USDA, NIFA Announce Investments in Pollinator Health Research

June 29, 2018

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 14 grants totaling approximately $10 million for research to help sustain healthy populations of pollinators, which are crucial to the nation’s food security and environmental health. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. Among the awarded projects is Distinguished Professor of Entomology Christina Grozinger's research on adapting beekeeping practices to landscape-based stressors.

Gut microbes may partner with a protein to help regulate vitamin D

June 28, 2018

A collection of bacteria in the gut may use a cell-signaling protein to help regulate vitamin D, a key nutrient that, among other benefits, is involved with building and maintaining bones, according to a team of researchers. In a study on mice, researchers found that microbiota — a community of microorganisms in the gut that can help digest food and maintain immune function — may regulate the metabolism of endocrine vitamin D through a protein called fibroblast growth factor 23, or FGF 23, said Margherita T. Cantorna, distinguished professor of molecular immunology in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Climate projections suggest Lancaster County corn yields in jeopardy by 2050

June 25, 2018

Climate projections indicate more warming will occur in the Northeast than other sections of the United States, and that has implications for corn crops and dairy farms in the region by 2050, researchers warn. While rising temperatures are not likely to cause serious reductions in corn crops in the northern and central parts of the Northeast, they threaten corn yields in the southern reaches of the region, according to Heather Karsten, associate professor of crop production ecology in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

'Nuru' becomes African farmers' newest ally against fall armyworm

June 25, 2018

Penn State researchers have joined forces with the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to release the first app, called Nuru, to help African farmers recognize fall armyworm — a new and fast-spreading crop pest in sub-Saharan Africa — so that they can take immediate steps to destroy it and curb its spread.

Scientists find evidence of 27 new viruses in bees

June 22, 2018

An international team of researchers has discovered evidence of 27 previously unknown viruses in bees. The finding could help scientists design strategies to prevent the spread of viral pathogens among these important pollinators.

Lanternfly's penchant for -- and potential to harm -- grapevines focus of study

June 14, 2018

The spotted lanternfly is starting to sour the grape and wine industries in southeastern Pennsylvania, and research underway in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences aims to spoil the invasive pest's party.

Analysis of post-recession job trends suggests existence of 'two Pennsylvanias'

June 11, 2018

An analysis of employment change in the state since 2001 suggests the existence of "two Pennsylvanias" during the period from 2001 to 2017, according to economists in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Unique food-microbiology workshop offered to select visiting students

June 7, 2018

A faculty team in Penn State's Department of Food Science is offering a novel microbiology workshop in June and July to visiting college students from around the Commonwealth and Puerto Rico. The workshop, hosted by the College of Agricultural Sciences, will include nine students from seven Pennsylvania institutions — Gettysburg College, Juniata College, Lafayette College, La Roche College, Mount Aloysius College, Saint Vincent College and Shippensburg University — and five students from the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez.

Dual-purpose wound dressing supported by $2 million NIH grant

June 5, 2018

Development of wound dressings made of semi-synthetic biomaterials will be the focus of a five-year, $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

Penn State scientists spotlight spotted lanternfly research on Capitol Hill

June 5, 2018

As the emergence of the spotted lanternfly continues to threaten portions of Pennsylvania’s agricultural industry, two researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences who are studying the invasive insects joined colleagues from more than 20 universities on Capitol Hill today (June 6) to show members of Congress and their staffs the importance of funding agricultural research.

Agricultural diversification: Empowering women in Cambodia with 'wild gardens'

June 5, 2018

There is no such thing as utopia when it comes to food security, as millions of people around the world have limited food resources. One of those places is Cambodia in Southeast Asia, one of the world's poorest countries, where the rural poverty rate is 24 percent, and 40 percent of children younger than 5 are chronically malnourished, making them vulnerable to significant health problems.

Oil and gas wastewater as dust suppressant less than ideal

June 4, 2018

At the least, wastewater from oil and gas drilling should be treated in a waste treatment facility before it is used on dirt roads to suppress dust or deice roads. At the best, affordable, nontoxic dust suppressants should be developed and used, according to a multidisciplinary team of researchers.

Doctoral Student in Plant Science Invited to Participate in Global Food Summit

May 30, 2018

Zachary Dashner, a doctoral student in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, has been invited to take part in the U.S. Borlaug Summer Institute on Global Food Security in June at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Climate change forced zombie ant fungi to adapt

May 29, 2018

Zombie ants clamp on to aerial vegetation and hang for months spewing the spores of their parasitic fungi, but researchers noticed that they do not always clamp on to the same part of the plant. Now the researchers know that the choice of leaves or twigs is related to climate and that climate change forced the fungi to adapt to local conditions.

Holsteins born at Penn State to improve genetic diversity are 'udderly' amazing

May 29, 2018

The six bundles of Holstein joy born at the Penn State Dairy Barns in April of last year — the outcome of a research project to improve genetic diversity in the breed — have garnered a fan following.

Mending the Gap

May 15, 2018

It’s such a simple gesture, a hand reaching out to stroke a cheek. Between friends and loved ones, it conveys caring, trust, tenderness. Between people who met just a few hours ago and who think they don’t have much in common, it can feel scary, threatening, too intimate.

Penn State Master Gardener programs promote pollinator populations

May 15, 2018

When it comes to the importance of bees, Connie Schmotzer does not mince words.

Altered body odor indicates malaria even if microscope doesn't

May 15, 2018

Typhoid Mary may have infected a hundred or more people, but asymptomatic carriers of malaria infect far more people every year through mosquito vectors. An international team of researchers is working toward a way to identify malaria patients including infected individuals who show no malaria symptoms through mosquito vectors.

Cocoa CRISPR: Gene editing shows promise for improving the 'chocolate tree'

May 15, 2018

Use of the powerful gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 could help to breed cacao trees that exhibit desirable traits such as enhanced resistance to diseases, according to Penn State plant scientists.

Ten students and alumni named as Fulbright finalists for 2018-19

May 7, 2018

Ten Penn State students and alumni were selected as Fulbright finalists for the 2018-2019 academic year, according to the University Fellowships Office.

Virus inhibits immune response of caterpillars and plants

May 4, 2018

It is well known that certain wasps suppress the immune systems of their caterpillar hosts so they can successfully raise their young within those hosts. Now researchers at Penn State show that, in addition to suppressing caterpillar immune systems, wasps also suppress the defense mechanisms of the plants on which the caterpillars feed, which ensures that the caterpillars will continue to provide a suitable environment for the wasps' offspring.

Deer fawns more likely to survive in agricultural landscapes than forest

May 4, 2018

The cruel truth is that throughout the white-tailed deer's range only about half of all fawns live to see their first birthday — most are killed by predators. However, they have a much better chance of surviving if they are born in farmland rather than in forest, according to Penn State researchers, who collaborated with Pennsylvania Game Commission deer biologists.

Stoy G. and Della E. Sunday Program Support for Fruit Production Research

May 2, 2018

The purpose of this endowment shall be to enrich the College of Agricultural Sciences by providing monies for fruit production research.

Jeanne and Charles Rider Endowment for Support of Research on the Biotechnology of Food Crops

May 2, 2018

The purpose of this endowment shall be to support College of Agricultural Sciences faculty in their biotechnology research and teaching programs that give promise of improving upon food crop production and quality while protecting the quality and safety of the environment.

Arthur W. Nesbitt Faculty Program Development Award

May 2, 2018

The purpose of this endowment shall be to support a College of Agricultural Sciences faculty member in their teaching or extension programs, with the intent that the investment will help the awardee leverage future funding opportunities in any or all of these functional areas, for Animal Science or Food Science.

Sarah Chinn Kalser Faculty Research Assistance Endowment

May 2, 2018

The purpose of this endowment shall be to provide funds to support research and scholarly travel to College of Agricultural Sciences faculty whose research program has experienced a temporary lapse in funding.

Joan Luerssen Faculty Enhancement Fund and the Horace T. Woodward Faculty Development Fund

May 2, 2018

The purpose of these two endowments shall be to provide supplementary funds to support professional development and programs.

Pennsylvania bear mange epidemic focus of Penn State and Game Commission project

April 30, 2018

Pennsylvania's black bear population is experiencing a mange epidemic, and a Penn State research team will work with the state Game Commission to gain a better understanding of the disease and develop strategies to manage it.

Penn State Flower Trials aid industry, consumers in picking posies

April 30, 2018

Each May, the expression "flower power" takes on a new meaning at Penn State's Southeast Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Manheim, Lancaster County, when an 85-year-old tradition -- the Penn State Flower Trials -- gets under way.

Impacting PA: Penn State plays a critical role in promoting water quality

April 24, 2018

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