The overall objective of this research is to use beneficial bacteria and fungi to improve medicinal and aromatic plant yields quantitatively and qualitatively. Specific objectives are:
Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station
A primary issue of concern with biofuels and bio-products is the ability to produce enough feedstock oils without displacing food crops. Plant seed oils have tremendous potential as environmentally, economically and technologically feasible replacements for petroleum, but the relatively low oil yields from existing crops limits the commercial viability of seed oil based biofuels.
Improving water management is of increasing importance in horticultural operations. A growing global population and changes in water availability will mean that less water will be available for ornamental plant production. There are also a growing number of federal and state regulations regarding water use and runoff from production areas. Better irrigation and fertilization management practices will help to limit the environmental impact of container plant production by limiting the runoff of water and nutrients from nurseries.
Urbanizing watersheds in the northeastern United States face rapid changes in forest cover, urbanization, and conflicts in water use (USGS, 2002) that require careful evaluation of trends in components of the watershed system. This research will evaluate land use/land cover changes, assess their impacts on surface and groundwater supplies, and evaluate forest management strategies in a rapidly urbanizing watershed in southeastern Massachusetts.
Mounting epidemiological and experimental evidence consistently indicates that obesity is a robust risk factor, with 50~100% increase in risk for CRC. As obesity has reached an epidemic level and increases in the scope of the problem are projected, it is critical to understand the mechanism(s) responsible for the link and thereby to develop preventive strategies. The ultimate goal is, through the completion of this project, to facilitate the development of preventive approaches to diminish dietary obesity associated CRC.
To address climate change and other considerations, there has been a push to plant trees in cities (Boston and New York are 2 nearby examples). Simply planting trees without understanding whether and why they survive and grow to provide benefits is an effort of dubious long-term value. Since measurements of these trees has been taken from their date of planting (2014), a longterm (5-yr) project that would involve continued post-establishment measurement, would provide valuable empirical data relevant to actual growing conditions.
Fire blight is a major threat to apple production in USA. It can destroy thousands of high density trees per farm in epidemic conditions. Our priority is to address this threat by development of pest risk assessment through quantifying survival of fire blight bacterium Erwinia amylovora in wood cankers as main sources for infection. We will determine its survival in relation to apple and pear cultivar susceptibility, tree drought stress, and winter cold. Current fire blight prediction models assume successful fire blight survival in cankers every year.
Over 75 named and numbered peach/nectarine and plum varieties/selections are under casual evaluation and demonstration at the UMass Cold Spring Orchard. Most of them are varieties/selection from the Fruit Acres/Stellar, Paul Friday/Flaming Fury, and Rutgers/Adams County Nursery breeding and variety introduction programs. Data collected includes flowering, yield, and fruit quality (size, color, firmness, brix, maturity, and taste/consumer acceptance), and pest susceptibility.
The relationship between domesticated animals and humans is a close one, and has existed for at least ten thousand years. It is important to understand the immune defenses of many animals, in addition to the immune defenses of humans and mice. Animals have evolved many different ways of responding to bacteria and viruses. Many diseases threatening humans are zoonotic, which means that they are shared between humans and animals.
This grant is a "proof-of-principle" proposal to determine if imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide, causes obesity and insulin resistance (IR) in the insect obesity and IR model, D. melanogaster, in a manner similar, if not identical, to the effects seen with this compound when administered to mice.