands 38 feet tall, and is located at the southwest corner of Cochise Hall, near 4th Street and Park Avenue. As the only specimen planted on campus by Warren Jones in the 1980s, this rare tree is another example of an experiment that succeeded beyond all hopes, Davison says.
"Although it's supposedly tender here, it’s actually thriving and is always a source of curiosity with its yellow powdery bark," Davison says. The species is often used in African safari theme parks.
%0A|March 31, 2003| 17|17|Scientists Identify Cold Tolerant Gene That May Improve Crop Hardiness|By UA News Services
April 11, 2003
|April 11, 2003|
18|18|Key Rice Chromosome Decoded by UA Scientist, Colleagues|
Scientists at the University of Arizona have discovered a critical cold-tolerance gene in Arabidopsis, a cruciferous plant related to cabbage and broccoli. As published in the April 15 issue of "Genes & Development," the identification of ICE1 by Jian-Kang Zhu and his colleagues holds promising implications for the improvement of cold tolerance in agriculturally important crops.
Cold is a major factor affecting crop yield in temperate climates, with the farming industry losing billions of dollars each year to freezing temperatures. Researchers have focused on ways to improve crop tolerance to cold and/or freezing temperatures, to both increase productivity and to broaden the geographic range for crops.
In 1988, scientists identified the Arabidopsis CBF (C-repeat binding factor) family of genetic transcription (coding) factors. These CBF proteins regulate the expression of cold- responsive genes in Arabidopsis, which enable the plant to acclimate to, and survive in, cold temperatures.
Zhu, a professor of plant sciences in the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and his colleagues have discovered a key transcriptional regulator of those CBF genes ? a marked advance in the research effort to understand and ultimately improve cold tolerance in plants.
To identify genes that act upon CBF genes and affect cold tolerance in plants, Zhu and his team carried out a genetic screen with Arabidopsis plants that were genetically engineered to glow in the cold. They inserted a modified gene containing the firefly enzyme luciferase into the Arabidopsis genome, to generate plants that glow under cold stress. These cold-responsive bioluminescent plants were then induced to mutate, and plants that no longer glowed in cold temperatures were selected.
"If a plant is not glowing, or glowing too brightly, we know a particular gene is involved," Zhu says.
This process is painstaking and yields results slowly, but works much faster than traditional breeding methods, which can take years as different plant generations are grown out and evaluated. Since the luciferase enzyme induces a glow too weak to be seen by the naked eye, Zhu uses a camera to view the steady glow.
One particularly striking mutant exhibited ten times less luminescence after 12 hours at 0şC than the wild-type bioluminescent plants.
Zhu and his colleagues cloned the gene that had been mutated in this plant, and named it ICE1 (inducer of CBF expression). Further research by the group revealed that ICE1 is also a transcription factor: During periods of cold stress, ICE1 binds to and turns on the CBF3 gene, which, in turn, induces the expression of cold-responsive genes.
Using microarray analysis, the researchers demonstrated that in ICE1-mutant plants, more than 70 percent of cold-responsive genes are misregulated, causing the plants to exhibit severely reduced cold tolerance.
The team also demonstrated that the increased expression of ICE1 in Arabidopsis plants leads to increased cold tolerance.
This result is expected to garner significant attention from the agricultural community, as the transgenic expression of ICE1 in domesticated, cold-sensitive crops - like soybeans, tomatoes, potatoes, rice and barley - may provide a new way to increase the ability of such plants to survive in the cold.
"The significance of our findings on ICE1 may be two-fold," Zhu says. "It is likely useful for the genetic improvement of plant freezing tolerance, and the identification of ICE1 takes us one step closer to address the question how cold signals are sensed and transduced."
Contact Jian-Kang Zhu at (520) 626-2229, firstname.lastname@example.org
His lab web page is at http://ag.arizona.edu/pls/zhulab
The article, ?ICE1: a regulator of cold-induced transcriptome and freezing tolerance in Arabidopsis? is online at http://www.genesdev.org/cgi/reprint/U-10775Rv1.pdf
Scientists who are decoding chromosome 10 of the rice genome have discovered that it has 3,471 genes - twice as many as expected - and it is nearly identical to other grains, particularly sorghum and maize. This advance, reported in the June 6 issue of Science, will assist in improving a crop that has been cultivated for more than 9,000 years and consumed by more than half the world's population.
"The nice thing about rice is that it has a very compact genome," said Rod Wing, a professor of plant sciences at the University of Arizona in Tucson and director of the Arizona Genomics Institute.
"Rice has 12 chromosomes and is considered a model plant for research in cereals. By decoding the rice genome we'll understand the regulatory networks involved in disease tolerance, drought tolerance and other mechanisms that will help in the breeding of rice varieties that are higher yielding, more stress tolerant and more environmentally friendly," Wing said.
The project is led by Wing, C. Robin Buell of The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) in Rockville, Md., and W. Richard McCombie of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. Funding for the project came from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health and the Department of Energy.
A portion of chromosome 10 was also sequenced by the Plant Genome Initiative at Rutgers University.
The researchers are part of a 10-nation consortium decoding the entire rice genome. Wing and his team were responsible for the entire sequence and analysis of chromosome 10 and a draft sequence of the "short arm" of chromosome 3.
The consortium published a draft sequence of the complete rice genome in Science last December that included a more conservative estimate of the number of genes in chromosome 10, the smallest in the genome.
Going from the draft to the finished version has been painstakingly precise and costly, said Buell, because the process requires considerable lab work by an extended team of research associates. There are no short cuts. The resulting view, however, is immensely clearer - "like looking at the cosmos through a regular telescope, and then looking at it through the Hubble telescope," he said.
The work demonstrates the value of pursuing the full rice sequence in detail, according to Judith Plesset, a program director in the NSF Directorate for Biological Sciences, which supported the project. "One of the lessons here is, 'Don't think you know everything simply because you've done the draft,'" she said.
Buell, Wing and their colleagues combed through molecular databases, comparing proteins in chromosome 10 with those in Arabadopsis, a model plant from the mustard family with a genome that has been completely sequenced and documented. The researchers found matches for about two-thirds of the proteins, enabling them to identify specific genes for enzyme production, binding of nucleic acids, cell growth and maintenance, cell communication, immunity, development and other functions.
On the chromosome's "short arm," however, the team found very little that matched Arabidopsis. Though much more detailed than the draft, this version is not completely finished and has seven gaps, representing about four percent of the total sequence.
"This is a result of the limitation of sequencing technology," Plesset said. "As new technologies become available, these gaps will be filled."
Thus far other members of the international consortium have completed the sequencing for rice chromosomes 1 and 4. A full sequence for chromosome 3 is expected to be announced by the end of 2004. Once the entire rice genome is sequenced, scientists say they can use it as a model for estimating gene order in the much larger genomes of maize, barley and wheat.
The National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of nearly $5 billion. National Science Foundation funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 30,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 10,000 new funding awards. The National Science Foundation also awards more than $200 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
Ag Extension Program to Focus on Turfgrass Science in Maricopa County
Part of the state's rapid growth and development has included the increased construction of more sports stadiums and recreational sports facilities. Golf courses alone in Arizona contribute more than $1.5 billion to the economy. Many of these facilities require the installation and maintenance of turfgrass. %0A
Kai Umeda, area extension agent with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, has recently assumed new responsibilities for conducting an extension program in turfgrass science in Maricopa County and adjacent counties. %0A
In his new assignment, Umeda will collaborate with extension specialists and researchers in the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' departments of plant sciences; entomology; plant pathology; and soil, water and environmental science. The goals are to research new turfgrass varieties for the desert, improve water use efficiency, and survey insect, disease and weed problems. Umeda will be the conduit for transferring technology and up-to-date information from the University's Karsten Turf Research Center in Tucson to turfgrass managers at golf courses, at sports turf and recreational facilities and in the landscape industry.%0A
%0A"Turfgrasses benefit the environment by filtering water, improving soil and air quality, moderating desert temperatures and reducing noise and glare," Umeda says. "They are aesthetically pleasing, as well. Major issues facing professional turfgrass managers include water conservation, groundwater and environmental protection, and pesticide use and safety."%0A
%0AFor the past 10 years, Umeda's applied research in weed control and pest management projects has focused on vegetable crops. He has organized outreach education field days, seminars and workshops on topics ranging from direct farm marketing to food safety. %0A
%0APrior to joining the UA in 1994, Umeda had experience in conducting turf herbicide research for private industry. He is a member of the Weed Science Society of America, where he recently spent his sabbatical leave assisting in the organization of an international conference, "Invasive Plants in Natural and Managed Systems."%0A
%0AHe has a master's degree in weed science from Southern Illinois University and an %0Aundergraduate degree in pest management from the University of California, Berkeley.%0A
%0ACooperative Extension is a statewide non-formal education network bringing research-based information into communities to help people improve their lives.%0A
|How good is this basil? A chef at one of Tucson's finer restaurants told Nelkin it's the best he's ever seen.|
Just How Good Is That Basil?
%0AThe difference couldn't be more dramatic: the basil plants in the ground outside look small and spindly compared to the luxuriant green and purple-leaved specimens growing in the retractable roof greenhouse. Part of a study exploring niche markets for fresh herbs, basil is one of several projects in progress inside this commercial grade facility at the University of Arizona's Campus Agricultural Center in Tucson. %0A
%0AInside the 1/4-acre building, plants get the best of both sun and shade depending on prevailing conditions. Too much wind? Let down the side walls. Need more sun? Roll back the flat roof a little. Somewhat less enclosed than a regular greenhouse, the retractable roof greenhouse is the next best thing to being outdoors if you're a plant, according to plant scientist Ursula Schuch. You get the ventilation and light while controlling for wind, too much sun, or cold temperatures. %0A
%0A"We can completely open or close the roof and side walls," she says. "The roof is water permeable so rain can leak through slowly--unless it's more than two inches per hour, which would be too much." Water congregates along drip lines in the spun polyethylene roofing material. Woven in two different thicknesses, the fabric provides 35 percent and 50 percent shade in an alternating arrangement down the length of the building. A black ground covering keeps out weeds and prevents crop roots from growing out of pots into the ground. Each of the six growing bays is 60 feet by 180 feet, enough to accommodate several rows of pots fitted with hydroponic tubing. %0A
%0AAll of this flexibility gives faculty and students the chance to test herbs, bedding plants, shrubs, trees and vegetables using varying amounts of solar radiation and ventilation. They use gauges to check soil temperature, relative humidity around the plant canopy; computers regulate the timing and operation of the roof panel motors and also the amount and timing of irrigation and fertilizing. %0A
%0ARetractable roof greenhouses have been around for about 15 years but are still considered relatively new, Schuch says. Most growers install them in units of one to several acres, so this one is fairly small by industry standards. She and several graduate students thus are conducting experiments using the same technology available to the nursery industry, but their current emphasis is on crops that are not currently grown in Arizona on a commercial scale. %0A
%0AThe goal is to find out what grows well in desert retractable roof greenhouses and determine the best techniques for producing high-value crops in them. Workshops and tours are offered periodically to share research results with growers. Experiments are sponsored by different organizations. %0A
%0AThe basil study is funded by the Arizona Department of Agriculture to explore the production of culinary herbs for high-end fresh-market sales to restaurants and other gourmet outlets. Schuch and graduate student Jennifer Nelkin chose basil because it's a valuable cash crop with a short shelf life. Among the finer restaurants in Phoenix and Tucson there is a demand for this high-quality herb chopped up in pesto and other dishes, and also as a garnish. The leaves need to be large, tender, flavorful, attractive and unblemished. %0A
%0AEverything in the experiment is a series of twos: the researchers are comparing basil grown in media-filled pots and in rock wool, a hydroponic medium; they are growing two types of basil, "Purple Ruffles" and the green "Genovese", under two types of shade. For comparison, the two basil cultivars are also planted in the ground outside the greenhouse. %0A
%0AIntegrated pest management techniques are used for controlling pests such as loopers. %0A
%0A"These herbs are all organically grown," Schuch says. "If we can't grow the crop organically we're not even interested." %0A
%0AEvery week Nelkin harvests leaves from the plants and weighs the yields from all the treatments. The researchers also measure the size of the leaves, essential oils and several other parameters to learn how the different environments and cultural treatments affect plant growth. %0A
%0A"We want to manipulate the root zone temperature, keeping it in the range optimum for its growth, around 65 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit," Schuch says. Temperatures higher or lower than that prevent the plant from photosynthesizing on a maximum basis and thus depress yields. The researchers are aiming to produce the maximum amount of high-quality shoot tips per plant. Next season they'll grow the basil again to come up with the optimum cultural management strategy for doing that, including calculations on a per/acre basis for inputs and outputs and production cost estimates. %0A
%0AHow good is this basil? A chef at one of Tucson's finer restaurants told Nelkin it's the best he's ever seen. %0A
%0AOther studies include testing lemon grass as a culinary herb; exploring tomato and pepper growing techniques; comparing dig dates and cold storage on performance and flowering of bareroot roses; and using integrated pest management to control rhyzoctonia (a fungus) on bedding plants. %0A
%0AFor any of these projects, the big objective is to manage the various components of the retractable roof greenhouse to maximize photosynthesis for optimum plant performance. Schuch admits that it can be a juggling act. %0A
%0A"Yet it's really exciting because there are so many questions and you have to think about how to use different strategies for each crop." %0A
The University of Arizona campus boasts hundreds of trees and unusual plants from all over the world. Current flowering displays include a kaleidoscope of color, with creamy puffballs, flamboyant yellow flowers, fuzzy pink blooms and showy purple cascades. Fragrances float on the breezes and range from scents of soft citrus to grape Kool-Aid. %0AThe campus is open to all visitors, absolutely free. A Saturday visit can delight. Stroll across the grounds in the morning, try a picnic lunch on a shady bench, or a go on a late afternoon walk. Many trees are identified with red signs.
%0AParking in any UA garage is fee on weekends, unless there is an event. The parking maps are located at http://parking.arizona.edu/visitors/.%0A
%0AThe list below will direct you to places where you can see selected plants that are currently in bloom. Color photos and maps are available at http://arboretum.arizona.edu/bloom/spring.html%0A
%0ASpring Blooms: %0AAloes - Aloe barbadensis; Aloe castanea; Aloe vera
%0AFeatures: Spikes of yellow and orange flowers, attractive to hummingbirds
%0AOrigin: Native to Africa
%0ALocations: Old Main; Integrated Learning Center; north side of Family and Consumer Sciences
%0ACitrus - various
%0AFeatures: White fragrant flowers, the signature smell of spring
%0AOrigin: Native to the Far East
%0ALocation: “Orange Walk” between Gila and Maricopa Halls; Steward Observatory
%0ASweet acacia - Acacia farnesiana
%0AFeatures: Sprays of gold pompon flowers, very aromatic.
%0AOrigin: Native to Sonoran Desert
%0ALocations: In the Integrated Learning Center courtyard; between Economics and Engineering%0Abuildings
%0ATexas Mountain Laurel - Sophora secundiflora
%0AFeatures: Drooping clusters of purple blossoms, very fragrant (smells like grape Kool-Aid!)
%0AOrigin: Native to Texas and Mexico
%0ALocations: North of Biosciences West; south of Engineering building; west of Science Library
%0APalo verde - Parkinsonia florida, Parkinsonia microphylla
%0AFeatures: Arizona state tree, green bark and yellow flowers
%0AOrigin: Native to Arizona
%0ALocations: Old Main; east of McKale Center
%0ABauhinia-leafed Acacia - Acacia crassifolia
%0AFeatures: White puffballs, very fragrant
%0AOrigin: Native to Mexico
%0ALocation: North of Cherry Avenue Garage
%0AOrchid tree - Bauhinia variegata and Bauhinia variegata 'candida'
%0AFeatures: Profuse purple or white flowers that resemble orchids
%0AOrigin: Native to India, China
%0ALocations: Southwest of Center for English as a Second Language; north of Veterinary Sciences and Microbiology building
%0AYellow Amapa - Tabebuia chrysotricha
%0AFeatures: Neon-yellow tropical flowers on bare branches
%0AOrigin: Native to the tropics
%0ALocations: South of Engineering building; east of Main Library
%0ATexas olive - Cordia boissieri
%0AFeatures: White tissue-paper flowers on dark green foliage
%0AOrigin: Native to Texas and Mexico
%0ALocations: Corner of Speedway and Cherry; northeast of Nugent building; south of Main Library %0A
%0APink bottle tree - Brachychiton x excellens
%0AFeatures: Pink, 3-inch, velvety flowers
%0AOrigin: Native to Australia.
%0ALocation: South of Biosciences West
%0ABottle brush tree - Callistemon citrinus; Callistemon australis; Callistemon viminalis
%0AFeatures: Red pendulous flowers that resemble bottle brushes
%0AOrigin: Native to Australia.
%0ALocations: Education building courtyard; northeast area of Physics and Atmospheric Sciences; south of Manzanita and Mohave residence halls; south of Engineering
%0ATo view a full campus map with all trees identified, please visit the Campus Arboretum Web site, and click on "Maps and Walks." You can search for tree species, identify any one tree, find all species from Mexico, learn what plants grow around a favorite building, or just remember what a beautiful campus we have. The site address is http://arboretum.arizona.edu%0A
As a University Distinguished Professor, Dennis Ray is honored for his longstanding and continued record of excellent contributions to undergraduate teaching over more than two decades, not only in the classroom, but also through his involvement in the University-wide general education program. He is a professor of both plant sciences and arid lands studies in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.%0A%0AAccording to his colleagues, Ray has had a powerful and positive impact on the quality of the general education program and on academic advising. He has worked with faculty at all three Arizona universities and at Arizona's community colleges in the statewide articulation effort, and in the assessment of the quality of the University of Arizona's general education curriculum.%0A%0A"I've always been very committed to teaching," says Ray, whose research focuses on the development of new crops such as guayule, guar and lesquerella for arid and semi-arid regions. "I think the next generation of students needs to know how important plants are to us so they can make informed decisions. They need to know where their food comes from, who grows it, and how plants in general are important in our lives."%0A%0AIn the classroom, this translates to steady attendance that does not decline through the semester, students say, because Ray's dedication as a teacher, tutor, mentor and scholar keeps them coming back. "He has a gift for making incredibly complex scientific concepts appear simple and straightforward," says a former student who is now a doctor at the Yale University of Medicine.%0A%0A"Dennis‚ success as a teacher is not just his ability to present interesting and clear lectures, but he also has the unique ability to motivate students to want to study and learn," adds Robert Leonard, head of the plant sciences department. "His knack for engaging students in learning is really special."%0A%0ABeyond the classroom, Ray serves as a faculty fellow for students at Cochise Hall, speaks at various colloquia, offers student-advising workshops, and is active in student honorary societies. He has mentored a large number of graduate assistants and undergraduate preceptors.%0ARay's numerous other awards include the Honors College Five Star Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching; his election as a Fellow in the American Society for Horticultural Sciences; the UA Provost's General Education Teaching Award; the College of Agriculture Faculty Teaching Award, and many other national and international honors.%0A%0AYet he says his own accomplishments are not what is most important to him. "Most significant would be some student I have reached who will do something great someday."%0A|May 10, 2004| 23|23|Green Acres on Campus (Arizona Daily Star 5/10/04)|
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ann M. Veneman has recognized Rod Wing, a University of Arizona professor of plant sciences and director of the Arizona Genomics Institute, with a 2004 USDA Honor Award for his role in decoding the rice genome. Wing and his colleagues at the UA have finished sequencing and analyzing chromosome 10 and the "short arm" of chromosome 3 of the rice genome. %0A%0AThis is the first time this award has gone to a UA faculty member.%0A%0AThe Honor Awards are the most prestigious awards given by the USDA. They recognize outstanding contributions to agriculture, to consumers of agricultural products and to the USDA's ability to serve rural America.%0A%0A"Wing's contribution in sequencing the rice genome is enormous, based on the fact that close to half the world’s population uses rice as their principal dietary component," says Eugene Sander, vice provost and dean of the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. "In addition, this sequencing information will hugely impact the improvement of cereal crops, which will benefit all of mankind."%0A%0AWing, who is a member of the UA's Institute for Biomedical Science and Biotechnology, received the award along with other members of the U.S. Rice Genome Sequencing Consortium, at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on June 25.%0A%0A
The USDA, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy all created the consortium as part of a 10-nation effort called the International Rice Genome Sequencing Project (IRGSP). The Japan-led project includes the United States, China, Taiwan, South Korea, India, Thailand, France, Brazil and the United Kingdom.%0A%0A"This is a group award," says Ed Kaleikau, national program leader of competitive grants for the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service. "Rod Wing has contributed a lot of knowledge, expertise and resources to the group effort through his leadership of the whole consortium. Not only does this project have worldwide benefit in improving a crop that feeds half the world, it also contributes to our biological understanding of other cereal grasses, including wheat, corn, oats, barley and sorghum." %0A%0AThe 12 chromosomes of the rice genome, totaling nearly 430,000,000 base pairs, were divided among the participating countries, with the United States assigned chromosomes 3, 10 and half of chromosome 11. %0A%0ALead principal investigators on the U.S. project include Wing, Richard McCombie from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, Robin Buell from the Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), Maryland, and Joachim Messing from Rutgers University, New Jersey.%0A%0A"We want to decode the rice genome to understand the regulatory mechanisms for disease resistance and drought control," Wing said. "Once we understand how this works we can design more drought-tolerant, disease-resistant crops and grow them in a more environmentally friendly way on less land. We can use fewer pesticides and less water."%0A%0AWing, who came to the UA in 2002, had worked Clemson University since 1996 on the sequencing of most of chromosome 10, which he later helped finish at the UA, together with the "short arm" of chromosome 3. The Clemson group also developed a framework to sequence the rice genome, a physical map used by the entire IRGSP in completing the sequence.%0A%0AThe milestone project involves an unprecedented world collaboration among academic, government and private sector entities from the 10 countries. The entire genetic draft has been released for full and unrestricted public access on GenBank, a National Institutes of Health database, allowing rice improvement, comparative cereal studies and basic plant research to proceed simultaneously worldwide. Rice's compact genome is considered a model plant for research in cereals.%0A%0A"We are very pleased that Rod Wing and his colleagues are receiving this special recognition for their work on the rice genome," says Robert Leonard, head of the UA plant sciences department. "The full impact of this accomplishment will be realized as scientists throughout the world use the genome sequence to discover knowledge and employ the genes to improve crop yields. %0A%0A"This accomplishment represents an essential step in addressing and solving problems of food production for a growing human population, Leonard said.%0A%0AThe IRGSP will finish sequencing the rice genome by year's end. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has designated 2004 as "The Year of Rice." %0A|July 15, 2004| 25|25|Noxious Weed/Invasive Plant Summit|State and federal rules determine that a non-native plant can be considered a “noxious weed” when it has a “negative impact on agriculture, navigation, fish, wildlife, or public health.” The Arizona Department of Agriculture is responsible for regulating noxious weeds, which often can be controlled but not eradicated. In fact, noxious weeds in general are notoriously difficult to control. In 1998 sweet resin bush, which is native to Africa, was officially listed on Arizona’s State Noxious Weed List.%0A%0AThe Arizona Noxious Weed/Invasive Plant Summit will be held November 3-4, 2004 at Four Points Sheraton-Metrocenter in Phoenix. This year's theme is Coming Together to Show Progress in Managing Invasive Weeds. The Four Points Sheraton is on the west side of Interstate 17 between Peoria and Dunlap Avenues in north Phoenix.%0A%0ACo-sponsored by the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension and the Southwest Vegetation Management Association (SWVMA), the summit will include a series of discussions about preventing, controlling and restoring economic and environmental problems resulting from invasive colonies of pest plant species, a panel discussion on national issues, programs and projects and a review of a working draft of an Arizona strategic plan for preventing and abating noxious weed-invasive plant problems.%0A%0AAdditional activities include the SWVMA banquet, annual business meeting and poster session. CEU credits are being requested for both Arizona and New Mexico licensed pesticide applicator training requirements. Applications for a total of 10 hours credit are pending for attendance both days. Requests for both Arizona structural and agricultural license credits are in progress.%0A%0AMail in registration received before November 1, 2004 is $120.00 which includes the banquet or $100.00 if you do not attend the banquet. Registration at the door is $135.00. Send registration fee to Ed Northam, UA Cooperative Extension – Maricopa County, 4341 E. Broadway Road, Phoenix, AZ 85040-8807. Checks should be made payable to Southwest Vegetation Management Association.%0A%0AIf you need further information email email@example.com, (480) 947-3882 or (602) 470-8086 ext. 843 (voice mail only).%0A%0A|October 14, 2004| 26|26|UA working to plug faculty brain drain (from Tucson Citizen 10/15/04)|BLAKE MORLOCK
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NORMA JEAN GARGASZ/Tucson Citizen%0AUniversity of Arizona professor Vicki Chandler, a world-leading plant geneticist, stayed at UA because it made a good counteroffer to one from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research includes looking at the genes in corn, or maize.%0A
%0ALast year, UA kept 60 percent of the 103 faculty who had offers to leave. In 2002-03, the university kept 55 percent of 134 faculty with offers.%0A%0AAnd this year should be even better because UA has set aside $4.3 million to keep key people such as Chandler.%0A%0AUA President Peter Likins said the outgoing tide of professors is beginning to come in.%0A%0A"We've lost more than we should have in the last 10 years, but we are beginning to win more than we lose," he said.%0A%0AMoney is part of the picture.%0A%0AUA's salaries for tenure-track faculty are in the bottom 17 percent nationally, according to a survey by the American Association of University Professors.%0A%0AIt would take $47.2 million annually to bring UA salaries to the middle of the pack, according to a personnel report prepared for the Board of Regents last month.%0A%0AComparatively, the $4.3 million is a "tiny little number," but it's a good start, Likins said.%0AThe battles will continue as universities try to pluck the best people from one another to improve reputations and bring in the cash.%0A%0A"There's lots of demand for the best talent because we operate at the highest levels of research," Garcia said. "It's sort of like the NBA. It's a very competitive deal."%0A%0AJust as superstar athletes know the market value for their talents, professors know the value of their research.%0A%0AThough they often aren't driven by paychecks, good cancer researchers can earn more in the private sector. And UA researchers don't like seeing 80 percent of their peers making more money for other teams, Garcia said.%0A|October 19, 2004| 27|27|BIO5 Partners with Biomedical Engineering at the University Of Arizona|
%0AThe BIO5 Institute for Collaborative Bioresearch and the University of Arizona's Biomedical Engineering (BME) Program have jointly announced their partnership.%0A%0AStuart K. Williams, head of the BME program, said, “BIO5 is part of the biology revolution that is rapidly incorporating engineering analysis and synthesis design approaches. As engineers, we work through a ‘measure, model, manipulate’ paradigm. As molecular components become easier to manipulate, our approach will be invaluable in understanding and predicting the effects of these manipulations. Quantitative methods now permeate all of biology."%0A%0AThe partnership will further BIO5's multidisciplinary approach to solving complex scientific problems of medical importance.%0A%0AVicki L. Chandler, director of BIO5, said, “I am very excited about the inclusion of biomedical engineering into BIO5’s portfolio of research initiatives This will further BIO5’s vision of bringing together distinct disciplines to form collaborative teams to tackle difficult biological problems.”%0A%0AThe Division of Biomedical Engineering is part of UA's Arizona Research Laboratories. BME faculty, who work at the interface between engineering and medicine, often have appointments in both the College of Engineering and the College of Medicine. Now they will also have faculty appointments in BIO5.%0A%0ABME's areas of expertise include imaging technologies and materials science. BME has established an international reputation in regenerative medicine, an emerging field that focuses on the repair or replacement of damaged tissues and organs. The BME program also provides students a superior interdisciplinary educational opportunity. Chandler said, "It will be terrific having BME faculty in the new Keating building, which will serve as the BIO5 hub once it is finished."%0A%0AThe Thomas W. Keating building, future home of BIO5, will house a diversity of researchers and provide state-of-the-art laboratories. The building's very design will facilitate interactions between researchers from different disciplines, thereby promoting cross-disciplinary approaches. BME faculty will have labs in the Keating building.%0A%0AUA's biomedical engineers already work with companies in the private sector, so the new BIO5/BME partnership will further UA's effort to bring the inventions and discoveries developed within the university to market for the public good. In addition, the new partnership will aid the state’s goal of expanding economic development by commercializing intellectual property.%0A%0ATucson companies that have benefited from UA's expertise in biomedical engineering include Biopsy Sciences, Medipacs, SEBRA, Arizona Microsystems and CellzDirect. In addition, the recent start-up of IKEN Tissue Therapeutics by BME faculty is based, in part, on UA patents that are pending. Two more companies are under development and are planned for incorporation this year.%0A|October 20, 2004| 28|28|Regents' Professor Brian Larkins Outlines Challenges to Feeding the World|
%0AThe rate of growth of the human population has begun to decline, but we still face the prospect of needing to feed 9 billion people by the year 2050. How will we do this in the face of a diminishing supply of arable land and water, an ever increasing loss of top soil and environmental pollution resulting from current agricultural practices? Plant breeders believe we have not yet reached the maximum potential yield of cereal crops, but discovering ways to further increase their production and nutritional value is a challenge to scientists around the world.%0A%0AA variety of technological innovations are currently being applied to meet this challenge that include traditional approaches of genetic engineering through plant breeding, as well as so-called novel techniques of "genetic engineering." Many authorities believe a combination of these technologies will allow us to produce not only more but also better, more nutritional food, while at the same time reducing the impact of agriculture on the environment.%0A%0AHowever, others are greatly opposed to these new technologies. They have serious concerns about the nutritional and environmental safety of "genetically modified organisms," or GMOs, and their activities have greatly slowed the development of these crops.%0A%0ABrian Larkins studies the regulation of seed development and the synthesis of storage proteins in developing maize seeds. His research has significant implications for improving human nutrition, particularly in developing countries where maize is a dietary staple.%0A%0ALarkins was designated Regents' Professor for his extraordinary record of achievement in research, undergraduate and graduate education, and service to the campus and his profession. He is an endowed Porterfield Professor of Plant Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and an adjunct professor in the department of molecular and cellular biology. One of a handful of faculty members in Arizona to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences, Larkins has also earned numerous awards and honors.%0A%0AAs a researcher he has written more than 160 scientific publications, and has served as editor-in-chief of The Plant Cell, the premier journal of plant molecular biology. Larkins has played a leadership role in the development of plant molecular biology and plant agricultural biotechnology.%0A%0AFor further information or to request disability related arrangements, please call Anne Marx at 626-8121, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the web site at http://provost.web.arizona.edu %0A
Three years ago 21-year-old Josh Farr was a microbiology major at the University of Arizona, desperate for some laboratory experience on campus. The job he found took him to a summer cornfield. There, he learned to cross different varieties of maize and collect corn tissue samples for DNA testing in the department of plant sciences, in the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.%0A%0A"It was a shock to me that this was science," Farr recalls. "I was out in the field sweating with long sleeves, pants and a hat." %0A%0ASince then, he's come to appreciate the balance between the laboratory and outdoor work. He has prepared and isolated DNA samples for researchers to use and even participated in the adaptation of protocol for high throughput DNA extraction, while still performing periodic fieldwork.%0A%0AFarr, who graduated last spring, is now a full-time research technician in the program where he started as a student. He and other students involved in the gene regulation have had the chance to explore natural gene silencing systems in maize, where heredity is somehow controlled -- not through the changes in DNA sequence, but through proteins that interact with the sequence to reversibly silence genes.%0A%0AFindings in the lab are contributing to a better understanding of plant physiology, development and evolution, and also have practical applications in agriculture and in biology.%0A%0AThis type of research requires lots of plant tissue collection. As an undergraduate laboratory assistant, Farr spent more than two years collecting maize leaves, bringing them to the lab, freezing them and isolating the DNA for researchers to use in their experiments.%0A%0A"I still have a lot of responsibility for the fieldwork," Farr says. "We plant, tag, sample and cross the corn, and then 40 to 45 days after pollination we harvest thousands of ears of corn." He does this twice annually. He happily went to Molokai, Hawaii, for several weeks to handle a crop there and work with prominent maize researchers. %0A%0AIn addition to increasing his laboratory skills, three years of analytical work in a high-powered scientific setting have changed the way Farr thinks. He often takes problems home in his head, trying to figure out why they didn't work.%0A%0A"Through the research, I've learned to think on my own, which basically applies to everything I do in life," Farr says. "If you think through a protocol, you have to think through every step to see where it goes. Why fear failing? If you fail, you change your protocol and adapt it to the next trial. One goal of mine is to be fearless when doing research." %0A%0AFor Farr, his research experience has not only expanded his skills and approach to problem-solving, but also his career goals. Someday he'd like to get an advanced degree in public health and possibly work at the Centers for Disease Control.%0A%0AIn the meantime, he is a valued member of a research program that has given him the opportunity to set his sights a little higher than they were before he first entered that cornfield.%0A%0A"The most important thing is that I went from hardly knowing how to pour solutions to adapting protocols and thinking on my own," Farr says.%0A
There's sad news about one of the oldest members of the family at The University of Arizona in Tucson. The UA Campus Arboretum says that one of the tallest boojums in the state of Arizona is dying.%0A%0AThe historic boojum (Fouquieria columnaris) is in the Krutch Garden at the center of the UA Mall. It was planted sometime in the late 1920s or early 1930s after a UA-sponsored collecting trip to Baja California. The striking plants are native to the Baja peninsula and Sonora. Normally they live several hundred years, but, like all plants, are subject to freezes, water stresses and disease.%0A%0ARobert Perrill, a local grower and owner of Boojums Unlimited, spotted the diseased base of the boojum on March 3. Perrill pointed out that the softened bark and soft tissue damage around the entire base and central core of the plant will prevent it from taking water and nutrients. More important, however, is the degree of the damage, which encircles the stem and compromises the structural integrity of the 37-foot plant, making it a risk to people in the area and to other plants in the Krutch Garden.%0A%0AMary Olsen, a Cooperative Extension specialist in the Division of Plant Pathology/Microbiology in the UA plant sciences department, currently is analyzing samples of bark, wood and soft tissue. Olsen wants to establish exactly which organism might have caused the decay. Her findings will indicate how long the pathogen has been at work on the plant (estimates range from six months to six years or more), and whether the pathogen is likely to spread to the other two boojum trees in Krutch Garden.%0A%0AOne encouraging aspect of this unfortunate situation is that there is a chance the giant boojum can be cloned. A local nurseryman has agreed to take the four uppermost tips and, assuming they are disease-free, will try to propagate them. This effort, which will be rigorously documented, is a rare opportunity to evaluate the methods of regenerating boojums, to try saving the precise genotype of the century-old plant, and, if successful, to re-introduce those rooted cuttings into the Krutch Garden.%0A
The Campus Arboretum will be documenting the entire process - from discovery of the disease to removal of the plant. Later on, photos and some explanation will be available on the Campus Arboretum web site http://arboretum.arizona.edu.%0A%0AUA Grounds Services, under direction of Deryl Smith, will begin removing the boojum on Tuesday March 15, beginning about 7 a.m. (time depends on grounds crew schedule). Campus Arboretum Director Elizabeth Davison will answer questions from the press or from other campus units at that time. Anyone is welcome to observe the removal from afar. The fenced safety area will restrict visitors during the process.%0A %0AContact Elizabeth Davison at (520) 621-7074 or by e-mail at email@example.com.|March 9, 2005| 31|31|In Memoriam: John S. Niederhauser|John S. Niederhauser, internationally renowned scientist and University of Arizona adjunct professor of plant pathology since 1985, died August 12 at age 88. He was a pioneer in international cooperation for the improvement of agricultural productivity worldwide. Known throughout the world as “Mr. Potato” for developing potato varieties resistant to late blight disease, his work has impacted agricultural production in more than 60 countries. %0A%0A “In 1990, in recognition of his significant contributions to improving the world food supply and alleviating hunger and malnutrition, John was awarded the prestigious World Food Prize, the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in agriculture,” said Eugene Sander, vice provost and dean of The University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The UA was a major sponsor of Niederhauser’s nomination for this honor. %0A%0A In 1946, Niederhauser joined the newly formed Rockefeller Foundation Mexican Agricultural Program. He spent 15 years working in Mexico on corn, wheat and bean production. During this time, he began to study potato production in Mexico. His work over the next several decades focused on the improvement of potato production in many developing countries. %0A%0A Due to the success of this work, the International Potato Center, now supported by CGIAR, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, was established in Lima, Peru in 1971. In 1978, John established the Regional Cooperative Potato Program (PRECODEPA) in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. This cooperative program has grown to include 12 countries. Similar programs have been established throughout the world. %0A%0A One of Niederhauser’s most important scientific contributions was the development of potato varieties with resistance to late blight disease, caused by the fungal pathogen Phytopthora infestans. This pathogen was responsible for many potato disease outbreaks around the world, including the Irish potato famine during the 1840s. %0A%0A During his research, Niederhauser discovered that the source of the pathogen responsible for the Irish potato famine came from Mexico. More importantly, he discovered many wild inedible potato species in Mexico that possessed a durable field resistance to the late blight fungus. He began breeding work using these resistant lines which resulted in a collection of commercially useful resistant potato varieties. These new varieties allowed subsistence farmers around the world to be able to grow potatoes for the first time with few or no chemical fungicide applications. %0A%0A Niederhauser’s work resulted in the establishment of the potato as the fourth major food crop worldwide. As a result of this work, potato production in Mexico increased from 134,000 metric tons in 1948 to greater than 1 million metric tons by 1982. %0A%0A In addition to his efforts with potato late blight, one of Niederhauser’s greatest contributions was also the large number of scientists and leaders he trained during his career. More than 180 international scientists came and worked with him in his Mexican field plots. He spent considerable time with students as well. %0A%0A “Over the past 10 years John always gave the annual capstone lecture for graduate students in the fall introductory plant pathology course here in Tucson,” said Hans Vanetten, professor in the Division of Plant Pathology. “It was a chance for these students in agricultural science to interact with someone who had really made a difference in agriculture in the world.” Niederhauser’s last lecture at the UA was in 2004. “I will always be grateful for having Dr. John Niederhauser as an advisor in my studies at the University of Arizona, “ said Ramon Jaime-García, who was the last UA graduate student Niederhauser advised as an adjunct professor. “This was a great opportunity to meet and interact with one of the world’s greatest plant pathologists. John will be remembered not only for his groundbreaking scientific contributions, but also for his concern for and actions on behalf of people. No matter what happened, he always looked happy and enjoyed meeting with people. With his departure from this world, we not only lose a great scientist, but also a friend who cared for and advocated younger generations.” %0A%0A “John was always a pleasure to interact with. His sense of humor, storytelling and compassion about science--and more importantly about all people--made him an irreplaceable treasure,” said Leland Pierson, chair of the Division of Plant Pathology. %0A%0A Niederhauser won numerous awards throughout his career. More recent recognition includes the 1991 American Institute of Biological Sciences Distinguished Scientist Award; the 1996 Medal of Merit by the Ministry of Agricultural Development, Panama; 2001 Honorary Doctor’s Degree by the National Agricultural University, Mexico; 2002 Honorary Diploma by the Department of Agriculture, State Government of Mexico; 2002 Honorary Recognition of Outstanding Contribution by the Global Initiative on Late Blight (GILB); 2002 Honorary Doctorate by Oregon State University; and Honoree in 2003 at the 50th Anniversary Meeting of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, Costa Rica. %0A%0A Niederhauser’s strong commitment to international cooperation and education led to the establishment a number of endowments, including the John and Ann Niederhauser Endowment (JANE), the American Phytopathological Society (APS) International Service Award, and the John S. Niederhauser APS student travel fund to support student travel to the APS annual meetings. %0A%0A Recently, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at The University of Arizona established the John S. Niederhauser Endowed Chair in Plant Pathology to honor his many contributions to international agriculture. The honorary chair of the endowment committee is Norman E. Borlaug, the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize winner credited with starting the Green Revolution in the 1960s, and founder of the World Food Prize. The endowed chair will emphasize teaching, research and extension activities designed to foster increased international cooperation in agricultural projects in plant science and plant pathology. %0A%0A “With John's passing, international agriculture has lost a giant,” said Merle H. Jensen, retired associate director of the CALS agricultural experiment station and active chair of the endowment committee. “He was passionate in his concern for students and their ability to further their professional development. His care and concern for Mexico and her people was tireless and his impact will out live all of us.” %0A%0A ### %0A%0AContact: Leland Pierson (520) 621-9419, firstname.lastname@example.org%0A%0AFor information on the John S. Niederhauser Endowed Chair in Plant Pathology contact Merle Jensen at (520) 621-5242, email@example.com|August 19, 2005| 32|32|Medicinal Herb Research at 6th Avenue Greenhouse (Article from Tucson Citizen)|%0A%0A
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Photos by GARY GAYNOR/Tucson Citizen%0A
ABOVE: Tracy Everingham checks a drip line on a ginger plant inside a greenhouse on top of the University of Arizona's Sixth Street Parking Garage. Various lines of herbs yield different amounts of medicinal compounds.%0A
%0A"We are looking at ginger and turmeric," said David R. Gang, 36, assistant professor of plant sciences in the UA College of Agriculture, working under a five-year National Science Foundation grant. "We have several different lines in the 300 plants there.
%0A"What my lab is trying to do is figure out how these plants make the compounds that are responsible for these medicinal and flavor properties the plants have," he said.
%0AVarious lines of the plants are included in the series of experiments. Each is periodically examined to discover what happens with the production of these medicinal compounds, he said. "Some are high producers of compounds and some are low producers, and we are looking at the differences and the genetic reason for this."
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GARY GAYNOR/Tucson Citizen%0A
Greenhouse supervisor Arturo Baez checks a monitor for one of the greenhouse rooms atop the Sixth Street Parking Garage. Information from sensors can be accessed by Baez anywhere he has a computer so he can make changes to a greenhouse.%0A
%0A"Ginger and turmeric ... have been used for thousands of years in India and China to treat arthritis and other inflammatory conditions like irritable-bowel syndrome.
%0A"They also have antioxidant properties, and ginger has some analgesic properties and might help with migraines," he added. "It's also a good anti-nausea drug.
%0A"Turmeric is used in chemotherapeutic regimens to help people to recover better, and it helps inhibit cancer growth too," Gang said. "It actually becomes an effective component of the treatment itself, and it tastes good too.
%0A"It doesn't take a large dose," he said. "You'd take a dietary supplement each day." Or just go to the store and buy some in bulk, he suggested.
%0AGang's work is only one of several research projects under way in the greenhouse on the UA's Sixth Street Parking Garage, said Tracy N. Everingham and Arturo Baez, who make sure the facilities are properly operated and maintained.
%0A"We oversee the plant nutrition, irrigation, lighting and other issues," Everingham said. Some of the other projects on the rooftop include studies on corn, tomatoes and petunias, added Baez.|September 2, 2005| 33|33|Hydroponic Tomatoes|
Dead-heads for flower power%0AAdvice by John P. Begeman%0AArizona Daily Star%0A5/21/06%0A%0AThe correct way to dead-head faded flowers is to remove them by cutting off the entire flower structure (petals and the ovary flower base). Do this using sharp scissors or hand pruners, and cut the flower stem just below the base of the blossom.%0A%0AIn general, flowers that respond best to dead-heading are those with rather large blooms. These include roses, geraniums, marigolds, cosmos, dahlias and zinnias. Petunias respond best to a shearing back of the entire plant, flowers and stems, when the plant becomes too sprawling and leggy. When cutting roses, always trim back to a five-leaf leaflet to encourage the formation of new flowering shoots.%0A%0AMany perennials also can be stimulated to bloom for longer periods by dead-heading. These include lavender, guara, California daisy, Angelita daisy, desert marigold, chocolate flower, coreopsis and purple aster. When in doubt, go ahead and remove the spent flowers of any variety. Chances are that it will encourage more blooming to some degree.%0A%0AIn addition to cutting off faded blooms, supplying sufficient amounts of phosphorous also will stimulate continued, abundant blooms. Phosphorous is the middle of the three numbers on the fertilizer label, the first being nitrogen and the last potassium. Flowering-plant foods generally contain a higher percentage of phosphorous. So a typical formulation for flowers might be something like 5-10-5 or 6-15-8. Some superbloom products have much higher levels of phosphorous, sometimes up to 50 percent of the formulation.%0A%0AIt really doesn't matter how high the phosphorous level in a fertilizer is, as long as it contains some amount and the label directions are followed. Recommendations will call for making larger applications of lower-percentage phosphorous fertilizers and smaller applications of ones with greater levels of phosphorous.%0A%0ATo be effective, phosphorous fertilizers must be mixed into the soil. Unlike nitrogen, phosphorous cannot be watered into the soil. It must be physically mixed into the root zone. In the case of seasonal flowers, phosphorous can be mixed into the soil before planting. With perennial flowers, the best that can be done is to scratch the phosphorous into the top inch or two of soil. There, the shallower feeder roots can absorb the nutrient.%0A%0AIn containers, the potting soil is light and loose, with lots of pore spaces for phosphorous to physically move through. So phosphorous can be applied to the surface of the soil in pots, and it will move down into the soil with watering. Water-soluble plant foods with phosphorous are a good choice for container fertilization, as are beaded, time-release fertilizer products for flowering plants.|May 23, 2006| 35|35|UA Antarctic vegetables|
Arizona Daily Star%0AAssociated Press%0A2/15/07%0A
A plant virus identified for the first time last fall on Arizona and Sonora melon and squash crops has the potential to cause severe damage on upcoming crops. Cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus, CYSDV, can infect members of the botanical family Cucurbitaceae, including all types of melons, summer and winter squash, pumpkins, gourds and cucumbers. Severe commercial damage occurred in 2006 on melons in southern Arizona, and on melons and squash in Sonora, Mexico.
%0A%0A"What I observed in the cucurbit crop in Mexico was astounding - one-hundred percent infection and extremely severe symptoms in watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, spaghetti squash, acorn and kabocha squash, and zucchini," says Judith K. Brown, virologist and whitefly vector biologist in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at The University of Arizona. She isolated and identified the virus from plant samples submitted to her by growers both in Yuma, Ariz., and Sonora, Mexico.
%0A%0ACYSDV symptoms develop first on older leaves and mimic water stress. Interveinal chlorosis - a yellowing between the veins - streaks the leaves, which later turn bright yellow. Small green spots develop on the leaves of certain varieties. As the plant's internal transport system breaks down, it tries to save itself by dropping older leaves. Without enough leaves, the plant's vigor is reduced and it can't support and nourish the fruit.
%0A%0A"The fruits are smaller, not as sweet, and don't ship or store as well," Brown says. "Plants do not produce the expected yields, and the quality is reduced. Last September, growers in Caborca, Mexico, and in Yuma said they didn't get the size or the sugar content. No shipper is going to take a fruit that's not ripe."
%0A%0AMilas Russell, who grows melons in Yuma and in Imperial Valley, Calif., reported losing nearly 60 percent of his Yuma cantaloupe and honeydew crop last fall. Some of the plant samples Brown analyzed came from Russell's fields.
%0A%0ALike the recently identified Tomato yellow leaf curl virus, TYLCV, Cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus is transmitted by the B and Q biotypes of the sweet potato whitefly, Bemicia tabaci. Whiteflies feed on leaves and transfer the viruses through their saliva. However, the two viruses belong to entirely different families and thus infect different plant species. Brown says more information is needed on the extent of the CYSDV host range.
%0A%0ACYSDV was first identified in cucumber and melon crops in the Middle East more than 15 years ago and in cucumber and melon plantings in Spain about 10 years ago. Brown and others identified the virus in Central America and in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas, in 2003-2004. The Arizona and Mexico infections are the first to be documented in squash and watermelon crops.
%0A%0AGrowers started reporting the first virus symptoms in Yuma and Imperial in September, and Brown's lab identified the virus in October 2006. The Agricultural College at the University of Sonora also contacted Brown and sent photos of symptoms in watermelon, cantaloupe and squash to identify.
%0A%0A"There was one report of symptoms in the Phoenix area but samples were not received from those farms so we are not certain that the virus was present there," Brown says. "It seemed that every crop planted over a six-week period early in the fall was infected in succession. And this wasnâ€™t even a heavy year for whitefly. Beginning with the plantings in August, the symptoms hit every three weeks over the entire region in a wave that seemed to move from Caborca to Yuma and Imperial Valley."
%0A%0ADisease incidence appeared to vary depending on the time of planting, with the early-season fields in Mexico experiencing approximately 60 to 80 percent infection, and mid- to late-season plantings at 100 percent, Brown says. All of the symptomatic plants in Mexico were heavily infested with the whitefly.
%0A%0ABrown says a virus like CYSDV doesn't move across state or country lines without assistance. It has to be moved either in infected plants (seedlings) or by whiteflies on plants infected or that are migrating between locations.
%0A%0A"A source of infection that cannot be ruled out is the potential for introductions resulting from the movement of plants between states, countries, even regions," she says. "Through these practices, we are moving increasing numbers of exotic viruses and vectors, initially associated with introductions through international trade. This year, we are contending with two exotic viruses at the same time - the Cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus, and the Tomato yellow leaf curl virus."
%0A%0AControl is difficult because no chemical or biological controls currently exist for either of the viruses. Stepping up water and fertilizer and early season insecticide applications to reduce vector populations may help, but these are expensive practices, compromising the producers' ability to grow a sustainable crop, according to Brown.
%0A %0A"We donâ€™t know if the virus infects wild cucurbit or other uncultivated hosts - it may be symptomless in some plants while causing symptoms in others," she says. "The wider the range, the harder it is to control the virus."
%0A%0ABrown suggests that growers buy virus-free transplants or start their own from seed, and consider maintaining a host-free season in the summer by withholding plantings. Coordination is now under way between producers in cucurbit growing areas. Growers from Arizona, California and Mexico formed a research committee in January to survey fields through the spring and summer to determine virus carry-through from previous seasons. Brown's virus diagnostic lab at the UA will analyze plant samples submitted from throughout southern Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. To create a badly needed host-free period - the only practical solution to controlling the disease when resistant varieties are not available - growers will decide how long to delay planting a crop and when an infected crop should be removed.
%0A%0AThe status of the disease and the whitefly populations on Mexico's west coast is highly significant because winds can blow whiteflies carrying the virus from south to north, and when they reach Sonora the winds move them northward into Arizona and California," Brown says. "That's why we need to work together. It's all one region. Our interest is in solving the problem on a regional basis."
%0A%0AFor more information, contact Judith K. Brown at 520-621-1402 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Tom Beal and Jane Erikson%0AARIZONA DAILY STAR%0ATucson, Arizona %7C Published: 05.06.2007%0A%0AHaley Fryling was enjoying a cup of coffee Saturday morning, watching the world outside her window, when she suddenly saw a massive pine tree drifting across the sky.%0A%0A"I was just sitting there having coffee when all of a sudden I'm like, 'Oh,' " said Fryling.%0A%0AFour stately Aleppo pines on the lawn outside the University of Arizona's McKale Center, on the other side of North Campbell Avenue from Fryling's home, were moved to make room for two practice basketball and volleyball courts.%0A%0AThe daylong move of the pines, each about 65-feet tall and boxed in 13-foot-square containers, 5 1/2 feet deep, went off almost without a hitch, said Les Shipley of Civano Nursery, which was hired for the transplant.%0A%0A"A water main broke, a water main that wasn't supposed to be there, right under tree Number 4, but we got it taken care of," Shipley said.%0A%0AOne of the Aleppos held an impressively large hawk's nest with three eggs in it, guarded by what were presumed to be the parent hawks. One of the birds took a swipe at Civano worker Jeff Peterson as he was high up in a cherry picker attaching cables to Aleppo No. 2.%0A%0A"They're back in their nest now, and they're really happy," Shipley said.%0A%0AThe transplanted pines, if they successfully take root in their new home, will provide instant shade for a new plaza between the practice courts and McKale Center arena.%0A%0A"There is obviously no guarantee, but we feel it's important to the neighbors and the campus, and we have every reason to believe we'll be successful," said Rodney Mackey, project manager.%0A%0ASusan Ingram was among the dozen or so spectators who watched from the McKale Center walkway as Aleppo No. 2 was lifted and carried to its new place on the lawn.%0A%0A"I think it's wonderful they're trying to preserve them," she said.%0A%0AThe move, which required rental of a 250-ton crane, added $66,000 to the cost of the UA's latest expansion of athletic facilities, which also includes additions to the gymnastics practice facility and a new diving well and 10-meter platform for the swimming program. The overall budget for the project is $20 million, Mackey said.%0A%0AThe trees will give the project an instant maturity, he said. "It will make an enormous difference in the plaza in front of the practice facility," Mackey said. "We feel they're almost a cultural resource. They are a horticultural resource at the very least," he said.%0A%0AThe trees were valued at $100,000 by four arborists who were asked to examine them, said Elizabeth "Libby" Davison, director of the UA Campus Arboretum.%0A%0AThe entire campus is designated as an arboretum, which requires the UA to save trees and plants whenever possible.%0A%0ADavison said the worth of the trees goes well beyond the arborists' estimate. They were originally grouped on the lawn in the 1970s as the UA expanded east and removed trees from the lawns of homes slated for demolition.%0A%0AShipley said he estimates the trees' ages at about 60 to 70 years. They should live at least that long in their new setting, he said.%0A%0AThe four Aleppos, weighing about 90,000 pounds each (including soil box), are the largest trees he's moved, said Shipley. He said his company moved a 40,000-pound hackberry on campus three years ago. "That damn thing never knew it got moved," he said. "It never dropped a leaf, and they're very fussy trees."%0A%0AShipley said moving the trees is worth it. "The campus is a registered arboretum. You just can't chop and mulch four specimen trees if there's nothing wrong with them," he said.%0A%0AAleppos are Mediterranean region trees that do well in Arizona, said Davison. Though not native, they are common in the area and were a popular landscape tree in the neighborhoods around the UA, she said. They tie the campus in with the skyline across Campbell where Aleppos dot the yards of the Sam Hughes Neighborhood.%0A%0AThere are other traditions to honor, said Davison. The McKale lawn is where the band practices and where pickup games of all sorts get played. The trees have shaded athletes and band members for four decades, she said.%0A%0A"They're not native," said Doug Koppinger of Trees for Tucson, "but they sure are nice-sized and historic. They make a lot of shade, and these should certainly survive transplanting. It's worth the effort," he said.%0A%0AKoppinger said he couldn't think of a larger tree being moved in Tucson.%0A%0AThe Davey Tree Expert Co., headquartered in Kent, Ohio, claims the world record for such things, a 75-foot-tall white oak in New York state that weighed more than 1 million pounds.%0A%0AIts next largest move was a live oak in Florida that weighed 353 tons and had a root ball 42 feet in diameter. Movement of that tree was featured in National Geographic's April 2006 edition, said Elaine Mattern, spokeswoman for the company.%0A%0AContact reporters Tom Beal at 573-4158 or email@example.com and Jane Erikson at 573-4118 or firstname.lastname@example.org.%0A%0AThis story can be found online at the Arizona Daily Star site: http://www.azstarnet.com/allheadlines/181755.php|May 30, 2007| 44|44|Oleanders jeapordized by bacterium from insect|