|Randall P. Niedz
Randy Niedz is a Research Geneticist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. His academic training was in plant breeding and genetics with an emphasis on the use of in vitro systems for plant improvement. His work has focused on developing in vitro culture systems for breeding and genetic applications for citrus variety development and horticulture. He was the first to 1) insert and express the gene for the green fluorescent protein (GFP) from a bioluminescent jellyfish in plants, specifically sweet orange; 2) demonstrate the use of an industrial biocide, the isothiazolone compounds (e.g., PPM), in plant tissue culture to address the very serious problem of culture contamination; 3) normalize somatic embryogenesis in citrus utilizing semi-permeable membranes composed of regenerated cellulose; 4) develop an algorithm, and software, that solves the long-standing and vexing problem of ion confounding in experimental biology (and all fields where ion confounding exists such as plant tissue culture); 5) developed a conceptual framework for treating ions as independent statistical factors, resulting in a novel and much improved approach to the design of culture media. Dr. Niedz is currently developing in vitro model systems for studying and assessing strategies to control citrus greening disease.
|Jeffrey R. Beringer
Jeff currently works with Inari Agriculture. He was previously an Associate Research Scientist with Dow AgroSciences in Indianapolis where he was a member of the maize transformation team working on the evaluation of lead genes for maize product concept development, the automation of plant tissue culture systems, and data stewardship. He has developed (and validated) multiple genetic transformation, selection, and transgenic event regeneration protocols for cotton, canola, and maize. Jeff also has experience developing in vitro technologies for early phase product evaluation including plastomic gene screening. He has published peer reviewed articles on regulatory element characterization for transgene expression in maize and soybean, book chapters on cotton and maize transformation, and he is an inventor on 5 issued patents. Jeff began his career in 1997 working at Mycogen with Dr. Michael Horn who many SIVB members will remember for his engagement with the society. Jeff has a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Minnesota, Morris.
Kansas State University
Jessica was born and raised in southeast Kansas. She received a BS in Chemistry and Biology from Pittsburgh State University in 2009. She then made to move to Manhattan, KS, the home of Kansas State University. While there, she worked in the Department of Plant Pathology with Dr. Harold Trick. Her work focused on using plant transformation to induce RNAi-mediated virus resistance in transgenic wheat. In the fall of 2015, she accepted a faculty position at Montana State University. She is currently an Assistant Professor and Extension Plant Pathology Specialist working with potato, sugarbeet and other row crops. Her lab focuses on potato transformation for improved virus resistance. She also has transformation projects in sugarbeet, camelina, and pinto bean. Additional work is attempting to improve tissue culture of pinto bean.
2020 Plant Section Program Chairs
Raj Deepika Chauhan
2020 Plant Sr. Program Chair
Carlton Plants Nursery
2020 Plant Jr. Program Chair
University of Guelph