Plant Sciences Institute

Department of Agronomy

Raymond F. Baker Center for Plant Breeding

Current Graduate Students Supported by R.F. Baker Center for Plant Breeding

Contact information, area of study, and major professor can be found through this index

 


Benjamin Trampe
btrampe@iastate.edu
515-294-6795
Major professor: Dr. Thomas Lubberstedt
Home city: Sumner, Nebraska/United States
Degree achieved : B.S. in Agronomy
Degree to pursue: PhD in plant breeding

Research focus:
My research focus is on the spontaneous doubling of maize lines. The projects I am working on are the development of sweet corn and popcorn lines with improved doubling, and the development of new GEM double haploid recurrent parents. The other research areas are the mapping of two traits, which include inducibility and doubling of haploids. It could potentially eliminate the need for a doubling agent in the double haploids and could lead to markers that identify traits for inducibility and doubling.

Reason to choose ISU:
The reason for choosing Iowa State was because it is in Midwest and the recommendation from a former plant breeding student to attend.


Gerald N. De La Fuente
gerald@iastate.edu
515-294-6795
Major professor: Dr. Thomas Lubberstedt
Home city: Pearson, TX/United States
Degree achieved : B.S. Plant and Environmental Soil Science, Texas A&M University, 2010/M.S. Plant Breeding, Texas A&M University, 2012
Degree to pursue: PhD in plant breeding

Research focus:
I assist with the management of the Doubled Haploid Facility, housed within the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State. As a service we provide the production of new doubled haploid (DH) lines of corn. Our system is not perfect, and thus my research is focused on the improvement of the DH system; specifically development of new inducer lines, and improvement of haploid induction rate and chromosome doubling rate and integration of these traits into elite material.

Reason to choose ISU:
I chose Iowa State due to its rich history in plant breeding, especially corn. Also, my ability to focus on field based practical plant breeding was a big reason for choosing Iowa State.


Ignacio Trucillo-Silva
ignaciot@iastate.edu
515-708-6150
Major professor: Dr. Michael Lee
Home city: Venado Tuerto, Santa Fe, Argentina
Degree achieved : M.S. in Plant Genetics
Degree to pursue: PhD in plant breeding

Research focus:
Identification of QTL associated with Nitrogen (N) metabolism in a maize test-cross population. The research project included field trials for the analysis of agronomic traits and hydroponics experiments for the estimation of enzyme activity.
A better understanding of the genetics underlying N metabolism at the hybrid level will provide insightful information for improving selection in maize.

Reason to choose ISU:
ISU is one of the top universities for studying Plant breeding, with an extensive history in maize and soybean breeding and several well-known professors.



Matthew J. Dzievit

mdzievit@iastate.edu
Major professor: Dr. Jianming Yu
Home city: Milwaukee, Wisconsin/USA
Degree achieved : B.A. degree from Drake University in Biochemistry, Cell, and Molecular Biology
Degree to pursue: PhD in plant breeding

Research focus:
My research focuses on combing high throughput phenotyping and genotyping to explore canopy architecture in maize. Additionally, I am interested in expanding my knowledge in quantitative genetics and plant breeding methodologies, while finding innovative ways to integrate new and emerging technologies into my research.

Reason to choose ISU:
I chose to study at Iowa State for the opportunity to work and learn from Dr. Jianming Yu, and the chance to be a part of the rich history of maize breeding.


Jinyu Wang
jinyuw@iastate.edu
214-205-4418
Major professor: Dr. Jianming Yu
Home city: Shandong/Heze/China
Degree achieved : B.A. degree in science
Degree to pursue: PhD in plant breeding

Research focus:
I am currently working on two projects. One is TALE-on-a-chip project. The goal of this project is developing a novel way for high throughput TALE synthesis. TALE-based tool such as TALEN is an important tool for targeted genome editing which is very useful for crop improvement. The other project is to study genetic mechanisms of genome changes in Arabidopsis.

Reason to choose ISU:
I choose to study in ISU because it is excellent in the field of biology and it is a very beautiful university


Maria Betsabe Mantilla Perez
mantilla@iastate.edu
515-520-5165
Major professor: Dr. Maria G. Salas Fernandez
Home city: Pichincha/Quito/Ecuador
Degree achieved : M.S. in Plant Breeding
Degree to pursue: PhD in plant breeding

Research focus:
Identification of genomic regions associated with plant architecture phenotypes and response to external application of brassinosteoridsin sorghum. In this project, gene expression is going to be evaluated and fine mapping will be performed.
Understanding the genetic control of plant architecture traits is a key element for the improvement of sorghum varieties for biofuel production.

Reason to choose ISU:
I decided to study at Iowa State University because it is one of the best universities in agriculture and the Plant Breeding program has a high status around the world. Also, Iowa State University is interested and proud of its cultural diversity and I wanted to bring my culture to a place where it would be appreciated.


Tara Moellers
moellers@iastate.edu
Major professor: Dr. Asheesh Singh
Home city: Ridgeway, IA/USA
Degree achieved : B.S in Agricultural Biochemistry
Degree to pursue: PhD in plant breeding

Research focus:
My research focuses on the genetics for the resistance to Sclerotinia stem rot (SSR) and frogeye leaf spot (FLS) in soybean. Results will improve soybean disease resistance by identifying genes, setting marker assisted and genomic selection, and identifying useful breeding material.

Reason to choose ISU:
I chose Iowa State because of the extraordinary experience I had as an undergraduate, and the quality of the research and faculty.


Michael Stein
mjstein@iastate.edu
Major professor: Dr. Jode Edwards
Home city: Maple Grove, Minnesota, USA
Degree achieved : B.S. in Biology
Degree to pursue: PhD in plant breeding

Research focus:
Our research focus is on how selection in a maize recurrent selection program affects plant development under high planting densities. We focus largely on characterizing ear and plant growth early in the growing season, especially before flowering. Understanding how and when plants are negatively affected, and observing how selection mitigates the negative effects of high planting density can help better understand density stress and help in efforts to find a genetic basis for density stress adaptation.

Reason to choose ISU:
I chose ISU due to the prestige that the plant breeding program has, consistently considered one of the best in the country. I knew from the beginning that this was the school that I wanted to attend, and I was extraordinarily lucky to be accepted into a program here.


Kimberly Vanous
kbrown@iastate.edu
Major professor: Dr. Thomas Lubberstedt
Home city: Oregon/IL/US
Degree achieved : M.S. in Soil Science and Environmental Science
Degree to pursue: Ph.D. in Interdepartmental Genetics and Genomics

Research focus:
My research focuses on the improvement of the doubled haploid system in maize by incorporating embryo rescue and investigating non-transgenic approaches for haploid selection during embryo rescue. It also entails the investigation for genes involved in induction ability in maize.

Reason to choose ISU:
ISU is one of the top agricultural schools in the country.


Reka Howard
kbrown@iastate.edu
Major professor: Dr. William Beavis and Dr. Alicia Carriquiry
Home city: Ames/IA/USA
Degree achieved : B.S in Math and Statistics. M.S in Statistics
Degree to pursue: PhD in Plant breeding

Research focus:
My research focuses on evaluating parametric and nonparametric statistical methods for genomic selection. Right now I am working on implementing response surface methodology in genomic selection using simulated data, and try to see in what parameter combinations we can have the largest gain of using nonparametric methods instead of nonparametric methods for prediction. My goal is to implement the parametric BLUP and nonparametric SVM methods using soy-NAM data too.

Reason to choose ISU:
I finished my undergraduate degrees in Math and Statistics at Iowa State University, and since I really liked Statistics, I decided to stay for my PhD in Statistics. As an undergraduate student, I had an hourly lab job in Dr Kendall Lamkey’s lab, and I really liked the work there. As time went by, I got convinced to start studying plant breeding, and later I added plant breeding as a second major.