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By Robby Edwards, Director of CommunicationsDale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences
Download MS Word version
Download related PHOTO from Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/2ghSsuB
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Ioannis Tzanetakis, professor of plant virology at the University
of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, received help from a student intern this
summer with a project on the epidemiology of berry and ornamental viruses.
Epidemiology is the study of incidence, distribution and possible control of diseases
and other factors relating to health.
Maria Gomez, a third-year student at Universidad Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, assisted
Tzanetakis with his plant virome research, a holistic approach studying the effect
of plant viruses on their hosts.
Tzanetakis, a plant pathologist with the Division of Agriculture’s Arkansas Agricultural
Experiment Station and a faculty member in the U of A’s Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural,
Food and Life Science, is evaluating the effect of mixed virus infections in blackberry
and peony plants.
Gomez participated in the project as an Adair Scholar, which funds undergraduate student
summer internships. She was in Fayetteville from the end of May through early August.
The department of entomology and plant pathology offers the undergraduate endowed
scholarship in honor of C. Roy Adair, a geneticist and plant breeder, whose accomplishments
helped establish the preeminence of Arkansas rice. The first rice breeder to work
in Arkansas, Adair and his wife Ethel Owen Adair left their entire estate of more
than $1 million to scholarship funds at the U of A and Hendrix College in Conway.
Gomez investigated a subset of viruses that infect blackberry and peony, their ability
to be mechanically transmitted to other plants and their ability to infect the next
plant generation through infected seed.
"Maria is an exceptional student with an excellent background and drive to resolve
scientific problems," said Tzanetakis. "Operating a multinational lab with individuals
from five continents, we expand our scientific and personal horizons, benefiting from
the experiences of the internships and providing students with toolboxes to improve
their research in their home country.”
Tzanetakis added, “We are able to elevate the status of the U of A and the Division
of Agriculture across the globe. Many of the Adair scholars have come back to become
graduate students in our department and been successful in academia, industry and
extension in Arkansas, the U.S. and internationally."
The research internship is offered every year to junior and senior undergraduates,
at the U of A or other institutions, with an interest in plant pathology. The application
is available here: https://enpl.uark.edu/students/adairbollenbacherwebapplication.pdf
To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural
Experiment Station website: https://aaes.uark.edu. Follow us on Twitter at @ArkAgResearchand Instagram at ArkAgResearch.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex,
gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital
or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and
is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
About the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences
Bumpers College provides life-changing opportunities to position and prepare graduates
who will be leaders in the businesses associated with foods, family, the environment,
agriculture, sustainability and human quality of life; and who will be first-choice
candidates of employers looking for leaders, innovators, policy makers and entrepreneurs.
The college is named for Dale Bumpers, former Arkansas governor and longtime U.S.
senator who made the state prominent in national and international agriculture. For
more information about Bumpers College, visit our website, and follow us on Twitter at @BumpersCollege and Instagram at BumpersCollege.
Media Contact: Fred MillerU of A Division of AgricultureArkansas Agricultural Experiment Station(479) email@example.com