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Pathologist sees light stripe rust outbreak, so far
May 22, 2006

PULLMAN — Thanks in part to recent hot, dry weather, stripe rust has not been much in evidence in the Palouse, according to Xianming Chen, a U.S. Department of Agriculture plant pathologist at Washington State University, who tracks outbreaks of the disease.That’s good news for the region’s wheat growers, who have witnessed severe outbreaks of the disease the last four years.          Wheat stripe rust shows up as orange pimple-like pustules arranged in fine lines or stripes along wheat leaf veins.  A heavy infection on a leaf will impede photosynthesis and affect grain fill. Yields can be reduced by 30 percent to 60 percent in heavily … » More …

WSU Turf Club to landscape new Spillman Memorial site
April 17, 2006

Members of WSU’s Turf Club will begin landscaping a site in front of Clark Hall, the new location of the Spillman family marker, on Friday, April 21.William Jasper Spillman, a member of the faculty of the Washington State Agricultural College and School of Science from 1894 to 1902, was the university’s first wheat breeder. He developed varieties of wheat that were grown in the Pacific Northwest for more than 50 years.Spillman was credited with independently rediscovering Mendel’s Law of genetics in 1901. In 1902 he left the college and joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture. There he was instrumental in establishing the national agriculture extension … » More …

Designing wheat for lucrative Chinese market
January 20, 2006

If you plan to celebrate the Chinese New Year (on Jan. 29) with dinner at your favorite Asian restaurant, think about this: More research will have gone into the formulation of the noodles on your plate than your old noodle can imagine. Just ask Byung-Kee Baik, WSU’s reigning researcher of ramen — as well as other types of noodles.Baik, an assistant professor of Crop & Soil Sciences, is in the business — and it is big business — of figuring out how to make superior wheat noodles.Since Asian noodles made from wheat typically have just three ingredients — flour, water and salt — it isn’t … » More …

WSU crop scientist seeks celiac-safe wheat
November 11, 2005

Washington State University researcher Diter von Wettstein has been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health to begin developing strains of wheat that will be safe for people with celiac disease to eat.Celiac disease can appear at any time in life, often triggered by surgery, viral infection or severe stress. Nearly 1 percent of Americans — about 2 million people — have the autoimmune disease, in which gluten proteins from wheat, barley or rye cause the immune system to attack hair-like structures called villi that line the small intestine.When a person with celiac disease consumes gluten, the villi are “erased away like with … » More …

Faculty, staff collaborate
February 25, 2004

The importance of staff members to the work of faculty is clear in the partnership between Gary Shelton, research supervisor in WSU’s Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, and Kimberlee K. Kidwell, associate professor, spring wheat breeder and geneticist. Both are recent award winners for their efforts to advance the wheat industry in Washington.Shelton received the 2003 O.A. Vogel-Washington State Crop Improvement Association award, having been nominated by Kidwell. He serves as primary field technician, data manager and project coordinator for WSU’s spring wheat variety development program. “I have come to refer to Gary as the heartbeat of the program because without him, the variety … » More …