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Iowa Soybean Research Center

in collaboration with the Iowa Soybean Association

ISRC Affiliates Provide Research Updates & Lab Tours

Tour of ATRB
Top, Steve Whitham talks to the group about projects he’s been working on in his lab and Thomas Baum discusses SCN.

The ISRC hosted a visit of the Iowa Soybean Association‘s (ISA) communications team on February 12. The team held their staff retreat at ISU, spending the better part of the day at the Advanced Teaching and Research Building, which houses several plant pathology, entomology and microbiology researchers affiliated with the ISRC and who have received project funding from the ISRC and ISA. The group participated in research lab tours with Thomas Baum, Matt O’Neal and Steve Whitham. Baum gave an overview of his soybean cyst nematode (SCN) research and had live specimens of SCN under microscopes for participants to view, O’Neal talked about beneficial insects as well as insect pests, offering up information from his 20 years of studying soybean aphid, and Whitham discussed the use of CRISPR in his research and a study he’s involved in regarding the effects of climate change.

The group also met with Chelsea Harbach and Zach Schumm from ISU’s Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic. The clinic diagnoses the cause of issues in samples sent in by the public and also identifies insects for clients. Testing ranges from processing farmer soil samples for SCN to helping a homeowner determine if an insect is a bed bug or a bat bug (the two look very similar but bat bugs are harmless). The clinic also helps identify a variety of insects and leaf diseases and receives a broad range of samples. Harbach and Schumm set up an activity in which the group identified several soybean diseases and finished with a tour of the clinic’s labs.

Above left, Matt O’Neal talks about soybean aphids and pollinators. Above right, Chelsea Harbach and Zach Schumm, ISU Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic, discuss soybean diseases and pests.