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Jorge M. Vivanco, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
"Developing a Safe Pesticide for Potato Farming from an Endangered Andean Crop"
Category: Agriculture: 2002
The potato is a major world crop, yet yields are hampered by a wide variety of diseases. Conventional disease control strategies in intensive potato producing systems rely on almost daily applications of chemicals, which contribute to soil and water pollution and contamination of natural areas as well as posing risks to human health. Dr. Vivanco will use plant ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs), a plant-defense protein found in an endangered Andean food crop, which can protect against viral, bacterial, and fungal diseases. RIPs are externally applicable and do not involve genetic modification of food crops. Dr. Vivanco's approach combines the development of an environmentally friendly agricultural technology while providing a new use for an endangered crop. Success of his project could also aid Andean farmers who cannot afford conventional pesticides and are in need of simple technologies to protect their crops.
This Lindbergh Grant in agriculture is sponsored by The Laura Jane Musser Fund.