Specialty Crops Improvement Showcase

The Specialty Crops Improvement Showcase is an online seminar that will be hosted via ZOOM on Wednesday, February 9, 2022, from 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm. The showcase will feature virtual networking from 5:00 – 6:00 pm.

Specialty Crops have a rising economic, labor, nutritional and social significance.  However, most of the SC lack research dedication to solve some of the most pressing problems that would enable greater production, quality, and accessibility of products that can sustain and improve the lives of our communities.  At our upcoming February 9 showcase, we will focus on some of our most innovative research in genetics, genomics, breeding and analytics in Specialty Crops at NC State and explore avenues to create synergies to further enhance that research and its impact.  We will start with a panel discussion on the relevance of public-private partnerships to advance R&D in Specialty Crops, especially in the areas of genetics and breeding of those crops.  The panel discussion will be followed by NC State faculty briefs.

Event Timeline

2:30 pm Welcome and How to Get Involved

  • Amy Grunden, Assistant Director of NCARS NCSU
  • Erin Meyer, Director of Development, Plant Science Initiative, NCSU
  • Carlos Iglesias, Director of Plant Breeding Consortium, NCSU
  • Thiago G. Marconi, Senior Research Scholar, Horticulture Science, NCSU 

3:00 pm Panel Discussion: Triple Helix collaboration to drive specialty crop improvement

  • Moderator:
    • Paul Ulanch
      Executive Director of Crop Commercialization Program, North Carolina Biotechnology Center 
  • Panelists:
    • Vincent Asiago
      Director of R&D Portfolio, Innovation, and Intellectual Property, HM Clause
    • Gina Fernandez
      Professor and Graduate Student Coordinator in Horticultural Science, NCSU
    • Jeff Rosichan
      Director, Crops of the Future Collaborative Next Generation Crops, Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research
    • Patricia Ouimet 
      Director Breeding, Genomics and Plant Improvement, PepsiCo

4:00 pm Faculty Research Presentations (5 minutes presentation/5 minutes Q&A each)

  • Genotype independent non-GMO gene editing for Specialty Crops
    • Wusheng Liu, Assistant Professor in Translational Genomics and Plant Bioengineering
  • OmeSeq genotyping platform
    • Bode Olukolu, Assistant Professor, Entomology and Plant Pathology, University of Tennessee, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Horticultural Science, NCSU
  • Genetic models applied to polyploid species
    • Marcelo Mollinari, Research Assistant Professor at Bioinformatics Research Center
  • Advances in nutritional genetics
    • Massimo Iorizzo, Assistant Professor in Plant Genetics and Nutritional Genomics at PHHI-NCSU
  • Genetic transformation of recalcitrant species
    • Kedong Da, Director of the NC State Plant Transformation Lab

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Optional in-person networking