Analysing the molecular responses of rice plants to increased nighttime temperatures
Research teams traveled to Mexico to identify and collect samples of Manihot species with geminivirus resistance. Twenty seven unique species were identified and samples collected from the field and from herbariums throughout Mexico. Working with multiple institutions and research herbariums the samples were collected and the DNA was isolated. The project hopes to use the DNA samples to sequence and work with Cassava free of the geminivirus.
Developed a Memorandum of Agreement to advance NC State and CAAS relationships.
The overarching goal is to establish a Joint Collaboration between North Carolina State University and the China Academy of Agricultural Sciences. The objectives of the Collaboration are to 1) conduct joint research and outreach programs in the fields such as pest management, sustainable agriculture, food security, food safety & nutrition, animal science and genetically modified organisms; 2) develop collaborative Ph.D. training programs and other student/scholar exchange programs; 3) advance technology transfer in a global context; and 4) conduct workshops and other high profile international agricultural events.
PIRE: U.S.-East Africa Research and Education Partnership. "In this project we are asking for the bottlenecks of viral evolution during infection in cassava and during transmission through the whitefly (Bemisia tabaci). We will train our personnel in a tomato model (with a bipartite begomovirus) in the U.S. before going to Africa (particularly in Kenya and Tanzania) to perform our experiments with the native geminiviruses infecting cassava. We anticipate to understand the drivers of selection within the plant host and the vector in order to expand our understanding of the pathosystem"
Monitor and analyze particular matter emissions from swine production houses to quantify emission rate, chemical composition and potential sources of the emission of PM.
This project revolves around hawksbill sea turtle nesting ecology in Antigua, utilizing the longest running standardized data set on sea turtle nesting in the world. We seek to describe effects of an introduced invasive beach plant on hawksbill behavior and reproductive success, as well as evaluate the impact of climate change on population demography and nesting phenology. The end goal of aiding conservation of critically endangered hawksbills (and all sea turtles) underpins all of this work, alongside a series of educational initiatives headed by Ph.D. student Andrew Maurer.
Research collaboration with the University of Helsinki in Finland in the field of Photobiology. Our research program with host a post-doc to work on the use of UV light to prevent transplant shock from water stress.
Doctoral student training in human nutrition with a focus on hypertension treatment centers in Malawi.
Agricultural drainage is essential for crop production in Egypt. Over 78% of Egypt’s agricultural land is artificially drained. Drainage, however, has negative impacts on ground and surface water quality. Drainage mobilizes salts and agricultural chemicals, which may contaminate shallow groundwater aquifers and surface water bodies. Drainage systems must be carefully designed to increase yields, reduce production costs, and minimize nutrient losses from drained farmlands to ground and surface waters. Over-designed drainage systems not only increase installation costs, but more importantly waste the valuable water resource, may lead to yield losses because of the potential increase in dry stresses, and also increase the potential for leaching losses of applied agrochemicals, contaminating ground and surface waters. Despite the dramatic changes in farming practices and the availability of water resource, the design criteria for drainage systems in Egypt has not been updated during the last three decades. The goal of this project is to develop and evaluate new drainage design criteria that explicitly link the design of drainage systems to crop yields and profits, water quality, and water conservation. A regional study will be conducted to evaluate the performance of existing drainage systems. The new design criteria and framework will utilize the widely used DRAINMOD (drainage water management suite of models). The new design criteria will be evaluated using two field experiments. The results of this project could lead to significant improvement to the drainage design, reducing construction cost, improving yield, conserving water, and reducing pollution load. The excessive surface water pollution and the scarcity of the water resource, currently facing Egypt, make this research proposal timely and critically needed.
Consumer-driven nutrient cycling is now recognized as an essential component of ecosystem functioning in freshwater systems – our lab is one of the first to extend this research framework to marine environments. In collaboration with Jacob Allgeier (University of Michigan), we have shown that nearshore waters of The Bahamas are extremely oligotrophic, suggesting that nutrient cycling by marine organisms, namely fishes, may be a major vector of nutrient transport. For instance, seagrass beds have been viewed as a key link in supporting high densities of consumer fauna, but it may be equally plausible that, especially in oligotrophic systems, consumer-driven nutrient recycling is a necessary driver of seagrass productivity. We are investigating these relationships using a series of artificial reefs constructed in shallow bays in The Bahamas and Haiti. These artificial reefs will serve as one of our core experimental tools in the coming years, allowing for replicated, mechanistic, tests of links between consumer nutrient supply and ecosystem function.
We are initiating a citizen science project to explore the causes of mangrove die-off throughout the Caribbean region. An on-line curriculum will be developed and sampling kits sent to ~50 schools across the Caribbean region. Results will advance our understanding of one of the most pressing environmental problems in the region, as well as bringing unique opportunities in STEM education to hundreds of students from underrepresented groups in the sciences. (Note we just list one country here, but we hope to work in at least 15 different countries for this project).
The Commission for the Eradication and Prevention of screwworm (COPEG), was created by a Cooperative Agreement signed on February 11, 1994, between Panama and the United States, which became Republic Act (No. 13, May 6, 1999) and subsequently recognized as International Mission.
COPEG objectives are defined in two stages: Elimination and Prevention of screwworm (NWS) in the Republic of Panama, without harming the environment. On July 12, 2006, the country was declared free of the plague and it was the opening of Sterile Fly Production Plant in Pacora.
The Panama plant is the cornerstone of prevention and ensure the maintenance of the biological barrier of sterile flies, which remains from the Province of Darien to 20 nautical miles inside Colombian territory, which is supported by a ground surveillance system. Both activities, in order to safeguard Panama and the rest of the countries of Central and North America of the pest reinfestation.
In addition to these objectives, the organization takes the Epidemiological Monitoring of Vesicular Disease and Prevention of FMD and other emerging diseases of interest to both countries.
Despite their ubiquity and high visibility, rust colored iron oxide deposits remain a poorly understood feature of rivers, lakes, and springs. Until recently, it was assumed that these deposits were formed by abiotic chemical processes; however, recent studies have shown that these deposits often result from the action of specific iron oxidizing bacteria. These bacterial iron oxides may have very different properties than those abiotic oxides that are traditionally used by geochemists in laboratory experiments designed to probe environmental and geochemical reactivity. The overall goal of the project is to characterize the structure, reactivity, and biological diversity of these iron oxide deposits to better understand the multifaceted roles they may play in the environment. To achieve these goals, we will conduct a suite of field, laboratory, microbiological, and spectroscopic analyses aimed at determining key properties of both the iron oxides and the bacteria associated with their formation.
Funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to develop genomic tools for sweet potato breeding, we formed a research partnership with Prof. A. Augusto F. Garcia's group at Department of Genetics, “Luiz de Queiroz” College of Agriculture, University of São Paulo, Brazil to develop statistical methods and computer programs for linkage and QTL analysis in polyploid populations.
This project will develop modern genomic, genetic, and bioinformatics tools to facilitate crop improvement and improve genetic gains in sweetpotato, an important food security and cash crop with highly recognized potential to alleviate hunger, vitamin A deficiency, and poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and predominantly grown in small plot holdings by poor women farmers. https://sweetpotatogenomics.cals.ncsu.edu/
"FRUIT LOOK aims to address the following key questions: Which are the genetic and molecular networks regulating fruit formation and morphology? Do plant hormones act as morphogens during fruit development? Can we elaborate a model able to explain fruit forms? Fruit development is a genetically programmed process, unique to flowering plants, which provides a suitable environment for seed maturation and seed dispersal. Given the fundamental nature of both the dietary and biological significance of fruit, molecular dissection of fruit development has considerable interest"
Around the world, over 100 million people routinely consume well water with naturally occurring arsenic concentrations that exceed safe drinking-water guidelines. Although the global scale, health impacts, and extreme societal costs of arsenic contamination are apparent, it is less well understood to what extent arsenic may threaten groundwater that is currently arsenic-free. This issue is critical because arsenic contamination of previously uncontaminated aquifers has been observed to occur over timescales of decades. The overall goal of this research is to quantify the potential for future arsenic contamination of groundwater from sources that are both internal and external to aquifers. To achieve this goal, we will conduct a suite of field, laboratory and spectroscopic analyses on sediment samples from a well-characterized aquifer in Cambodia, where groundwater is potentially at risk for future arsenic contamination. In particular, this work will take advantage of natural sediment variability to investigate how the quantities and chemical reactivities of specific minerals govern arsenic concentrations in well water.
Dr. Kornegay is currently the Chair of the Technical Management Advisory Committee (TMAC) of the USAID-funded Legume Innovation Lab which awards about $25 million in grants to collaborative research projects on food legumes for U.S. Universities and National Agricultural Research programs in Latin America and Africa.
Determining the microbiological biome in various antelope species.
Developing novel disease diagnostics and an early warning system for Phytopthora infestans for smallholder farmers in East Africa.
With two bio-engineers and a private health expert I have collected data on fifty variables for 200 countries for which I am analyzing (using Structural Equation Modeling and Path Analysis) the relationships between: global geographical characteristics (climate. eco-systems,....), world power, national "capitals" (education, military, finances,....), infrastructure, crop and meat production, food security, and environmental degradation.
This model will allow researchers to identify the causes among variales and the strength in which they affect on another and lead to other variables such as food insecurty. This allows researchers to caluculate the best strategies for addressing the unique needs of individual countries in reducing hunger across the globe.
This project is to survey citrus-damage fruit flies in China for preventing those economically significant pest from entering the U.S., through trade and human traffic. Field survey sides are being implemented across major China citrus production regions (see attached pictures).
This collaboration with Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (TEC de Monterrey) in Queretaro, Mexico, is the result of a sabbatical previously undertaken with the institution. The the goal of the sabbatical was to teach Food Science and Toxicology courses to undergraduates at TEC de Monterrey in a way that focused on technology and active learning. Courses were also taught in English as a way of developing students' foreign language skills around their knowledge of Food Science. The developing collaboration since then between TEC de Monterrey has resulted in ongoing visits as well as hosting a student in a lab here at NC State.
The NCSU Haiti Goat Project has two major components. The first is the development of a ‘Farm-to-Fork’ program that supports a sustainable school lunch program which provides a hearty and nutritious goat meat-vegetable dish, called Chili Kabrit, to school children. The Farm-to-Fork program utilizes locally sourced goats and vegetables for preparation of the Chili Kabrit, providing a sustained economic stimulus to agricultural producers in the local community. Many children in rural communities in Haiti suffer from malnutrition, particularly from a lack of high quality protein in their diets. Unfortunately, anemia is also common as a result of a lack of dietary sources of iron. Chili Kabrit meals are formulated to provide a high quality protein source that provides children with 100% of their daily protein requirement, 35% of their daily iron requirement and a host of other vitamins and micronutrients. Currently the project is providing 900 meals per month served on a biweekly basis to two schools as a pilot effort. Subsequent project goals will be to double or triple this output. The Farm-to-Fork program component of the NCSU Haiti Goat Project is run by a team of local Haitians who have been trained in all aspects of its implementation. The project helps ensure an improved nutritional intake among local children and also provides a market stimulus, empowering local farmers and livestock producers.
The second major component of the NCSU Haiti Goat Project is aimed at improving the genetic background of Haitian goat stock. This is accomplished by utilizing reproductive technologies such as artificial insemination to produce high quality meat goat stock sired by genetic lines from the United States. These genetically improved animals are made available to Haitian livestock producer groups or sold to other goat production facilities. The Haiti Goat Project currently maintains a production herd of 65 animals for this purpose. It is anticipated that this herd will eventually be expanded to approximately 85 females in support of this initiative.
The NCSU Haiti Goat Project also assists with sponsorship of weeklong workshops directed to educating Haitians on how to use a variety of animal source proteins, including poultry, eggs, fish and goats, to improve the diets of children. These workshops are becoming an annual event, occurring each May.
In summary, the four main goals of this project are:
1. Provide animal-source foods to local children through school based lunch programs
2. Improve the genetic background of Haitian livestock goats
3. Support education and training of Haitian agriculture producers
4. Promote establishment of sustainable animal agriculture to improve family health and income
Plant Parasitic Nematodes (PPN) negatively impact all facets of global agriculture, and there is a compelling need to translate basic research on nematode biology to the deployment of strategies to achieve effective control. The Indo-US workshop titled A road map towards effective management of plant-parasitic nematodes by 2025 organized by Umarao (ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi) and David Bird (North Carolina State University, Raleigh) was convened with the ambitious target to develop tools to alleviate at least one half of the yield loss attributable to nematodes by 2025. The workshop brought together a panel of renowned PPN researchers from India and USA to define the challenges that must be overcome to meet this goal. The workshop aimed at evaluating the literature (current and old) to distinguish dogma from data; identifying the best PPN species to exploit, and how realistically one can extrapolate from one species to another; assessing the technologies in hand, and those that are needed; identifying gaps in our basic understanding of PPN biology, and suggesting how we plug those gaps; developing assays to get quickly to the field, ideally using farmer-acceptable crops and cultivars; and, identifying appropriate funding source(s). (Connect Newsletter May 2016 http://www.iusstf.org/cms/gall_content/2016/5/2016_5$PDF109_May_2016_132510500.pdf)
Further research and collaboration is an outcome of this workshop with Dr. David Bird(NC State University) and Dr. Uma Rao (Indian Agricultural Research Institute) continue discussion on the goals and outcomes of the road map.
Cosultation to Jamaican turf grass industries in relation to organization, governement relationships and industry promotion.
Provide outreach for invasive aquatic plant management.
This project focuses on conducting a survey for the occurrence of vascular streak dieback (VSD), an emerging fungal disease that is threatening cacao production in the Philippines and southeast Asia. Additional experiments will be conducted to develop a robust diagnostic assay to detect the fungus from infected plant and methods to inoculate plants with the fungus to develop methods to screen cacao germplasm for resistance to VSD.
To support the development of an agricultural center of excellence at Cuttington University in Liberia. To train future faculty for Cuttington University and develop curriculum for the college of agriculture and sustainable development (CASD).
A wide range of abiotic and biotic stresses negatively impact peanut production in the field and generally contributes to the reduced quality of marketed peanut in Ghana and West Africa. Aflatoxin contamination can occur and increase at all steps of the peanut supply chain including production in the field, storage in fields and villages, and in processed products. Interventions at each step of the supply chain can minimize aflatoxin contamination. Improved production in the field including pest resistant cultivars, adequate soil fertility and plant nutrition, and synchronization of peanut pod growth phase with adequate soil moisture can increase peanut yield and quality and minimize aflatoxin contamination. Adequate and timely drying of farmer stock peanut minimizes additional production of aflatoxin during storage in villages prior to marketing. Effective processing of farmer stock and shelled stock peanut can also reduce aflatoxin prior to purchase and consumption. Determining current practices by farmers, conducting research to mitigate aflatoxin and improve peanut quality, and transferring appropriate technology to farmers are needed to improve productivity, profits, and quality of peanut and to increase safety of peanut products consumed by humans and livestock.
The primary platform being used to research aflatoxin contamination of peanut in the supply chain in Ghana is taking place in nine villages in northern and central Ghana. Interventions at each step of the supply chain are being implemented and aflatoxin contamination determined. Research is conducted at two institutions associated with the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) and at the Crops Research Institute (CRI) to develop appropriate production and pest management strategies and to evaluate new germplasm suitable for the region. Results from efforts at villages and research stations are presented to farmers using the Farmer Field School approach and appropriate posters, bulletins and manuals. Graduate student training is closely linked to activities in villages and research stations.
Results from the project are providing farmers in Ghana with information on documented interventions that reduce aflatoxin contamination of peanut throughout the supply chain. Improved productivity and quality of peanut coupled with acceptable levels of aflatoxin in peanut products improve access to local, regional, national and international markets leading to enhanced economic viability of farmers and their communities.
The overall goal of this project is to address and mitigate key constraints to peanut production and utilization in Haiti. Peanuts have been and continue to be an important part of Haitian diet and culture. In addition, peanuts provide an important source of cash income. To combat malnutrition in the country, certain NGOs have developed facilities to produce peanut-based Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food or RUTF. To date, however, there has been limited utilization of locally grown peanut due to issues with productivity, quality and aflatoxin contamination.
In this project, we are developing a comprehensive production, processing and utilization strategy for peanuts in Haiti. All phases of peanut production are being evaluated, including varieties specific to the region and market influences. We are instituting a seed-increase program and developing facilities to maintain genetic resources through curation of important peanut germplasm. Capacity building through the introduction of labor saving devices and harvesting equipment and procedures is underway, along with evaluating the infrastructure to improve peanut handling, drying and long-term storage. Once these improvements have been evaluated, we take the best management practices and strategies to the grower level at several villages and communities in the region, particularly through the depot network partnership with the Acceso Peanut Enterprise Corporation. We are providing training and infrastructure support to realize these improvements and ensure long-term capacity building. Aflatoxin and the role of women in the peanut value chain is being measured/surveyed throughout the duration and in all phases of the project. We are also establishing aflatoxin-testing facilities and re-training Haitians in how to measure and the importance of avoiding aflatoxin in their diet. Another important capacity-building measure is the creation of alternative products/markets for high aflatoxin contaminated peanuts.
This project focuses on a vlalue chain approach to improving peanut production and profitability along with interventions to reduce aflatoxin at various stages of the value chain. The project includes plant breeders, agronomists, pest management specilaist, food scientists, biological and agricultural engineers, and socio economists from NC State, the Univ of GA, Va Tech and UCONN. We are linked with the University of Zambia, Lilongwe University of Ag and Natural Resources, ICRISAT, and International Ag Institute of Mozambique. and the Univ of Eduardo Maldo Extensive field and laboratory trials are underway and the project is currently supporting more than a dozen students at the various host instititutions in Africa.
Development of sensors for measuring root zone characteristics.
Camelina sativa is an excellent oil crop for biofuel production because it grows with little water and fertilizer on marginal land. To improve camelina as a dedicated biofuel plant, we have increased its photosynthetic CO2-fixation rates by modifying CO2 transport, assimilation and allocation and reducing the cost of photorespiraton. To extend its agricultural range, we are improving its stress tolerance against heat and drought. Several of these transgenic lines showed successful yield increases of over 50% in greenhouse trials. The international collaboration with Metabolix Oilseeds in Saskatoon, Canada, enabled field trials to study the effect of these transgenes on yield in the usual agricultural and climate environment.
The objective of this project was to promote research collaborations and exchanges in the field of controlling PSE and microtoxin contamination.
To complete the project, we proposed to identify genes functionally linked to or associated with PSE pork via DNA microarray analysis and comparative bioinformatics analysis. We also proposed to control and reduce PSE pork by exploring herb-based extracts (feed supplements) and develop a fast and reliable method using high sensitivity TRF immunoassays for controlling and monitoring mycotoxin contamination in animal feeds and processed meat. Currently we have performed a study in China to investigate the effects of dietary supplementation of Chinese herbs on pork quality from pigs with different genetic background. An article “Effects of pre-slaughter stressor and feeding preventative Chinese medicinal herbs on glycolysis and oxidative stability in pigs” has been published from the data collected in this study. DNA microarray assays were also conducted from this study. The bioinformatics analysis from data collected in the DNA microarray assays was completed and summarized
Find a strategy to combat HLB agricultural bacterial disease that effects the US. It originally developed in China.
Studying the role of the photoactivated toxin cercosporin in diseases caused by Cercospora species. Engineering plants for resistance to cercosporin.
Study abroad program on tropical agriculture in Costa Rica.
Working with Dole Foods developing raspberry varieties to adapt to the Mexican climate.
Here we are looking at dominant pollen blockers of ga1 and Ga1-M for use in organic maize.
The Multicultural Scholars in the Prestage Department of Poultry Science spent 3 weeks visiting the University of Adelaide, in Adelaide South Australia in the summer of 2016 where they learned about local wildlife, Australia's food animal production systems, and the University programs (educational, research, and outreach) designed to support the food animal industry of Asutralia.
My duties involved consulting on animal waste management research, visiting with graduate students supervised by the host professor, Dr. Luciano Gatiboni, and presenting research seminars at a regional animal waste management conference held at UDESC (Santa Catarina State University), and at a forum held at the Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM), in the adjacent state.
Project uses a novel protein-polyphenol irreversible binding technology to mitigate food allergy by binding the allergenic epitopes on food proteins with natural, biologically active plant polyphenols, which greatly diminishes any allergic reaction to that food protein (peanut, milk, soy, egg). The project in Adelaide focuses on egg allergy specifically and uses an egg-allergic Norway rat pup model to test the mechanisms by which allergy symptoms are alleviated
SASHA-GT4SP (Sweetpotato Action for Security and Health in Africa-Genomic Tools for SweetPotato) SSA sweetpotato breeder’s meeting held in Nairobi, Kenya June 6-10, 2016. The GT4SP project hosted a 2-day sweetpotato genetics and genomics workshop with 31 participants (27 sweetpotato breeders and 4 PhD students) with the SASHA sweetpotato breeder’s meeting. The workshop covered the following topics: 1) genomics-assisted sweetpotato improvement; 2) lectures on genetic diversity studies and analysis of sweetpotato diversity using DNA markers, marker-assisted selection and its potential use for sweetpotato improvement, and high-throughput phenotyping; and 3) a day of “hands-on” practical laboratory training on extraction of high quality DNA at the BecA-ILRI facility.
This 2 week course begins with students meeting in Thankerton Game Reserve near Gravelotte, South Africa. Students were expected to attend demonstrations and participate in field activities at the privately owned game reserves that Dr. Chris Boshoff (veterinarian) and Benjamin Osmers (Wildlife Biologist and Co-owner of SA WorldVets) will be working at. The day to day location varies within the Limpopo Province of South Africa depending on clinical cases.
There are three-fold objectives of the course;
The course is an overview of the field strategies and veterinary techniques that wildlife veterinarians and biologists use in management and conservation of the wildlife. The course gives students a better understanding about how wildlife veterinarian assists game farmers in breeding and conservation of endangered wild animals. Dr. Ange-van Heughten accompanied a group of NCSU students during the summer of 2016 and is a collaborator of this study abroad program.
Description. This is an annual event directed to Commercial Poultry Production. The objective is to offer updated information on poultry production.
This 2 week course begins with students meeting in Thankerton Game Reserve near Gravelotte, South Africa. Students will be expected to attend demonstrations and participate in field activities at the privately owned game reserves that Dr. Chris Boshoff (veterinarian) and Benjamin Osmers (Wildlife Biologist and Co-owner of SA WorldVets) will be working at. The day to day location varies within the Limpopo Province of South Africa depending on clinical cases.
The course is an overview of the field strategies and veterinary techniques that wildlife veterinarians and biologists use in management and conservation of the wildlife. The course will give students a better understanding about how wildlife veterinarian assists game farmers in breeding and conservation of endangered wild animals. The course will be taught with the logistical support and assistance from SA World Vets (http://www.saworldvets.com/Conservation/SA_WorldVets_Wildlife_Vets_South_Africa.html)
Collaboration with the NC State, National Country Ham Association & Association of National Industry of Carne in Espana (ANICE)
Our research program is engaged in a series of research activities with international collaborators from multiple countries related to tobacco genetics and breeding.
This project looks to identify sustainable bio-mitigation practices to reduce the survival and persistence of human pathogens in agricultural soils destine for fruit and vegetable production.
Centers for Excellence at two Liberian universities to produce skilled graduates in engineering and agriculture to meet current and future workforce demands. EHELD is equipping top-performing young Liberian women and men to contribute to the nation’s economic development in careers as engineers, extension agents, researchers, managers, leaders, and small business owners. EHELD is also building the capacity of university faculty through extensive degree training programs and mentoring.
NC State’s contributions to EHELD have included support of graduate programs for Liberians who will be teaching at Cuttington University upon completion of their degrees, revision and implementation of curricula in the newly created Animal Science and Health and Plant and Soil Science departments, and supporting training activities for faculty, staff and the agricultural sector in Liberia.
Other participants on the EHELD team at NC State include Charlotte Farin, Sung Woo Kim, Rick Brandenburg, Jay Jayaratne, Gary Bullen, Clyde Sorenson, Bir Thapa, and Bridget Lassiter.
CRISPR-Cas genome editing to understand foodborne-pathogen interactions in poultry
The objectives of this project is to investigate the effects of dietary supplementation of manganese and zinc as well as fat on productive performance of broiler breeders under heat stress and development of their offspring.
In this project, theories and techniques of advanced physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology are applied, and series of trials in vivo with heat-stressed broilers and in vitro with heat stress-sensitive cells of broilers in primary culture will be conducted to study the effects of manganese, zinc and fat on performances and heat stress-sensitive physiological, biochemical and molecular markers of laying broiler breeders, egg embryo during hatching and offspring broilers after hatching under heat stress. The efficacies of manganese and zinc as well as fat in alleviating heat stress of broilers will be evaluated at different physiological stages, and the anti-heat stress capabilities of offspring broilers obtained and their action mechanisms will be elucidated at physiological, biochemical and molecular levels.
The objective of the present study was to investigate the metabolism of enterocytes along the crypt-villus axis in jejunum of early-weaned and suckled pigs by isobaric relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) proteomics.
The main objective of this study was to investigate the metabolic pathways of L-Cys catabolism to GSH, H2S, and taurine, with special emphasis on therapeutic and nutritional use of L-Cys to improve the health and well-being of animals and humans. This work has been published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.
This study was conducted to determine the effect of dietary sanguinarine supplementation on serum metabolites in growing pigs. This work has been published in Journal of Animal Science.
The gut microbiota plays an important role in nutrient digestability in animals. To examine changes in the pig gut microbiota across growth stages and its effects on nutrient digestion, the gut microbiota population in pigs at 28 days (before weaning), and 60,90, and 150 days of age was assessed by 16S rDNA gene sequencing. The apparent digestability of crude fiber (CF), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), crude protein (CP) and ether extract (EE) was also assessed in these pigs. Work has been published in Scientific Reports.
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of oral administration of putrescine and proline during the suckling period on epithelial restitution after early weaning in piglets. This work has been published in Journal of Animal Science.
Evapotranspiration in wine-grape vineyards.
We have successfully produced host range mutations in all 4 serotypes of dengue virus which are the result of deletions in the membrane spanning domain of the virus envelope protein. We have shown that these viruses grow efficiently in insect cells but poorly in mammalian cells. In collaboration with the company "Arbovax" we have shown that these mutations elicit protective immunity in mice and in the case of serotype 2 dengue virus in monkeys. A tetravalent formulation designed to produce protective immunity against all 4 serotypes has just completed testing in monkeys. Significant effort will be dedicated to the analysis of the outcome of this trial.
We have developed a technique for the production of live virus vaccines for arthropod vectored viruses. This technology is based on the discovery that evolution has provided these viruses with genetic information essential for replication in one of the two hosts (mammals and insects) but not the other. We have identified genetic elements required for efficient replication in the mammalian host and removed them. These deletion mutations restrict the growth of the virus to the insect host resulting in a host range mutation that is a deletion with little prospect of reversion to wild type. Injection of the insect produced virus into mammals results in the production of high titers of neutralizing antibody and protection against challenge with wild type virus in the absence of disease. In principle this technology will produce a live virus vaccine against any of these arthropod vectored diseases for which a cDNA clone can be produced. The significance of this possibility is obvious.
We develop techniques to apply advanced analytical techniques, specifically X-ray absorption spectroscopy and X-ray imaging to determine chemical species of various elements in complex geochemical systems such as soils and waste materials. This project is a "Science without Borders" grant funded by the Brazilian government, and my role is to train students and faculty on the use of synchrotron techniques in soil science, agricultural sciences, and environmental sciences.
In the Hamilton Lab at NCSU, we use randomized and designed peptide phage display libraries to characterize the activity and substrate specificity of proteases. Novo Nordisk was interested in characterizing the activity and substrate specificity of proteolytic coagulation factors and variants they generated through site-directed mutagenesis and/or chemical modification. The initial target of the project is Factor VII (FVIIa) with focus on determining the substrate specificity of wild type and several variants.
Factor VII-substrate libraries were constructed with an amino-terminal hexa-histidine sequence used to bind the phage to a Ni-NTA resin followed by a randomized Factor VII-substrate sequence and the carboxyl-terminal domain of M13 gene III. Each phage particle displays a unique, potential Factor VII-substrate sequence. Phage displaying this library of fusion proteins were bound to the Ni-NTA resin, washed to remove unbound phage and then treated with Factor VII. Phages containing a good Factor VII cleavage site were released from the resin whereas phages with sequences that are resistant to cleavage by Factor VII remain bound to the resin.
The work using FVIIa and phage display libraries has shown a consensus substrate sequence which is slightly different from the published FVIIa substrate site determined by other methods. Biochemical characterization has shown that the phage-derived consensus sequence is indeed readily cleaved by Factor VIIa.
In the Master of Microbial Biotechnology program, they have participated in 7 semester-long, practicum projects over the last 5 years with Novozymes.
Microbial Control in Biofuel Fermentations
Gas Fermentation for CO2 Utilization
Survey of Direct Fed Microbials in Animal Feed
Anaerobic Digester Methane to Energy: A Nationwide Assessment
Market Research Report for Yeast in Animal Feed Products
Evaluation of Attached Growth Bioreactors for Potential use in Industrial Enzyme Production
Regulatory and Market Assessment of Biological Soil Crust Reclamation
Speaker, workshop leader, and member of International Society of Coaching Psychology, Based in London, England.
Dr. Burrack is a volunteer with Farmer-to-Farmer, a project of Partners of the Americas, working with colleagues at EMBRAPA Wine and Grape in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil to understand the significance of Drosophila suzukii (spotted wing drosophila) in Brazilian grown berry crops. This includes developing grower and extension training materials and management strategies.
A workshop on “Rapid Diagnostic Tools for Identification of Phytophthora species on Horticultural Crops ” organized by Dr. Jean Ristaino, with the assistance of Dr. Pallem Chowdappa, ICAR and Dr. David Cooke was held at the ICAR- Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Bangalore India, Sept 8, 2015 preceding the 3rd International Phytophthora Symposium, Sept 9-12. Over 120 participants applied for the workshop that included 30 students from diverse research institutes in India. The hands on laboratory training in morphological and molecular identification of Phytophthora species included use of a diagnostic keys, PCR and sequence based identification.
The subsequent 4 day symposium included plenary presentations by invited international guests on emerging Phytophthora diseases, taxonomy and phylogeny, population biology, genomics, pathogenesis, epidemiology, host resistance and disease management. The well-attended meeting also included inaugural and cultural events, a field tour, a trade show and a valedictory honors ceremony for the invited speakers. A workshop report and recommendations for future Phytophthora research in India were given by the international team.
I collaborated on a project in Haiti to evaluate and develop an income generating poultry project. The project goal was to provide opportunities for Haitian families to overcome poverty and become self-sustaining. The project provided both access to credit and essential training to prepare the smallholder farmers for a successful business venture. I conducted the marketing and value chain analysis to determine the feasibility of the project and help set future strategies. The analyses helped determine the amount of poultry to be produced in the targeted, number of farmers and the appropriate value-added processes to pursue such as feed production and poultry processing.
The objective of the present study was to investigate the metabolism of enterocytes along the crypt-villus axis in jejunum of early-weaned and suckled pigs by isobaric relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) proteomics. This work has been published in Journal of Physiology.
Rural development in human nutrition to help cure blindness caused by vitamin A deficiency.
One the major accomplishments of the USDA in the 20thcentury was the eradication of the New World screwworm fly, C. hominivorax, from all of North and Central America. C. hominivorax females lay their eggs in open wounds or a natural orifice. The hatched larvae then feed on the animal’s living tissue. Animals with severe screwworm infestations may die if untreated. C. hominivorax was eradicated using the sterile insect technique, which involved the mass rearing of C. hominivorax, sterilization by irradiation and distribution of sterile flies over the targeted area. Currently, sterile C. hominivorax are released in a “ buffer zone” in southern Panama to prevent re-infestation from South America.
Transgenic “male-only” C. hominivorax offer the potential of more efficient genetic suppression, reduced diet costs, higher plant capacity, improved monitoring and reduced risk should (in the very unlikely event) any C. hominivorax escape from the plant. Transgenic C. hominivorax lines have been obtained carrying a single-component tetracycline-repressible female-lethal system. Females die at the pupal stage. These strains will be further evaluated for characteristics that influence production such fertility and fecundity. Additional experiments are underway that will provide data needed for a risk-benefit analysis by regulators (e.g. outcrossing potential, longevity). A two-component female-specific embryo lethal genetic system is also being developed at NCSU. The most efficient gene system will be sent to Panama for evaluation in C. hominivorax.
The Australian sheep blowfly, L. cuprina, is a major pest of sheep in Australia and New Zealand. We are using L. cuprina as a model blowfly to evaluate genetic systems for C. hominivorax and other blowflies that are pests of livestock. We have made several tetracycline-repressible female lethal strains of L. cuprina. The same genetic system was subsequently shown to be effective in C. hominivorax. The strains we have developed could potentially be used for a genetic control program in Australia or New Zealand
Provide outreach related to invasive aquatic plant management.
The primary objective of the project was to adapt a peanut Decision Support System currently in use in North Carolina for use by peanut (groundnut) growers in India. The NC DSS helps growers to identity their risk of pest problems based on field history and characteristics, rotation and other cultural practices, cultivar choice, and selection of pesticides. Farmers can then make informed choices about appropriate practices based on their situation and tolerance for risk.
This project is in collaboration with Prof. Jon Petter Gustaffson at the Swedish Agricultural University in Uppsala. It involves applying synchrotron X-ray absorption spectroscopy to determine how chemical species of soil phosphorus change under different long-term agricultural practices. We use a synchrotron facility in Thailand to collect phosphorus XANES data.
Malaysia has a diverse democracy and is an important partner in US engagement with Southeast Asia, being the second largest US trading partner trading among the ten ASEAN countries in 2011. However, NCSU does not have established in-depth partnerships and collaborations in South-East Asia outside of Thailand and Laos. Thus, the overall objective of the envisaged long-term collaborative program between NCSU and IMU will be to develop a novel research and training framework focused on engaging scientists from developing countries in global health research and preservation of sustainable healthy ecosystems that benefit local human health and economic development. As this is a broad aim that will require the input of various academic disciplines, it was decided that the initial proposal will focus on bringing together NCSU expertise in complex biological screening and IMU expertise in chemical characterization and organic synthesis to establish a new international training framework in therapeutic lead discovery in Malaysia.
Development of soil, heat, and water sensors.
Study Abroad program focused on wildlife management and conservation
The objective of this research project is to determine the multidimensional impacts (i.e., economic, sociocultural, environmental, policy, scientific, institutional) of the natural resource management (NRM) technologies developed and/or disseminated by IRRC, as well as document the pathways and mechanisms that led to successful adoption of these technologies. A “meta” impact assessment approach is used where the analysis of impact evidence mainly relies on existing documents (or studies), easily accessible data sources, and short field visits. Two research outputs came out of this project -- one is a final report (available at IRRI) and another is a peer-reviewed journal article published in the journal Global Food Security (in 2014).
I was a keynote speaker at this workshop. It was a workshop held by University of Stirling, Scotland.
Guinea, 2000- Taught marketing principals to approximately 50 new market brokers. The brokers were expected to assist the villages in developing new markets for their commodities.
Uganda, 2001- Worked with a local NGO. The group had formed to work on food security in northern Uganda but over the years had become unfocused in their mission. Over a three week period, developed a strategic plan for the group.
Ethiopia, 2002- Developed a train the trainer course in agribusiness development for cooperative employees. The 100-hour two-week course covered financial management, market research, market planning, and other business skills needed for the employees to help their farmers be more profitable.
Sudan, 2006- Developed a curriculum on agribusiness skills. Taught a two week course on agribusiness skills for the new agricultural workers in Southern Sudan. Assisted a group of women farmers in developing their vegetable market plan.
Kenya, 2008- Taught a series of direct marketing classes for six newly organized cooperatives. Also worked with extension personnel to evaluate their cooperative operations.
Malawi, 2009- Conducted a peanut value chain assessment. Met with farmers, processors, informal market outlets, university officials, and government agencies to evaluate the peanut value chain. As part of assessment, identified areas of need for future volunteer assignments and other projects that would strengthen the peanut value chain in Malawi.
Tanzania, 2010- A Tanzanian farmer’s cooperative was interested in adding value to their sunflower crop by processing the sunflower seed into oil. Over a two week period, worked with the cooperative leadership to develop a marketing plan for sunflower seed oil.
Liberia, 2013-I have assessed the curriculum and strategic plan as part of the development of the Cuttington University Center of Excellence project. We developed short-term assistance and conducted workshops on marketing and business development for Cuttington University faculty.
Identification of phytoactive compounds in native Ecuadorian plant materials
Dr. Peacock is engaged with GEO as an advisory member of their technical committee. For more information, go to https://www.golfenvironment.org/
The overall objective of the envisaged long term collaborative program between NCSU and UP will be to develop a better understanding of the overall bacterial diversity in watersheds and impoundments of South Africa, and to determine what impact it may have on the health of water users. As this is a broad research goal that will require the input of various research disciplines, it was decided that the initial proposal would focus on characterization of the bacterial diversity on aquatic plants, with special emphasis on E. coli, and determination of the impact they may have on human health. Specifically, we will isolate E. coli and other bacteria associated with aquatic plants in the watersheds of South Africa and identify these isolates based on partial rpoS and uidA sequencing (Aim 1, UP). These strains will be made available to the Plants for Human Health Institute, where we will further investigate these cultures for their growth kinetics, mobility, biofilm formation, and adhesion parameters critical to human health. The bioactive metabolites produced by the isolates will be further investigated in the pairwise phenotypical screening platform using mammalian cell culture to understand their pharmacological and/or pathological effects on human health in the area of metabolic disease and inflammation (Aim 2, NCSU). An interdisciplinary partnership “Center for Sustainable Health and Biodiversity (CSHB)” will be created to coordinate the future research efforts and funding applications (Aim 3, shared).
Vermicomposting is a process that relies on earthworms and microorganisms to help stabilize active organic materials and convert them to a valuable soil amendment and source of plant nutrients. Earthworms will consume most organic materials, including food preparation residuals and leftovers, scrap paper, animal manure, agricultural crop residues, organic byproducts from industries, and yard trimmings. Up to 75 percent of what is discarded by North Carolina’s communities and businesses are organic materials. Instead of disposing of food scraps, yard wastes, and other organics, the materials can be vermicomposted. This method of recycling converts organic materials that have traditionally been viewed as waste into a valuable soil amendment for plants and crops. When vermicompost is added to soil, it boosts the nutrients available to plants and enhances soil structure and drainage. Vermicompost has also been shown to increase plant growth and suppress plant disease and insect pest attacks.
Composting is the controlled biological decomposition of organic material through the generation of heat by microorganisms. The stabilized organic material, called 'compost,' looks and smells like soil. Compost can improve the chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of soils or growing media. Although compost contains plant nutrients it is typically not classified as a fertilizer. Organic materials (food scraps, leaves, grass clippings, and other yard trimmings) are 25% of the municipal solid waste produced in the U.S. Of this amount, 97.8% of food scraps and 38% of yard trimmings end up in landfills and incinerators. If they were composted instead, it would reduce greenhouse gases by preventing methane generation in landfills, extend landfill life, and produce products with nutrient-rich humus and organic matter that can restore depleted soils.
This project examined the implementation of Wal-Mart's local produce sourcing project in the US and Honduras. In Honduras, research focused on the role of non-profit organizations in mediating the relationship between small-scale farmers and the retailer, including issues of food safety, the definition of sustainability, and the potential threats to an organization's legitimacy when it is involved in market-based development.
The primary focus of this study was to characterize fungal communities from soil samples collected from different geographic locations in Sweden. The occurrence of five fungal species provided support for the conservation of fungal taxa across the sampling sites. However, these taxa were not always among the 25 most abundant taxa sampled. An increased knowledge of the fungal and other bacterial and eukaryotic communities associated with plants, seeds and soil can contribute to the development of improved approaches to better conserve orchids in the future.
The objectives of this scientific exchange was to introduce the scientific progress, discuss current research results and future research strategies and look for opportunities for cooperative research in the areas of increasing pre-weaning pig survivability, reducing mycotoxin contamination and its toxic influences in pig feedstuffs and developing nutritious pork for better human health.
To complete the task, we were invited to visit 7 research institutions, 2 swine industries, 2 official administrative agents for animal husbandry and 1 disease monitor and control center. During the period of our visits, we introduced our Department of Animal Science at NCSU and the primary agricultural production of NC. We also introduced our research on reducing mycotoxin contamination, environmental stress and preweaning mortality, and improving pork quality by optimization of muscle development and growth. Meanwhile, the host scientists and officials introduced the current status of pork production, disease control, feed contamination and research in Henan and Hubei Provinces. We learned that Henan and Hubei are provinces with extensive swine industries and are responsible for a significant amount of pork production in China. Postweaning mortality is high, estimated by 15-20% in China. Intestinal infections and disease are the primary reasons for the high mortality. Mycotoxin contamination is also a problem in these provinces. Monitor and control of animal disease and feed contamination are performed in designated centers and institutions. Investigation into substitutions for antibiotics such as pre or probiotics, herbs extracts and improvement of meat quality via an ecological feeding system were all mentioned and discussed broadly. The information obtained via the exchange visit is valuable to both agriculture producers and researchers to make strategic plans for agricultural production and research subject in the US.
The overall goal of this project was to increase postharvest life of cut flowers, especially roses, through alteration of the production, harvest, processing and shipping processes and through genetic manipulation. The project 1) Conducted a step-by-step evaluation of current rose production, harvest, processing and shipping processes with the intent to maximize postharvest life. 2) Maximized the vase life of currently-available rose cultivars through modified atmosphere storage, improved floral preservative performance, use of temperature-time indicators, development of retailer handling protocols, and third-party verification of vase-life guarantees. 3) Developed a robust set of tools and protocols for the genetic engineering of cultivated rose with the long-term objective of developing a distinctive rose with enhanced postharvest life, aroma and disease resistance, while still retaining high productivity, cut stem characteristics and flower color. This project included cooperators from several NC State departments, including Horticultural Science, Plant Pathology, Entomology, and Plant and Microbial Biology and from other institutions including Kansas State University and UNC Chapel Hill.