Extension plant pathologist advises be on lookout for wheat stripe rust symptoms

Wheat stripe rust
Wheat stripe rust

Producers are being encouraged to scout fields this spring for early signs of wheat stripe rust.

While no cases have been reported in Wyoming, stripe rust is being seen earlier than normal in Colorado, Kansas, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska and Utah, said William Stump, plant pathologist with University of Wyoming Extension.

Symptoms include long stripes of small, yellow-to-orange, blister-like pustules, primarily on leaves, and whose spores can be easily wiped off. Cool (45 to 60 degrees) and damp conditions favor the disease.

Reports close to Wyoming occurring earlier this year means there is increased potential for inoculum being present during cool, wet conditions required for disease development, Stump said.

Stripe rust was an issue last year in southeast Wyoming and was found in fall-planted wheat but none has been found this spring.

“Typically, by the time inoculum blows up from wheat production areas south of us, warm temperatures set back disease development,” said Stump.

The disease is best managed by planting disease-resistant varieties but can be managed with foliar fungicides applied by the boot stage to protect the flag leaf, said Stump.

Of the three most planted varieties in Wyoming, Cowboy is susceptible, Buckskin is moderately susceptible and Pronghorn is resistant, he said. Whether spraying for wheat stripe in dryland wheat can yield a return is unknown, but Stump said spraying irrigated wheat can be profitable.

Pinedale workshop focus best practices for extraction site reclamation

Best management practices for reclaiming natural resource extraction sites are the focus of a workshop Thursday April 30, in Pinedale.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. at the Sublette County Weed and Pest District facility, 12 South Bench Road, with presentations 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. A $20 fee includes full-day registration and lunch. Registration is requested by Monday, March 27, at http://bit.ly/bestmanagement.

The Wyoming Reclamation and Restoration Center at the University of Wyoming is hosting the sessions, said Kristina Hufford, assistant professor of restoration ecology in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management.

Topics include best practices for management of topsoil and hydrology, seed mix and seeding and weed control and monitoring. Presenters are from the UW College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, energy industry, private consulting firms and the Bureau of Land Management.
For more information, contact Calvin Strom at 307-766-5432 or wrrc@uwyo.edu.

UW researchers unravel mystery in search for connective tissue disease causes

Research by Ph.D. student Melissa Kelley and Professor David Fay discovered in C. Elegans intrinsic biomechanical forces operating in embryos no one had previously theorized.
Research by Ph.D. student Melissa Kelley and Professor David Fay discovered in C. elegans intrinsic biomechanical forces operating in embryos no one had previously theorized.

Molecular biologist David Fay doesn’t much look like famous sleuths such as television’s Columbo – no trenchcoat, at least – nor Fox Mulder of “X Files” fame; there is no doubting-what’s-out-there Scully at his side.
Fay earned his Ph.D. in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University, and his laboratory logo is a worm with a boot (emphasis on singular boot) and spur, sporting a red neckerchief, and donning a hat with a “W” – “The Wyoming Worm Lab.”

His research history is peppered with a $1.4 million grant, a $1.19 million grant, a $799,000 grant, and those of lesser amounts. His scientific journal articles total 48 and date back to 1991.

And yet, there is no denying the look of fun that spread across his face when this director of the Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences (MCLS) Program at UW talked about the mystery he and his lab associates pursued, tracked down and ultimately solved.

It began with mutant worms.

“This was one of those studies where the idea of doing really basic, exploratory science shines,” he said.

His lab works with C. elegans, a transparent (and not parasitic) nematode, usually about a millimeter long with about 3,000 cells. Probably somewhat disappointing to humans, its genome is similar to us.

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High Plains Ranch Practicum taking applications for 2015-16 sessions

UW Extension educator Dallas Mount
UW Extension educator Dallas Mount

A national award-winning livestock extension program is again being offered for 2015-2016 beginning in May and ending in February.

The High Plains Ranch Practicum is an eight-day, hands-on educational program hosted by the University of Wyoming Extension and designed to give participants the skills and application of management tools needed in today’s complex ranching industry, said Dallas Mount, UW Extension educator.

Session locations this year include near Ucross and Glendo. Enrollment is limited to 35. Participants must apply by May 15. For additional information or an application, contact Mount at 307-322-3667 or dmount@uwyo.edu or visit http://HPRanchPracticum.com.

“If you have ranched all your life, or if you are new to ranching, this school will teach valuable, necessary skills for running a successful ranch,” said Mount, an instructor in the practicum. “Dad taught us how to build a fence and feed a cow, but he didn’t teach us how to build a business that generates an economic profit and supports the people who are building the fence and feeding the cow.”

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UW professor boost helps Sheridan College team advance to national Innovation Challenge finals

From left, University of Wyoming assistant professor of plant sciences Sadanand Dhekney, Sheridan College students Hannah Shafer of Rapid City, South Dakota, Paige Jernigan, of Cheyenne, Ceirra Carlson, of Greybull, and Hannah Jernigan of Cheyenne, and Sheridan College science faculty Rob Milne at UW’s research and extension center at Sheridan College. (Photo courtesy Daniel Mediate)
From left, University of Wyoming assistant professor of plant sciences Sadanand Dhekney, Sheridan College students Hannah Shafer of Rapid City, South Dakota, Paige Jernigan, of Cheyenne, Ceirra Carlson, of Greybull, and Hannah Jernigan of Cheyenne, and Sheridan College science faculty member Rob Milne at UW’s research and extension center at Sheridan College. (Photo courtesy Daniel Mediate)

Revving up the genetic horsepower of algae to gush lipids for use as biofuel has propelled four Sheridan College students onto the national stage in Washington, D.C.

Hannah Shafer, Rapid City, S.D., Ceirra Carlson, Greybull, and sisters Hannah and Paige Jernigan of Cheyenne are one of 10 teams from community colleges across the nation advancing to the Innovation Boot Camp in June, the final competition of the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Challenge.

The students use the laboratories in the University of Wyoming Sheridan Research and Extension (R&E) Center and draw upon the research expertise of Sadanand Dhekney, who holds the E.A. Whitney Professorship in Agriculture at the college.

The students proposed to genetically engineer algae for enhanced lipid production. They’re figuring out how to replace the original genes – yank out wimpy stock genes, insert turbo-charged replacements – and turn the algae into lipid megaproducers.

Lipids are molecules that contain hydrocarbons and make up the building blocks of the structure and function of living cells. Examples include fats, oils and waxes.

“We’re excited we made it all this way with this little idea that has come so far from the beginning,” said Hannah Jernigan. “We’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning what we have. It’s totally new, and we’ve grown leaps and bounds from where we were a couple months ago.”

Continue reading UW professor boost helps Sheridan College team advance to national Innovation Challenge finals