It’s a fungus that can devastate an entire grape crop from leaves to fruit, eliminating entire yields: powdery mildew. The fear of powdery mildew leads to frequent fungicide applications, but graduate student Soon Li Teh (Applied Plant Science, Ph.D.) hopes for a better way to control it. Advised by professors Jim Luby and Adrian Hegeman, he is combining DNA marker-assisted breeding with metabolomics to speed up the selection process towards powdery mildew-resistant wine grape varieties.
As Jack Pahl (B.S. Horticulture ’14) picks up a slice of pizza and heads to the table at the front of 310 Alderman Hall, he admits this is the first time he’s been back to campus since his graduation. Since leaving the U he’s been hard at work at Pahl’s Market Garden Center in Apple Valley, where he’s learning the ropes to manage the 6th-generation family-owned farm. What brought him back for his first visit to Saint Paul was the chance to sit on the department’s inaugural alumni panel to share with students the the lessons he’s learned since graduation.
What sparked your interest in a career working with plants? Many people can trace their interest in plants back to one or two people. Now you have a chance to get the next generation interested in horticulture. CFANS has started an exciting opportunity called the Alumni Ambassador Program, which invites alumni to share their professional and collegiate experiences with students who are looking to explore careers in the food, agricultural, and natural resource sciences.
The structures of today morph into history alongside the innovations of tomorrow. This idea lays the groundwork behind the exhibition “Still . . . Life,” a collaboration between three professors, including Neil Anderson from the Department of Horticultural Science currently viewable at the Weisman Art Museum. During the 2010–2011 school year, when two of the artists were on Fulbright sabbaticals in the Czech Republic, the three collaborators traveled to Jewish cemeteries around Bohemia and Moravia as an alternate way to explore the history of the Holocaust than the better-known concentration camps.
Vervet monkeys have specific alarm calls for leopards, snakes, and eagles. Blackbirds give off a high seee call when birds of prey are nearby. And plants get…gassy? Over the last 30 years research has shown that plants, much like animals, ‘scream’ at each other when being attacked by pests through the specific gasses they give off. Recent findings in John Erwin’s lab, however, indicate that these gasses do more than just warn nearby plants to be on high alert: they also call in beneficial insects.
Like what you see? Many of the stories on the website are featured in our newsletter Horticulture. You can download a PDF of the most recent newsletter or fill out this online form to receive the next edition in print or via email.
Kermit Olson Lecture and Reception
The Kermit A. Olson Awards Ceremony and Lecture, held annually in the spring, is our biggest departmental event. All are invited to attend an appetizer reception, special lecture from an invited guest, and an awards ceremony. The 2015 event was held on April 1, 2015. See pictures of the event and of our scholarship winners on Facebook.
Have a Story?
We’re always looking for new stories to include in our alumni newsletter. If you’re a current member of the department or an alumni and you’re doing something interesting, tell us about it by emailing Echo Martin at email@example.com
Horticulture has been in circulation bi-annually since spring of 2011. Check out all the previous issues, as well as older news stories, in the news archive.