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Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station

IUD Modulation of the Reproductive Cycle In Equine

We have promising proof-of-concept results with a small cohort of mares and would like to conduct further studies withadditional mares to address the safety and efficacy of this approach. This is a proof of concept project that addresses: a)potential harmful endocrine disruptors; and b) dangerous mare behavior patterns associated with estrus that put horse ridersand handlers at risk; and c) the hypothesis that current inadequacies in equine estrus control need to be revisited.

Hydropedology of Vernal Pool Systems

Results from the proposed new NE multistate project will help us to develop an understanding of how vernal pool ecosystems differ across the region in distribution, hydrology, periods of inundation (hydroperiod), redox chemistry, and carbon storage, flux, and accounting. In addition, we will continue our region-wide focus on hydric soils and hydric indicators to determine if there is a need for additional hydric soil indicators for vernal pool ecosystems.

Lipids In Plants: Improving and Developing Sustainability of Crops ("LIPIDS of Crops")

Oil seed and other food crops will be grown under various environmental stress conditions, RNA/DNA will be extracted and differential regulation of genes will be studied to understand the mechanisms at molecular levels. Identified candidate genes will be characterized by overexpression and/or knockdown in crops using genome-editing approaches via plant tissue culture methods. The resulting edited crops will be analyzed for improved agronomic traits and stress tolerance under greenhouse conditions using molecular and biochemical assays. These are standard and routine methods used in Dr.

Water Management and Quality for Ornamental Crop Production and Health

Experiments will be conducted with a number of herbaceous and woody plant species to gain an understanding of plant water and fertilizer requirements. Irrigation will be applied via soil moisture sensor controlled automated irrigation to precisely apply water to 1) understand the impact of water on plant growth and 2) to be able to quantify the amount of water being applied. Fertilizer requirements will be assessed by evaluating plant growth with variable applications of common controlled release fertilizers common in ornamental plant production.

Spatial and Temporal Management of Forest Cover and Urban Impacts for Water Resources Sustainability

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.

The Role of Turicibacter and Butyrate in Mediating Intestinal Tumorigenesis Associated with High Fat Diet-induced Obesity

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.

Understanding Growth, Survival, & Maintenance Costs of Newly-established Urban Oak Trees, Produced Using Differing Nursery Methods.

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.

Asian pear fire blight inoculation/canker study

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.

Peach/nectarine/plum variety evaluation

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.

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