Steve Jones, News Service, (515) 294-4778
AGRICULTURE, VETERINARY MEDICINE AND NATURAL RESOURCES NEWS FROM IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
AMES, Iowa --
TINY CREATURES FROM THE PURPLE LAGOON STIFLE ODORS
During the summer it's not uncommon for hog-manure lagoons to turn purple and start producing fewer odors. Iowa State microbiologists have been monitoring bacteria that cause the color change and the resulting odor decline. "A bloom of photosynthetic bacteria degrade many of the compounds associated with odors," said Alan Dispirito. "As long as the bloom occurs, the concentrations of volatile fatty acids and aromatic compounds stay low until the weather turns cooler in the fall."
Dispirito is studying conditions that stimulate the bacteria in hopes of finding out how to induce the phenomenon in other lagoons. "We'd like to find out how to lengthen the period when the bloom occurs, so that odor is stifled for a longer time. So far, we know it depends on temperature and the composition of waste." A lagoon is made up of a great variety of bacteria, but when conditions are right, the purple-producing microbes proliferate. "More than half of the microbial population in these blooms are these organisms, which is amazing considering a lagoon's microbial complexity," Dispirito said. Contact Dispirito, (515) 294-2944, or Brian Meyer, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-0706.
ISU CELEBRATING LEGACY OF AGRICULTURE GRAD IN 1998-99
Famed plant scientist George Washington Carver, Iowa State's first African American graduate and faculty member, is the subject of a yearlong, all-university celebration at ISU. The celebration, "Inspiring students to become their best: The legacy of George Washington Carver," is taking place during the 1998-99 academic year. Iowa State officials hope the celebration will inspire students and others to reach their potential for years to come. Lectures, fine arts performances and exhibits are scheduled throughout the academic year on campus. A new Carver traveling display is accompanying ISU officials as they speak throughout Iowa. Several other activities also are planned. Carver became internationally known at Alabama's Tuskegee Institute (now University) for inventing hundreds of products from peanuts, soybeans, pecans and other plants. Contact John Anderson, University Relations, (515) 294-0704, or Steve Jones, News Service, (515) 294-4778.
CHECK THE WEB: GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER VIRTUAL EXHIBIT
Learn more about ISU agriculture alumnus and famed scientist George Washington Carver by using the Web. Beginning Sept. 14, the Carver Virtual Exhibit features Carver history, facts and photographs, and links to related Websites. Maintained by the Special Collections Department of ISU's Parks Library, the virtual exhibit address is www.lib.iastate.edu/spcl/gwc/home.html.
ISU FACULTY ORGANIZE WORKSHOPS IN CHINA
Three Chinese agricultural universities are the sites of workshops this month coordinated by ISU. The workshops continue the work of the late M.E. Ensminger, an internationally known animal scientist and educator, who had worked with ISU's College of Agriculture to hold his international schools. The Ensminger-ISU International Agricultural Technology Workshops will be held at Zhejiang Agricultural University in Hangzhou, Huazhong Agricultural University in Wuhan and China Agricultural University in Beijing. Animal scientists from the University of Missouri, Purdue University, the University of Wisconsin and Auburn University will join ISU faculty and staff to deliver sessions covering livestock production, biotechnology, meat quality, animal-waste handling, farm management and rural development. While in China, many of the presenters will participate in a Feed Research Institute sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing on Sept. 23. Contact Charles Sauer, Animal Science, (515) 294-4524, or Ed Adcock, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-2314.
ISU FARM TO GET NEW NAME
ISU's Southwest Swine Farm near Atlantic will be renamed for a distinguished professor at a ceremony Sept. 17. The farm's new name will be the Lauren Christian Swine Research and Demonstration Farm. The formal program begins at 3 p.m. following farm tours from 1 to 3 p.m. The 70-acre farm is located two miles southwest of Atlantic on Highway 6. In 1996, Cargill Inc. donated the former Walnut Grove Feed Research Farm to the Wallace Foundation for Rural Research and Development. The Wallace Foundation chose to rename the farm after Christian to honor him for his work in renovating its facilities. The farm is operated by ISU in conjunction with the Armstrong Research and Demonstration Farm near Lewis. Contact Mark Honeyman, Research and Demonstration Farms, (515) 294-4621, or Ed Adcock, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-2314
CORN GERMPLASM FIELD DAY SEPT. 23
A field day to showcase work in a national project on corn germplasm will be held Sept. 23, 1-5 p.m., on an ISU research farm near Ames. The Germplasm Enhancement of Maize (GEM) project is a cooperative effort of the USDA Agricultural Research Service, land-grant universities and private industry. Today's U.S. corn hybrids were developed with less than five percent of world corn germplasm. That small percentage increases the potential vulnerability to pests and diseases and may lead to an eventual yield cap. The GEM project is studying corn from other parts of the world that may resist pests, increase yields and contain quality traits to meet new market demands. ISU is one of two primary sites for GEM enhancement breeding and coordination. Contact Linda Pollak, Agronomy, (515) 294-7831; Timothy Johnson, GEM data manager, (515) 294-7747; or Susan Thompson, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-0705.
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