We are pleased to announce that after a thorough internal and external review process, 8 awards have been made to fund exceptionally promising, innovative materials research on campus through the 2019 CAPS Seed Grant Program.
The awardees/colleges are listed here with additional information below:
- Richard P. Dick (CFAES)/ Christine Charles (CFAES)/ Yueh-Fen Li (ASC)/ Laura Mason (CFAES)/ Virginia I. Rich (ASC)- $60,076
- Jonathan Jacobs (CFAES)/ Jules Butchacas (CFAES)/ Dave Mackey (CFAES)/ Veronica Roman-Reyna/ Jason Slot (CFAES)/ Pearlly Yan (COM)- $74,923
Team Members: Ankush Prashar, Jessica Winter
Title: In situ measurement of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal activity in response to controlled release nutrient patches
Lay Summary: We can effectively promote soil health, sustainable agriculture, and reduce chemical use by enhancing positive interactions between crops and soil microbes. We aim to develop new experimental models and materials to discover, explain, and predict the kinetics of nutrient uptake by arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi to plants at multiple scales.
Team Members: Christine Charles, Yueh-Fen Li, Laura Mason, Virginia I. Rich,
Title: Shrub-Crop-Microbiome Interactions: A Novel Rhizosphere Alliance to Mitigate In-Season Drought in the Sahel
Lay Summary: Globally, drought contributes greatly to food insecurity, and is increasing under climate change. Some farmer practices increase crop resilience to drought. We will characterize the mechanisms underlying one such practice, a West African shrub intercropping system for millet, using controlled greenhouse experiments, to identify generally applicable principles.
Team Members: Alex Lindsey
Title: Remote Detection of Crop Structure and Function
Lay Summary: As sensor technologies develop, small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) have increasing potential to effectively monitor and manage our agricultural systems. We will deploy both in-situ and airborne sensors over a set of maize treatments (nutrient x water) to determine the ability of modern sensing systems to remotely characterize maize stress.
Team Members: Ajay Shah and Victor Ujor
Title: Development of new platform for biohydrogen production from lignocellulosic biomass
Lay Summary: To help reduce our dependence on fossil fuel and develop sustainable high-energy fuel with little to no emission of greenhouse gases during combustion, this collaborative proposal aims to develop a new biological platform with compatible bioreactor system wherein agricultural wastes are formulated and activated to generate hydrogen at profitable levels.
Team Members: Jules Butchacas, Dave Mackey, Veronica Roman-Reyna, Jason Slot, Pearlly Yan
Title: Single cell transcriptomics for understanding plant-microbe interactions
Lay Summary: Gene expression governs cellular behavior and development of plants and
microorganisms. The responses of single cells during plant-microbe interactions is
poorly understood. This CAPS SEEDS grant aims to define gene expression with single
cell RNA-seq to define tissue-specific, cellular responses to pathogen infection.
Team Members: Christopher Stewart, Kelly Tilmon
Title: Unmanned aerial vehicle-based method for soybean pest detection and monitoring
Lay Summary: Insect damage to crops poses a serious threat to productivity and food security worldwide. Timely monitoring of pest pressure is critical for mitigating yield loss and environmental concerns related to insecticide application. This project focuses on using drone technology to identify pest
pressure on soybean to facilitate precision insecticide application.
Team Members: Luis Canas, Andrew Michel, Pierce A. Paul
Title: Characterizing thrips vector populations driving emergent global disease threat to food security, maize lethal necrosis (MLN)
Lay Summary: We propose to develop foundational information on the corn thrips vector
(Frankliniella occidentalis) driving the current global epiphytotic of maize lethal necrosis
(MLN). Our objectives are to: 1) sample for corn thrips in the U.S., and 2) develop corn thrips genetic data to compare U.S. and global populations.
Team Members: Charles Bell, Venkat Gopalan, Vicki Wysocki
Title: Ribonuclease P for plant resistance (CAPS team name: RIPEN)
Lay Summary: Although plant diseases severely affect food production worldwide, the
molecular basis of plant immunity is not fully understood. We recently found a novel link between
the rice RNase P protein OsRpp30 and innate immunity, and now propose to determine how rice
immunity is modulated by the acetylation/deacetylation status of OsRpp30