Decline in Wild Bees will Sting Agriculture

University of Vermont researchers created a national assessment to help focus both scientific and political efforts to understand and sustain wild bees. NIFA originally published this impact in the NIFA 2017 Annual Report.

Reclaiming Strip Mine Fields for Biofuel Crop Production

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University are returning life to damaged lands with a crop that can be a source of sustainable fuel and put to other agricultural purposes. NIFA originally published this impact in the 2017 Annual Report.

One Person's Waste is Another Person's Fuel Oil

NIFA-funded researchers from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) at the Eastern Regional Research Center in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, developed a way to produce a renewable fuel called bio-oil from agricultural and food waste.

A New Way to Fight Bed Bugs

Bed bug infestations have grown exponentially and researchers at Pennsylvania State University answered the call. NIFA originally published this impact in the NIFA 2017 Annual Report.

Robots May Enhance Productivity in Agriculture

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania, have created a camera-equipped vehicle that can detect fruit via automated image analysis. NIFA originally published this impact in the 2017 NIFA Annual Report.

New Technology Improves CRISPR-Cas9 Gene Editing in Mosquitoes, Other Species

A technology designed to improve CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing in mosquitoes and other arthropods succeeds with a high degree of efficiency, while eliminating the need for difficult microinjection of genetic material, according to Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) researchers. NIFA supports the research through Agriculture and Food Research Initiative.

Up to 60 Million People May Now be Able to Eat

A team of researchers from University of Arkansas, Pennsylvania State University, Ohio State University, Louisiana State University, Kansas State University, and USDA’s Agricultural Research Service have isolated a gene that gives rice resistance to rice blast. NIFA supports this research through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative.

Penn State Improving the 'Chocolate Tree'

Reliable productivity from cacao plants is essential to the multibillion-dollar chocolate industry, the economies of producing countries, and the livelihoods of millions of smallholder cacao farmers. Previous work in cacao identified a gene, known as TcNPR3, which suppresses the plant's disease response. The researchers hypothesized that using CRISPR-Cas9 to knock out this gene would result in enhanced disease resistance. To test their hypothesis, they used Agrobacterium — a plant pathogen modified to remove its ability to cause disease — to introduce CRISPR-Cas9 components into detached cacao leaves. Subsequent analysis of treated tissue found deletions in 27 percent of TcNPR3 copies. NIFA supports this research through the Hatch Act Program.