This spring issue of Louisiana Agriculture is centered around the “birds and the bees.” The essence of agriculture lies in the ability to harness the reproduction of plants and animals. Reproduction serves a vital role within agriculture to maintain consistent production and explore potential improvements through selective breeding. Many units within the LSU AgCenter are dedicated to programs that use reproduction as a way to not only improve agricultural plants and animals but as tools to support and conserve natural populations.
The AgCenter is using the latest technology to develop new plant varieties. The use of new DNA marker and sequencing technologies has aided in revolutionizing variety development. These “high-throughput molecular tools” have enabled researchers to gain insights on potential improvements to both rice and sugarcane varieties in ways that would previously take years to accomplish.
Work within the AgCenter isn’t just centered on agricultural plants and animals but also natural resources where investigators are studying populations and improving habitat to support successful generations of game wildlife and fishes.Research on white-tailed deer at the Bob R. Jones-Idlewild Research Station highlights a critical program that has provided a wealth of information to improve our understanding of the deer breeding season.
This issue also features research within the LSU AgCenter conducted on wild populations and the role reproduction and habitat quality play on the future of our environment.
As you click through the pages of this unique issue of Louisiana Agriculture, here are some highlights of what you will learn:
Other topics include the breeding of native plants to help save our coastline and the testing of new ornamental plants for our landscapes. We also pay tribute to one of our most illustrious scientists, Robert Godke, now deceased, who became world-renowned for his research on animal reproductive physiology and whose students have launched countless research projects to improve not only animal but human fertility.
Christopher Green is an associate professor in the School of Renewable Natural Resources and the lead scientist for this issue. He is also a former member of the Louisiana Agriculture editorial board.
(This article appears in the spring 2019 issue of Louisiana Agriculture.)
Christopher Green. Photo by Olivia McClure