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CAHNRS Department of Horticulture Genomics Lab

Hunting Down the Lost Apples of the Pacific Northwest – New York Times

The New York Times recently published a story by Kirk Johnson about lost apples of the Pacific Northwest. Johnson’s story features apple detective David Benscoter’s and others effort to preserve knowledge of old apple varieties that, as Johnson writes, “might have something to teach us… about evolution or climate, in looking at the qualities that kept a particular tree going despite the odds.”

Read more at The New York Times.

Technologies on the Shelf

2016 marks the 30th anniversary of Dr. Norman E. Borlaug’s establishment of the World Food Prize organization. This year World Food Prize hosted the 2016 Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium, held October 12-14 in Des Moines, Iowa.

In a World Food Prize side event, WSU Associate Professor Amit Dhingra presented on the forthcoming paper:Technologies on the Shelf. The series keynote paper is part of a Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) 12 paper project, The Need for Agricultural Innovation to Sustainably Feed the World by 2050, investigating methods to advance global food security.

More information on the 2016 Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium and CAST can be found at these web sites:

https://www.worldfoodprize.org/en/borlaug_dialogue/2016_borlaug_dialogue

http://www.cast-science.org

The Age of the Pear

The pear industry has unlimited potential and is ripe for a revolution.

The pear has been a staple food in Europe for centuries — often the subject of paintings by Van Gogh and highly revered by fables and foodies alike. Read the rest of the article here.

WSU researchers taming the wild huckleberry

Washington State University researchers are setting their sights on domesticating the wild huckleberry, a goal that has eluded plant scientists for decades.

But in a WSU greenhouse, cloned shrubs are producing berries. Scientists say their ultimate goal is a sturdy plant with high yields of the tangy-tart berries.

Read the rest of the article by Becky Kramer here.

 

 

 

Taming the Northwest’s beloved huckleberry

Despite his attempts, Nathan Tarlyn is a frustrated huckleberry picker. He ventures out, looking for the wild berry that’s treasured throughout the Pacific Northwest, but often comes up short, finding only bushes that are picked over.

He’d have more luck if he looked deeper in the woods — or if someone shared their secret trove. But that’s not likely to happen. No one shares that kind of secret.

Read the rest of Taryn Phaneuf’s article in Crosscut here.

Coug Entrepreneurs Form I-Corps LEAN Teams

WSU Innovation Corps (I-Corps) is the first step many Cougs are taking to become better entrepreneurs. Lean, a term coined by Toyota’s James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones in Lean Thinking is a leadership approach used to engage people in an organization to assist in the identification, reduction and/or elimination of waste within any process. Using Lean principles, the I-Corps lean teams will determine whether their ideas have commercial worth.  Fall 2016 Team 3DbioC will be mentored by Professor Amit Dhingra.  Read More

The Push to Make Pears the New Apple

Amit Dhingra is on a mission to make America fall in love with the pear.

In a lab at Washington State University, the 45-year-old horticulture researcher has dedicated much of the last decade to the shapely fruit. Building off relationships with pear growers who say their businesses are held back by a lack of scientific understanding of their product, Dhingra has mapped the pear genome, bred new trees, and even found a way to ripen the notoriously stiff fruit. Read More Here

by Taryn Phaneuf , The Atlantic

CisSERS: Customizable In Silico Sequence Evaluation for Restriction Sites, now available

CisSERS, open source software for analyzing sequence data, developed at WSU.

High-throughput sequencing continues to produce an immense volume of information that is processed and assembled into mature sequence data. Data analysis tools are urgently needed that leverage the embedded DNA sequence polymorphisms and consequent changes to restriction sites or sequence motifs in a high-throughput manner to enable biological experimentation. CisSERS was developed as a standalone open source tool to analyze sequence datasets and provide biologists with individual or comparative genome organization information in terms of presence and frequency of patterns or motifs such as restriction enzymes. Predicted agarose gel visualization of the custom analyses results was also integrated to enhance the usefulness of the software. Read the rest of this PLOS article.

 

Citation: Sharpe RM, Koepke T, Harper A, Grimes J, Galli M, Satoh-Cruz M, et al. (2016) CisSERS: Customizable In Silico Sequence Evaluation for Restriction Sites. PLoS ONE 11(4): e0152404. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0152404