- Author: Elizabeth Fichtner
Dr. Isolde Francis, a new faculty member at CSU Bakersfield, invited Elizabeth Fichtner, UCCE Tulare County Advisor, and Therese Kapaun, Lindcove Research and Extension Center Staff Research Associate, to design an undergraduate lab practical to teach students how to isolate and identify plant pathogenic bacteria. Local Tulare County nut growers, and grower cooperators supporting Fichtner's research, graciously provided plant tissue samples from commercial orchards to support this educational endeavor. To complete the exercise, students will isolate pathogens into culture and complete diagnostic PCR reactions to identify their bacterial isolates. Kapaun, Fichtner, and Sabrine Dhaouadi, a visiting scientist in Fichtner's program, instructed students on laboratory techniques, but also provided students with a perspective of field symptomology and field sampling strategies to diagnose plant diseases.
- Author: Elizabeth Fichtner
Sabrine Dhaouadi, a visiting scientist from Tunisia, will be working with Dr. Elizabeth Fichtner, UCCE Tulare County Advisor, at the pathology laboratory at Lindcove Research and Extension Center from October 2015-March 2016. Sabrine is working on her PhD in plant protection from the National Agronomic Institute of Tunis. Sabrine completed her undergraduate degree in Agricultural Engineering and her MS in Organic and Integrated Pest Management in Agriculture.
While working with UCCE, Sabrine will focus on emerging diseases of pistachio. In this capacity, she will have the opportunity to work with southern San Joaquin Valley growers to conduct field and laboratory research studies addressing industry needs. Lindcove Research and Extension Center has provided the laboratory and greenhouse infrastructure necessary for achieving the applied research goals of Fichtner's program, thus facilitating Sabrine's work as a visiting scholar and PhD student.
- Author: Elizabeth E Grafton-Cardwell
More than forty students from the Woodlake Highschool Academy of Sustainable Agriculture came to Lindcove REC on October 1 to learn what we do for agricultural research. The Ag Mechanic students, led by Ag Supervisor Don Cleek and Physical Plant Mechanic Dan Seymore, explored principles of tractor operation, the operations and output of the fruit grading system on the citrus packline, irrigation pump operations, shop tools and safety. Each Ag Mechanics student assembled a wooden box. The Natural Resources students, led by Director Beth Grafton-Cardwell and Staff Research Associate Sara Scott studied the life cycle of the citricola scale and the California red scale using hand lenses and microscopes. The Natural Resources students participated in an experiment by sampling citricola scale in the field, conducted calculations of the mean number of scales in each treatment and discussed the impact of two pesticides on the scale population. This was an exciting day of hands-on involvement by students in the operations and science of a University research facility.
- Author: Therese Kapaun
Four interns from Monrovia Nursery recently toured the research plots and greenhouses at Lindcove REC. The interns are university students or recent graduates from UC Riverside, Texas Tech, Cal State Fresno, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. During their nine week program at Monrovia, the interns learned various plant production processes, such as propagation and pruning, plant health and disease issues, and spent some time with their sales department.
During their tour of Lindcove the interns were introduced to the variety and scope of plant research projects occurring at the Center, and also a citrus budding demonstration in one of the greenhouses.
Specialty Plants Grower Coach Orlando Bejar of Monrovia Nursery brings his interns to tour Lindcove every year. Orlando told us, "At the end of the internship we hope the interns come out with a better sense of what plant production is and if they really want a career in nursery management."
Pictured: Left to Right
Jesus Cerrillos, University of California, Riverside
Emily Graff, Texas Tech University
Orlando Bejar, Monrovia Nursery
Mauro Trujillo, California State University, Fresno
Sydney Ross, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
- Author: Rachel Rattner
- Contributor: Therese Kapaun
Rachel Rattner is beginning her 5th year in the Plant Biology Ph.D program at UC Riverside working under Dr. Mikeal Roose. She is working on a research project that investigates the significance of small RNA molecules in grafted citrus and their impact on citrus fruit quality. Small RNAs are molecules that are found in plants naturally and are a rapidly growing area of study in many species. Their role in the regulation of gene expression has been shown to be of importance in many aspects of plant growth and development, as well as being involved in reactions to various environmental stresses. Previous research has suggested that small RNAs may be species-specific and are able to move across the graft union. Citrus rootstocks have long been known to influence fruit quality traits. This project utilizes the Lane Late navel rootstock orchard at Lindcove REC planted in 1991 to examine the potential genetic cause of these differences. The trial consists of 230 navel orange scions on 29 different rootstocks. By comparing genetic sequences of small RNAs in the roots and fruit of different trees, Rachel will correlate changes in gene expression with differences in fruit quality traits.
These photos depict samples of fruit and roots of the Lane Late navels at Lindcove REC. Juice vesicles and young roots are collected throughout the growing season to capture changes in gene expression throughout fruit development. The samples are quickly frozen on dry ice in the field to preserve the integrity and current state of the RNA molecules present at the time of collection.