Job Opportunity Assistant/Associate Professor Position in Plant Breeding (Emphasis on Cotton and Small Grains)

The Department of Plant and Soil Science, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas seeks candidates for an assistant/associate professor position in plant breeding with an emphasis on cotton, sorghum, and millet. This will be a 9-month, tenure-track position.

Candidates are expected to establish an outstanding teaching and grant-supported research program in basic and applied studies on plant breeding.  Willingness to collaborate with other plant breeders, plant geneticists, and genomists dealing with crops and horticultural plants at Texas Tech, Texas A&M AgriLife, and USDA-ARS is necessary.

The successful applicant will be expected to teach undergraduate and graduate courses in plant breeding and seed science or related courses (a typical teaching load in the Department varies from 2 to 4 courses per academic year depending on the extent of the research program); to advise undergraduate and graduate students; to work with government and industry clientele; to provide service to the department, college, university, and community; to establish a research program with the capacity to generate external funding; and to be active in professional societies.

The position provides opportunity for professional growth, while collaborating with an energetic, productive team of scientists.

Please note that all application materials must be submitted on-line through the Texas Tech University application site at http://www.depts.ttu.edu/hr/workattexastech/  and search for Requisition Number 5773BR.
– Applicants should submit a CV, official transcripts, along with statements of research.
– Applicants should supply names and contact information of three (3) individuals who may be contacted for letters of reference.

Questions should be addressed to Dr. Eric F. Hequet, Search Committee Chair, Department of Plant and Soil Science, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas 79409-2122, Phone (806) 834-0621; email: eric.hequet@ttu.edu.

Review of the applications will start immediately and will continue until the position is filled. 
Expected starting date is September 1, 2016.

ICRA Sponsorship for WCRC-6 in Brazil

The World Cotton Research Conference-6 will be held in Goiania, Brazil from May 2-6, 2016. ICRA is sponsoring 36 researchers from various countries to attend the WCRC-6 with US$40,000. Sponsorship was open to researchers from around the world. The last date to apply was November 15, 2015. Four types of sponsorships were available.

  • Air ticket up to US$1,500
  • Registration fee plus hotel (Estimated at US$1,200)
  • Cash payment of US$1,000
  • Registration fee

New ICGI co-chairs have been elected

International Cotton Genome Initiative (ICGI) has completed 2015 election process, and as a result, six new co-chairs for overall chairing and ICGI work groups have been elected for 2017-2019 terms:

ICGI Overall – Dr. John Yu (USA)

Breeding and Applied Genomics – Dr. Jodi Scheffler (USA)

Comparative Genomics and Bioinformatics – Dr. Ibrokhim Abdurakhmonov (Uzbekistan)

Functional Genomics – Dr. Guoli Song ( China)

Germplasm & Genetic Stocks – Dr. Xiongming Du (China)

Structural Genomics – Dr. Wangzhen Guo (China)

Moreover, per election results, 95-97% voters approved new Workgroup structure of ICGI and uses of ICGI funds.

Congratulations for successful election process to ICGI and its new co-chairs!

Details of ICGI election results can be fount at: http://www.cottongen.org/icgi/elections

Cotton Research enters to a period of “golden” opportunities

With the recent completion of draft sequencing of diploid cotton Gossypium raimondii and G. arboreum genomes published in Nature Genetics, and the first “gold-standard” version of G. raimondii genome published in Nature, cotton research community enjoyed the pick of many seminal research results that have provided a glorious opportunity to study orthologous and paralogous genes and gene families in allotetraploid cotton.

These successes and great achievements in ancestral diploid genome sequencing further resulted in decoding of the representative genome of widely grown allotetraploid Upland (G. hirsutum L.) cotton, Texas Marker-1.

Two independent research papers published in Nature Biotechnology by Zhang et al. and Li et al. in this week issue described the complex allotetraploid TM-1 genome that further entered cotton research to an era of “golden” opportunities providing the first insights into allotetraploid cotton genome structure, genome rearrangements, gene evolution, cotton fiber biology and biotechnology that will help to rapidly translate the genomics “knowledge” to an “economic impact”!

Congratulation to all cotton community with these latest achievements, high impact journal seminal publications, and hard work to foster cotton research!

World Cotton Germplasm Resources – new book has been published

New open access book of Intech entitled  “World Cotton Germplasm Resources” (ISBN 978-953-51-1622-6) has just been published online.  Book has compiled 11 peer-reviewed chapters from several leading cotton growing countries including Australia, China, India, Pakistan, United States of America, and Uzbekistan. It provided updated information on the current status and detailed inventory of available cotton germplasm resources. All chapters also targeted to address the past and current progress; enrichment of collections with novel germplasm resources including Bt-cotton, RNA interference and markers assisted selection lines; new trends and molecular tools in germplasm evaluations, development of database, understanding genetic diversity and its exploitation in cotton breeding; future perspectives of existing collections; critical challenges and opportunities in preserving the cotton genetic resources; and the ongoing multi-national communication and collaboration to enhance the germplasm protection, preservation, and evaluation. This book should be useful reading source on worldwide cotton germplasm resources. The content of this book is freely available for downloading at (http://www.intechopen.com/books/world-cotton-germplasm-resources).

Sharing research outputs through a specific journal

Journal of Cotton Sciences

There are many possible journals for agricultural science publications.

One specific cotton publication is the Journal of Cotton Science. http://www.cotton.org/journal/index.cfm.

  • “The multidisciplinary, refereed journal contains articles that improve our understanding of cotton science.
  • Publications may be compilations of original research, syntheses, reviews, or notes on original research or new techniques or equipment”.
  • The journal is web based and is published four times each year by the US Cotton Foundation.

This Journal needs our support to build a larger number of cotton paper submissions and more readership and citations, so we urge you to consider this journal for publishing results of your cotton research.

ICAC Cotton Researcher of the Year 2014

 

The International Cotton Advisory Committee started recognizing a cotton researcher in 2009. Dr. Greg Constable of CSIRO, Australia is the winner of the ICAC Researcher of the Year – 2015 award. He is also current Chairman of the International Coton Researchers Association (ICRA). Dr. Constable is an eminent leader in the international cotton research community. He was one of the primary organizers of the first World Cotton Research Conference in Australia in 1994. Dr. Constable’s experience in cotton research is spread over four decades. His achievements are well recognized in three fields of research: agronomy, breeding and physiology and scientific leadership. Dr. Constable’s research has greatly benefitted the cotton industry in Australia and he has received many recognitions at the national level in Australia.

Sincere congratulations from ICRA.

For More information

 

Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide benefits cotton growth and yield

Climate change is real and will affect cotton growth and yield. Climate change is occurring because of increased greenhouse gases, mainly CO2, in the atmosphere causing global warming and related changes in various weather phenomena. Increasing CO2 levels should be beneficial to plant growth and yield because increasing ambient CO2 would enhance photosynthesis and plant growth. This is because photosynthesis in cotton responds to increasing CO2,such that increasing CO2 levels above the current ambient level would result in higher amounts of CO2 fixed, and therefore increased carbohydrate production and enhanced plant growth. It has been estimated that the photosynthetic rate of agricultural crops such as cotton would increase by 33% with a doubling of the CO2 concentrationIn addition to enhancing canopy photosynthesis, CO2 is also a competitive inhibitor of photorespiration, and both of these factors result in increased growth and productivity.  However, other factors come into play with climate such as increased temperatures, altered precipitation patterns, and changed season length that could negatively impact the advantages of increased CO2 levels

Novel findings and strategies for fiber biotechnology

A negative correlation between fiber quality traits and the key agronomic characteristics such as yield and maturity makes it a challenging task to improve cotton fiber quality traits using conventional breeding.The improvement of key characteristics of fiber quality is one of the major objectives of cotton biotechnology worldwide. Several key findings published lately by several cotton research groups fueled a good evidence and promise for biotechnological improvement of cotton fiber. The report published by Guan et al. 2014 in January issue of Nature communications highlight the role of GhMYB2A and GhMYB2D and its tans-acting regulatory microRNA signatures, miR828 and miR858, in trichome and fiber development. Another report in the same issue of Nature Communications by our group highlighted the involvement of cotton phytochrome gene family in the simultaneous improvement of major fiber characteristics and several important agronomic traits of Upland cotton utilizing RNA interference of the targeted light regulatory gene(s). Recent report of Han et al. in the March issue of Plant Biotechnology journal demonstrated that Phytosulfokine-α (PSK-α) signaling may regulate the respiratory electron-transport chain and reactive oxygen species to affect cotton fibre development. Results of all these recent discoveries on regulating novel genetic signatures through transgenomics approaches not only expanded our understanding on the complex cotton fiber development process but also provided novel innovative strategies to improve cotton fiber quality to increase competitiveness of natural fiber over synthetics.