Plant adaptation vision talks will bring global thought leaders to CSU

plant sprouting out of dry soil

Drought, heat, stress, pests — to survive environmental challenges like these, plants must change and evolve over time. By understanding this process, scientists can engineer, design and test possible genetic solutions to improve the crops that feed and fuel the human population. With a growing population and changing climate, understanding and utilizing plant adaptation is more important than ever.

To spark discussion and catalyze connections, CSU faculty have organized a series of vision talks with invited experts. Each speaker will discuss the cutting-edge approaches they are taking to understand the process of plant adaptation and better exploit it in crop breeding for improved resilience and sustainability in agriculture.

“CSU has a rich history of plant breeders and geneticists working on traits like drought adaptation, pest and disease resistance in crops, and related species across departments and colleges,” said John McKay, Professor in the Department of Agricultural biology. “A key part of the success is connecting to breeding programs to get these traits into farmers’ fields.

“We’re excited to bring all of these minds together to advance this important science and optimize a strategy for CSU to continue to lead and train the next generation of scientists in plant adaptation.”

Plant Adaptation Vision Talks

Mark Cooper

Plant Success: Effective Translation from Natural to Agricultural Systems

Mark Cooper, Deputy Director, Centre of Excellence for Plant Success in Nature and Agriculture, Queensland University

March 30, 2023 | 4 p.m. | Biology room 136

Mike Gore

A Genome-Level Approach to Balancing the Micronutrient Content of Maize Grain

Mike Gore, Professor and Chair, School of Integrative Plant Science Plant Breeding and Genetics Section, Cornell University

April 12, 2023 | 11 a.m. | Nutrien room 135

Susan McCouch

Learning via Radical Collaborations and Transdisciplinary Science

Susan McCouch, Inaugural Director, CROPPS Center, Cornell University

April 19, 2023 | 10 a.m. | Behavioral Sciences room 103

Coming Soon: Institute for Plant Adaptation

These vision talks have been coordinated by faculty in the planned Institute for Plant Adaptation — a new initiative under development at Colorado State University that aligns the best academic plant science with industry priorities in a positive feedback loop.

“Over the last 100 years, public and private breeding companies have incorporated a large array of scientific approaches to greatly improve the major crops,” McKay said. “But these breeding programs still need and rely on university programs to develop and de-risk new concepts and technologies and train the biologists and other scientists to do these jobs.”

Learn more at the College of Agricultural Sciences plant adaptation webpage.