Cover crop mixtures must be 'farm-tuned' to provide maximum ecosystem services

August 17, 2020

Penn State researchers, in a recent study, were surprised to learn that they could take the exact same number of seeds from the same plants, put them in agricultural fields across the Mid-Atlantic region and get profoundly different stands of cover crops a few months later.

Research helps explain source of pathogen that causes bitter rot disease

August 13, 2020

A new way of looking at the fungal pathogen, Colletotrichum fioriniae, as a leaf endophyte — bacterial or fungal microorganisms that colonize healthy plant tissue — was the outcome of a two-year study conducted by researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

Cover crop roots are an essential key to understanding ecosystem services

August 12, 2020

To judge the overall effectiveness of cover crops and choose those offering the most ecosystem services, agricultural scientists must consider the plants’ roots as well as above-ground biomass, according to Penn State researchers who tested the characteristics of cover crop roots in three monocultures and one mixture.

Flavonoids' presence in sorghum roots may lead to frost-resistant crop

August 10, 2020

Flavonoid compounds — produced by the roots of some sorghum plants — positively affect soil microorganisms, according to Penn State researchers, who suggest the discovery is an early step in developing a frost-resistant line of the valuable crop for North American farmers.

New ag engineering fabrication shop ready to enhance Penn State fruit research

August 4, 2020

Research aimed at helping growers improve efficiency, reduce costs and overcome labor shortages will be enhanced with the recent completion of a new agricultural engineering shop at Penn State's Fruit Research and Extension Center.

Penn State Microbiome Center and GALT enter collaboration to advance research

August 4, 2020

The Penn State Microbiome Center and General Automation Lab Technologies announced their collaboration to advance plant pathology, environmental microbiology and human gut microbiome studies.

Researchers aim to create thriving agricultural systems in urbanizing landscapes

July 29, 2020

A team led by Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences researchers is almost a year into a five-year study aimed at creating economically and environmentally sustainable agricultural systems in the face of development pressures and other challenges of urbanization.

Plant scientist receives grant to improve corn defenses against fall armyworm

July 24, 2020

Surinder Chopra, professor of maize genetics in the College of Agricultural Sciences, has been awarded funding from the U.S Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to study the improvement of corn defenses against the fall armyworm.

Novel cutting mechanism devised for automated, robotic apple-tree pruning system

July 24, 2020

The first robotic cutting mechanism — or “end-effector” — for a fully automated, computerized pruning system for modern apple orchards has been designed by a Penn State research team, an early step in the creation of a technology aimed at easing challenges facing tree-fruit growers.

Post-9/11 veterans with moral injury are having trouble connecting to others

July 22, 2020

A recent study, led by researchers at the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State, is the first to examine the relationship between moral injury and social well-being over a long period of time.

Correct dosage of methane-inhibiting additive in dairy cow feed shown in study

July 21, 2020

The optimum amount of a methane-inhibiting supplement in dairy cattle feed has been determined by an international team of researchers, indicating that widespread use of the compound could be an affordable climate change-battling strategy, if farmers embrace it.

Plant pathologist receives grant to develop disease management tools for wheat

July 21, 2020

Paul Esker, a plant pathologist in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, has received a $455,000 grant from the U.S Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to support a five-year integrated research and extension project designed to improve management recommendations for wheat.

Harnessing biomass, manure to fuel farms through multi-institutional project

July 21, 2020

A $10 million federal grant will power a multi-institutional consortium aiming to create new value chains on U.S. farms, including methods for farmers to make more efficient use of resources with an emphasis on the generation of renewable natural gas, improved rural economic outcomes and protection of the environment.

Climate scientists increasingly ignore ecological role of indigenous peoples

July 20, 2020

In their zeal to promote the importance of climate change as an ecological driver, climate scientists increasingly are ignoring the profound role that indigenous peoples played in fire and vegetation dynamics, not only in the eastern United States but worldwide, according to a Penn State researcher.

Ecology Institute announces grant recipients

July 15, 2020

The Ecology Institute has awarded 11 proposals from across the University as part of its Flower Grant program, including five projects submitted by faculty at Commonwealth Campuses. The funds provided by the Flower Grant aim to support ecology research focused across the institute’s five core themes.

NSF CAREER grant supports entomologist in study of sterility mechanisms in bees

July 13, 2020

A grant of more than $1 million from the National Science Foundation will support a researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences in a study of mechanisms that induce sterility in social insects. Etya Amsalem, assistant professor of entomology, received the award from the prestigious NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program.

Researchers to create a roadmap for fostering successful agritourism enterprises

July 9, 2020

A team of researchers led by a Penn State agricultural economist will receive $500,000 over three years to study agritourism in the United States and to develop research-based information and guidance for farmers looking to diversify their incomes through agritourism activities.

Gall fly outmaneuvers host plant in game of 'Spy vs. Spy'

July 9, 2020

Over time goldenrod plants and the gall flies that feed on them have been one-upping each other in an ongoing competition for survival. Now, a team of researchers has discovered that by detecting the plants’ chemical defenses, the insects may have taken the lead.

Childhood experiences and exposure to combat linked to poorer mental health

July 8, 2020

A recent study of approximately 9,000 new post-9/11 veterans conducted by researchers at the Clearinghouse for Military Readiness at Penn State and Veterans Affairs examined how exposure to various stressors was related to their current mental health.

Sensation seekers, risk-takers who experience more bitterness apt to drink IPAs

July 8, 2020

People who seek novel and powerful sensations and are more prone to taking risks — and who perceive bitter tastes more intensely — are more likely to prefer bitter, pale-ale-style beers and drink them more often, according to Penn State sensory researchers, who conducted a study that involved blind taste tests and personality assessments.

Custom nanoparticle regresses tumors when exposed to light

July 7, 2020

A team of Penn State researchers is collaborating on a potential new method to treat cancer by delivering a unique nanoparticle to a localized cancerous area in mice and activating the treatment through light exposure.

Antioxidants in corn line could aid human IBD protection, therapy

July 6, 2020

Flavonoids from a specific line of corn act as anti-inflammatory agents in the guts of mice with an inflammatory-bowel-disease-like condition, according to a team of researchers who said flavonoid-rich corn should be studied to determine its potential to provide a protective effect on human health.

Grants move College of Ag Sciences research toward commercialization

July 1, 2020

Three research projects that have great potential to be successful in the marketplace have received grants through a Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences program designed to spur innovation.

Center for Security Research and Education announces seed grant awardees

June 30, 2020

The Center for Security Research and Education (CSRE) has selected 13 interdisciplinary projects through its spring 2020 seed grant program. CSRE is providing a total of $300,000 in funding for the projects, with an additional $300,000 in matching and supplemental funding from other colleges, departments, and institutes.

Checklist of Pa. bees documents 49 new species and some that may be endangered

June 29, 2020

A study documenting bees that are reported to occur in Pennsylvania has found the presence of 437 species, including 49 never before recorded in the state.

Project to study pandemic impacts on Alaskan salmon season

June 26, 2020

Penn State is part of a research team conducting surveys with fishery participants and residents to better understand the costs and benefits of varied mitigation policies and developing pandemic preparedness scenarios in Bristol Bay, Alaska, home to the world's largest commercial sockeye salmon fishery.

Consumers can distinguish between bitter tastes in beer -- doesn’t alter liking

June 24, 2020

Although most beer consumers can distinguish between different bitter tastes in beer, this does not appear to influence which beer they like. It seems they just like beer, regardless of the source of the bitterness.

Sunnier but riskier

June 23, 2020

Conservation efforts that open up the canopy of overgrown habitat for threatened timber rattlesnakes are beneficial to snakes but could come at a cost, according to a new study by researchers at Penn State.

Asian giant hornets currently not a concern for Pa., eastern North America

June 17, 2020

Recent alarming news reports aside, Asian giant hornets — sometimes referred to, hyperbolically, as "murder hornets" — are not an immediate concern in the Northeast, nor are they likely to be for a long time, if ever, according to an entomologist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Tuberculosis spread from animals to humans greater than previously thought

June 15, 2020

The number of human tuberculosis cases that are due to transmission from animals, as opposed to human-to-human transmission, may be much higher than previously estimated, according to an international team of researchers. The results could have implications for epidemiological studies and public health interventions.

Office for Research and Graduate Education


217 Agricultural Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802-2600

Office for Research and Graduate Education


217 Agricultural Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802-2600