Now at William Rooney's sorghum breeding lab at Texas A&M
David Horn was a graduate student on the project. His research is to determine the effects of three-generations of recurrent index selection for Fusarium ear rot resistance, grain yield, and lodging resistance. This project includes inoculating multiple ears from cycle zero and cycle three with isolates of the pathogen Fusarium verticillioides. These ears are then scored on a percent severity scale for the assessment of ear rot, followed by the evaluation of fumonisin content through enzyme-linked immuno assay (ELISA). I am also evaluating the resistance of topcross lines from the same population for reduced disease, decreased lodging, and increased yield.
Why I became a Scientist:
Growing up in a small town that was primarily devoted to agriculture and coping with the realization that land was becoming sparse due to urbanization, my interest for understanding the importance of crops and what their role is in our growing world led me to pursue a degree in science. Through participation in various agricultural activities in high school along with multiple classes in science and genetics, I was able to prepare myself for a future in plant breeding. Realizing that being able to provide enough food for our growing population on limited amounts of land would be a hard challenge to perform, I felt that it would be a great opportunity to achieve many accomplishments with the knowledge of plant breeding in my back pocket. In order to feed our growing world, we as individuals must know how plants grow, what economic importance they have, what nutritional values they may offer, and what other secrets are left undiscovered.
I entered college in 2006 at North Carolina State Universities Agricultural Institute where I commenced my journey to become a future plant breeder. I later transferred into the bachelors program at NCSU to continue my passion for plant breeding so that I could gain a greater understanding of the science behind plants, coupled with my applied degree previously obtained. Pursuing my Masters degree seemed like a no brainer, as I had determined that in order to fully begin indulging myself in the science behind plants, I needed to continue to learn more about them. Being able to pursue this opportunity, I feel that it has equipped me with a greater understanding that will continue to build my foundation for feeding a growing world. I hope to continue this journey in plant breeding at the doctorial level where I can expand on the knowledge previously obtained in order to feed our growing world.
Degree Program and Department: Masters, Crop Science
A.S., Field Crops Technology, North Carolina State University
B.S., Plant and Soil Science, North Carolina State University
Texas A&M University