Our interest is to reduce phosphorus (P) pollution from animal waste by using phytase, an enzyme that breaks down undigestible parts of plant feeds into digestible phosphorus, to improve the utilization of phytate-P in animal feed. The long-term goals of this project are to develop highly effective new phytases and to establish efficient expression systems to produce these enzymes.
This project is bridging the perpetual gap between scientific advances and environmental protection by finding ways to better predict where runoff and, by association, pollution is generated in the landscape. We refer to these runoff source areas as "hydrologically sensitive areas" or HSAs. Over three decades of research by Cornell's Soil and Water Lab has clearly shown that HSAs often appear in areas of the landscape where the soil is especially prone to saturating. Furthermore, it is clear that traditional water quality models and dogmas are based on assumptions that miss these areas.
Cornell plant pathologists used plant inoculation experiments and molecular genetic analyses to confirm that Fusarium wilt of birdsfoot trefoil is caused by a single strain of Fusarium oxysporum form species loti across its known geographic range in certain areas of New York and Vermont. The newly available molecular diagnostic tools will aid in tracking future movement of the pathogen and will identify farm fields in which trefoil producers need to grow resistant varieties or rotate to non-susceptible crop plants.
We have developed unique hybrid oaks that have the promise of increased vigor, better adaptation to urban stresses such as alkaline soil, flooding and drought as well as pest resistance, better tree form and improved fall leaf color. We can now clonally propagate these hybrids, and we are evaluating them for environmental stress tolerance and landscape attributes at nurseries in Long Island, Western New York, and Ithaca. Three cooperating nurseries are interested in testing these oaks under nursery conditions.
Beer, wine, and clear fruit juices tend to develop haze or turbidity over time. The most frequent cause for this is protein-polyphenol complex formation leading to development of colloidal particles. These beverages are normally stabilized to delay or prevent haze formation during the intended product shelf-life. Research into the nature of haze formation and beverage stabilization has greatly improved understanding of the multiple factors involved in haze formation. Studies have also indicated why certain stabilization methods work better in particular beverages.
The overall purpose of this project is twofold: (1) to provide public- and private-sector decision makers with information to help them judge the appropriateness of continuing authorization for commodity checkoff and export promotion programs, and (2) to collaborate with and provide information to boards of directors and the managers of commodity promotion checkoff programs to help better utilize promotion funds. Commodity checkoff programs are marketing programs responsible for such well-known ads as "Got Milk?," "Beef.
Provided leadership to the BEE department to give it focus on contemporary issues of biological and environmental engineering for teaching, research, and extension. Undergraduates majors have more than doubled, research publications and external grants have steadily increased, and significant extension programs have been established. The BEE department has joined with Civil and Environmental Engineering to create a undergraduate major in Environmental Engineering and the BEE department is in the process of creating the first Biology-based Engineering curriculum in the country.
Yield estimates of traditional cropping systems of indigenous populations in North America have been flawed because scholars who have made these estimates lacked fundamental knowledge of soil and crop sciences. By combining replicated field experiments of a traditional Iroquois cropping system with examination of historical and ethnographic materials, I have established maize yields that are 50% to more than 100% higher than previous estimates by scholars. These new yield estimates will change the interpretation and characterization of Iroquois agriculture.
The book, "Poissons D'eaux Douces et Saumatres de Basse Guinée Ouest de L'Afrique Centrale" Vol 1 and Vol 2 ("The Fresh and Brackish Water Fishes of Lower Guinea, West-Central Africa") edited by Melanie Stiassny, Guy G. Teugels, and Carl D. Hopkins, is the first major book on the fresh water fishes of Lower Guinea, Western Central Africa since 1909. It is a two-volume treatise with 1,400 pages in French and English, with 38 authors.
The study of native insect biodiversity on small, isolated tropical islands provides support for conserving native montane ecosystems. These systems provide the water necessary for life on those islands. Native species are restricted to where invasive alien species have not become established, and so biotic survey for natives provides a signal about environmental health.