In the News
"A little gram of soil that's the size of the tip of your pinky has 10 million microbes," says Linda Kinkel, professor in the Department of Plant Pathology. "What they can do biochemically, physiologically—it's more fascinating than our imaginations can even dream of. Without microbes, all life would grind to a halt."
The University of Minnesota is known for producing innovative, essential work in agriculture — a bit odd for a school that has a gopher, a notorious farm pest, as a mascot. Today, alumni, professors and students are contributing immensely to this field and, in the process, helping keep the world fed even as new problems continually emerge.
“The challenges are pretty clear,” said James Bradeen, head of UMN’s department of plant pathology. “We have a growing world population, a changing climate. With that comes changes in [food] production patterns.”
Ancient cereals may hold secrets that address modern challenges. "But what might have been lost along the way as cereals became domesticated? CFANS scientists are examining the grains that still grow wild in the Fertile Crescent to see whether they contain genes that, combined with modern domestic varieties, could help feed the world's growing population." CFANS Solutions - Winter 2014, "Raiders of the Lost Grains" B. Beyers.
"Last spring, Dan Lieberman and his wife, Suzanne, traveled to Israel with Steffenson and other plant pathologists from CFANS. That's part of the family's plan to help wherever they can and to stay involved in the research, Dan and Steve Lieberman say." CFANS Solutions - Winter 2014, "Long Distance Partners" B. Beyers.