The Buckler Lab just completed our latest spring planting ever as an abundance of rain made earlier planting impossible. Under the supervision of Field Manager
Nick Lepak, we planted varieties of maize needed for current research projects.
We are partners with 30 other research institutions across the US and Canada working to understand how maize diversity interacts with the environment. Across 1600 yield plots and 10 acres, we are evaluating how hundreds of hybrid maize varieties deal with this summer’s environments. Joe Gage and Nick Lepak will be leading scanning of these plots all summer long with our ground-based rovers, while our collaborator Mike Gore will scan them from above with drones. Jacob Washburn will be conducting intensive phenotyping on the maize crop for traits like biomass, leaf number, leaf area, and grain with the goal of better calibrating physiological crop growth models for prediction of plant yield.
Low Nitrogen Maize
Travis Rooney planted a range of Stiff Stalk inbreds and Iodent inbreds that he will cross within heterotic groups to create a rich pool of alleles from modern ExPVP (formly commercial elite germplasm). Travis will use this germplasm to select for the maize that has low levels of grain protein and requires little nitrogen fertilizer input.
Anju Giri will be leading a study of nearly 400 varieties of maize to discover how their genetic variation, development through time, and the environment impact the expression of 37,000 different genes. She is collaborating with lab efforts to develop models to predict and eventually design how every gene in maize is regulated.
For the second study, she'll be examining gene by environment interaction with the goal of better understanding how genotypes adapt in different environmental conditions.
Top left - Weather station.
Center - Sara Miller and Ed Buckler mark planting rows.
Top right - Maize seeds to be planted.
Bottom left - Buckler Lab members planting maize seeds.
Bottom right - The Buckler Lab at the end of planting.