In 2017, the MAES was asked to provide a list of major research discoveries, areas of historical research expertise and top cultivars related to the research land-grant mission of the University of Minnesota for an upcoming book by former USDA Chief Scientist Gale Buchanan.
The list below, while not exhaustive, represents a compiling of major historical accomplishments collected by MAES staff with the help of countless University faculty and Departmental staff.
Accomplishment/Discovery: Puccinia Pathway
Researcher/Scientist: Elvin Stakman
Brief Summary: In 1921, Elvin Stakman attached petroleum jelly-coated slides to airplanes in order to trap rust spores two miles above the earth. This experiment led to the discovery of the “Peccinia Pathway”—a 2,500-mile-long route through central North America—in 1936. The pathway allowed rusts spores to blow south on fall winds to overwinter on wheat in Texas and Mexico, then ride the winds north in the spring to infect the northern crop.
This study led to the science of aerobiology, which deals with the occurrence, transportation, and effects of viruses and other airborne materials. The principals of spore dispersal have since been applied to problems as diverse as germ warfare, dispersal of mode spores in buildings, and the spread of anthrax disease.
- USDA ARS Puccinia Pathway - https://www.ars.usda.gov/midwest-area/stpaul/cereal-disease-lab/docs/cer....
- Stakman, E. C. & Christensen. C. hl. 1946: Aerobiology in relation to plant disease. - Bot. Rev. 12: 205-253.
- Stakman, E. C. 8: Harrar, J. G. 1957. Principles of plant pathology. - Ronald Press, New York.
- Moulton, F., & National Research Council. Committee on Aerobiology. (1942). Aerobiology. Washington, D.C.: American association for the advancement of science.
PRRS Research and Vaccine Development
Accomplishment/Discovery: PRRS Research and Vaccine Development
Researcher/Scientist: Dr. James (Jim) Collins
Brief Summary: The “mystery” swine disease appeared in the United States in 1986, in Europe in 1990, and spread worldwide. U of M veterinary researchers are able to isolate the disease and name it the “Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome” (PRRS). PRRS affects pigs of all ages but is particularity devastating for pregnant sows and their offspring.
Dr. Jim Collins becomes a pioneer in research related to PRRS and his team discovers the disease is spread through the bloodstream, thus making it susceptible to vaccines. In 1994, he successfully develops a vaccine which is licensed and is the basis for Ingelvac PRRS® MLV. Today, Ingelvac PRRS® MLV is marketed in 19 countries worldwide and has led to the vaccination of over 1 billion pigs.
- College of Veterinary Medicine. (1995). Allen D. Leman Swine Conference. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/183625.
- Dee, S., Collins, J., Halbur, P., Keffaber, K., Lautner, B., McCaw, M., ... Yeske, P. (1996). Control of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus. Journal of Swine Health and Production, 4(2), 95-98.
- College of Veterinary Medicine. (1993). Allen D. Leman Swine Conference. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/183623.
Accomplishment/Discovery: Ambiguous Loss
Researcher/Scientist: Pauline Boss
Brief Summary: Pauline Boss arrived at the University of Minnesota in 1981 and immediately started the research and clinical studies on families and loss that would ultimately led her to the “Ambiguous Loss Theory” (aka a loss that occurs without closure or understanding due to a loved one being physically or mentally absent).
In total, she has written five books on the topic, the most recent of which was published right after she left her position at the University in 2005 and provided key training for countless therapists and grief counselors. Her most famous book, Ambiguous Loss: Learning to Live with Unresolved Grief has been translated into six foreign languages—Spanish, German, Mainland Chinese, Taiwan Chinese, Japanese, and Maharashta.
- Boss, Pauline (2000). Ambiguous Loss: Learning to Live with Unresolved Grief. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0674003811.
- Boss, Pauline. (2001). Losing a Way of Life? Ambiguous Loss in Farm Families. St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota Extension Service. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/50798.
- University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. (1998). Minnesota Science, Vol. 50, No. 1. University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/134536.
Accomplishment/Discovery: PREPARE-ENRICH Inventories
Researcher/Scientist: David Olson
Brief Summary: At the time David Olson started his research on premarital and marital counseling in the 1980s, marital counseling was largely done in-group settings with general advice being administered. His early research focused on discovering how rewarding these programs were and he uncovered that couples were not leaving the counseling with any significant change—in short they did not see how the counseling applied to them personally.
Olson went on to develop the PREPARE/ENRICH Program, which allows couples to fill out an assessment that they then receive personalized feedback on. Today, over 100,000 counselors and clergy use the program nationally and over three million couples have participated. There are PREPARE/ENRICH offices in 15 other countries and the program has been translated into 8 other languages.
- Main, Frank O. (1996) Interview with David Olson: On Assessment and Families. The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families. Vol.4.
- Olson, David H. (2011). Marriage and Families: Intimacy, Diversity, and Strengths (11th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
- Olson, David H., Defrain, John, & Olson, Amy K. (1999). Building Relationships: Developing Skills for Life. Minneapolis, MN: Live Innovations, Inc.
Discovery and Identification of Petromyzonamine Disulfate
Accomplishment/Discovery: Discovery and Identification of Petromyzonamine Disulfate
Researcher/Scientist: Peter Sorensen
Brief Summary: The sea lamprey invaded the Great Lakes early in the 20th century and soon laid waste to stocks of lake trout, whitefish, and other commercially valuable species. In 2005, the U.S. and Canadian governments poured more than $16 million into lamprey control.
In 2005, after sixteen years of study, Peter Sorensen and his team uncovered petromyzonamine disulfate, the primary constituent of the sea lamprey migratory pheromone. The compound was the first migratory pheromone ever identified in fish and remains the most potent odorant ever identified in fish. It spiked a major research project in the Great Lakes by the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission (GLFC) that continues to this day. The GLFC ‘s control project (which includes baiting with pheromones) has led to a documented average decrease of 81 percent of the sea lamprey population across the five lakes as of 2016.
- Sorensen, P.W. et al. (2005). Nat. Chem. Biol. 1, 324–328. https://www.nature.com/nchembio/journal/v1/n6/full/nchembio739.html
- University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. (1999). Minnesota Science, Vol. 51, No. 1. University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/134539.
- University of Minnesota. University Relations. (2006). M, 2006. University of Minnesota. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy http://hdl.handle.net/11299/143719.
Cold-Hardy Wine Grapes
Accomplishment/Discovery: Cold-Hardy Wine Grapes
Researcher/Scientist: Jim Luby, Peter Hemstad and Matt Clark
Brief Summary: The University of Minnesota formally initiated a breeding program for wine grapes in the mid-1980's. At the time, no one knew if quality wine grapes could survive Minnesota’s winters. In total, six wine grape varieties have been released by the University and become the cornerstone of the northern grape industry.
Today, the cold climate grape growing and winery industry is estimated to have a $401 million economic impact nationwide, a 2014 University study found. Since the first U of M variety, Frontenac, was released in 1996, producers in 12 states have planted an estimated 5,400 acres of cold-hardy grapes, including 3,260 acres of the U of M varieties.
- Tuck, Brigid; Gartner, William C.. (2013). Wineries of the North: A Status Report. University of Minnesota. Extension. Extension Center for Community Vitality. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/171596.
- Tuck, Brigid; Gartner, William C.. (2013). Vineyards and Wineries in Minnesota: A Status and Economic Contribution Report. University of Minnesota. Extension. Extension Center for Community Vitality. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/171591.
Shelf Life and Food Safety
Accomplishment/Discovery: Shelf Life and Food Safety
Researcher/Scientist: Ted Labuza
Brief Summary: Few federal laws require the use of sell-by dates on food.While most food suppliers voluntarily provide them, they do so for reasons more related to commerce rather than food safety. Ted Labuza’s work focuses on formulating products and studying how fast they spoil and what can be done to prevent spoilage. He is known internationally as one of the top experts on kinetics of reactions related to loss in food quality, nutrient degradation and pathogen growth and death kinetics.
Through the use of a mathematical model, he has been able to determine how fast rancidity and browning occur in a specific food item. This helps to evaluate new ingredients, identify ideal packaging for specific foods, set “use by” dates, and allow nutritional labeling compliance. Labuza’s work has been instrumental in assisting government agencies and food manufacturers throughout the U.S.
- Labuza, T. P. (1984). Application of chemical kinetics to deterioration of food, J. Chemical Education, 61, 348.
- Labuza, T.P. and Baisier, W.M. (1992). In Physical Chemistry of Foods, 595-650. New York: Marcel Dekker. [A review of the kinetics of nonenzymatic browning (Maillard reaction) in foods].
- University of Minnesota Alumni Association. (1988). Minnesota Magazine, May 1988 - August 1988. Vol.87 No.5- No.6.Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/52628.
- University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. (1973). Minnesota Science, Vol. 29, No. 2. University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/123245.
- University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. (1973). Minnesota Science, Vol. 29, No. 3. University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/123255.
Wheat Stem Rust and Other Plant Pathogens
Accomplishment/Discovery: Wheat Stem Rust and Other Plant Pathogens
Researcher/Scientist: Elvin Stakman
Brief Summary: In the early 1900s, wheat stem rust, known as “The Red Terror”, caused great financial losses for farmers in Minnesota. Elvin Stakman made the critical genetic discovery of the existence of physiological rust “races,” genetic variants within a pathogen species that determine which plant genotypes are susceptible. Stakman’s breakthrough, originally published in his 1913 thesis, “A Study in Cereal Rusts: Physiological Races,” opened the door to a century of worldwide improvement of small grains. His work fostered cooperation of plant pathologists with agronomists and plant breeders to develop rust-resistant wheat varieties including MAES release ‘Thatcher’ which at one time occupied 17 million acres in North America and whose genes are in the majority of wheat grown today.
Stakman’s approach to pathogen race typing, still used today, has been widely adapted to study other plant pathogens and contributed to the development of the “gene-for-gene” concept, a central tenet of plant pathology.
- Stakman, E. C.. (1913). A Study in Cereal Rusts: Physiological Races. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/178001.
- Hayes, H.K.; Ausemus, E.R.; Stakman, E. C.; Bailey, C. H.; Wilson, H. K.; Bamberg, R. H.; Markley, M. C.; Crim, R.F.; Levine, Moses N.. (1936). Thatcher Wheat. Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/163794.
- Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics. (2000). Agronomy and Plant Genetics at the University of Minnesota: An Account of Work in Agronomy and Plant Genetics at the University of Minnesota from 1888 to 2000. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/50613.
- Hayes, H.K.. (2009). The Development of Plant Breeding at Minnesota. St. Paul, MN: Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/51455.
Nitrification and “Blue Baby Syndrome”
Accomplishment/Discovery: Nitrification and “Blue Baby Syndrome”
Researcher/Scientist: Ed Schmidt
Brief Summary: By 1950 the “Blue Baby Syndrome” was traced to baby formula that contained nitrate-laden water in central and southwestern Minnesota. Responding to concerns of the Minnesota Department of Health, the University hired Edwin Schmidt as the college’s first microbiologist. In 1954, he reported the discovery of a soil fungus capable of forming nitrate as a growth product.
This opened a new field of research in the nature and significance of heterotrophic nitrification. The effect it has had on fertility management, water quality, pollution abatement, crop yield gains, and sustainable agriculture is global.
- Schmidt, E.L. Nitrate Formation by a Soil Fungus. Science 05 Feb 1954: Vol. 119, Issue 3084, pp. 187-189 DOI: 10.1126/science.119.3084.187.
- Schmidt, E.L. Soil nitrification and nitrates in waters. Public Health Rep. 1956 May; 71 (5):497-503.
- Department of Soil Science, University of Minnesota. (1973). Publications and Faculty of the Department of Soil Science 1888 to 1970. Regents of the University of Minnesota. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/127025.
- Department of Soil, Water, and Climate. (2000). A History of Soil Science at the University of Minnesota: A historical account of the accomplishments of faculty, staff, and students of soil science at the University of Minnesota. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station.
Food Contamination and National Security
Accomplishment/Discovery: Food Contamination and National Security
Researcher/Scientist: Frank Busta
Brief Summary: Historically, food safety research is related to accidental deterioration and contamination. Today’s focus on food safety has changed to include prevention of intentional contamination. In 2004, the University received $15 million from the U.S. department of Homeland Security to develop techniques to protect our food supply from attack.
Frank Busta led a team of 90 investigators at 12 universities and also partnered with state health and agricultural agencies, professional organizations, and private industry. Launched as the National Center for Food Protection and Defense, the institute was designed as a multidisciplinary and action-oriented research consortium that addressed the vulnerability of the nation's food system.
Now known as the Food Protection and Defense Institute, the institute continues to take a whole system approach to food safety by looking at the potential risks from farm-to-table.
Pioneered Use of Chromosome Markers
Accomplishment/Discovery: Pioneered Use of Chromosome Markers
Researcher/Scientist: Robert Shoffner
Brief Summary: Upon arriving at the University in 1940, Robert Shoffner worked on advanced genetic studies in chickens. His early work led to the identification of twenty dominant genetic traits in chickens, which became known as “Minnesota Markers” (one example was the black plumage trait which was linked to the trait for higher weight).
However, in order to speed up the process and labor requirements required for traditional phenotype breeding, Shoffner wanted to understand the genetics of birds at the cellular level. He used a technique that allows his team to “see” and describe chicken chromosomes through a microscope.
By identifying the number of chromosomes in chickens (78), how they are organized and the impact individual chromosomes have on specific traits, he was able to lead the way on improving chicken production worldwide.
- University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. (1975). Minnesota Science, Vol. 31, No. 1. University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/123263.
- Shoffner, R.N. (1981). “Marker chromosomes and G-banding for location of genes in the chicken.” Poutry Science. 60 (7): 1372-5.
- Shoffner, R. N., and A. Krishan. (1965). The karyotype of Gallus domesticus with evidence for a W-chromosome. Genetics 52, 474.
- Shoffner, R. N., A. Krishan, G. J. Haiden, R. K. Batumi and J. S. Otis. (1966). Avian chromosome methodology. Poultry Science. Vol. XLVI, No. 2, 333-344.
Description of Badnavirus
Accomplishment/Discovery: Description of Badnavirus
Researcher/Scientist: Benham Lockhart
Brief Summary: Benham Lockhart first described badnavirus, a genus of plant pathogenic pararetroviruses that cause disease in a wide variety of crop plants. Among his observations was the potential for these viruses to integrate into plant genomes, creating new challenges for disease management.
Today, 32 species of badnavirus have been identified and plant pathologists continue to uncover new ways to manage plant diseases.
- Lockhart BEL, Autrey LJC (1988) Occurrence in sugarcane of a bacilliform virus related serologically to banana streak virus. Plant Dis 72:230–3
- Lockhart BE, Olszewski NE (1999) In: Granoff A, Webster RG (eds) Encyclopedia of virology, 2nd edn. Academic Press, San Diego, pp 1296–1300
- Tzafrir, I., Torbert, K.A., Lockhart, B.E.L., Somers, D.A., Olszewski, N.E. The sugarcane bacilliform badnavirus promoter is active in both monocots and dicots (1998) Plant Molecular Biology, 38 (3), pp. 347-356. doi: 10.1023/A:1006075415686
- Ahlawat, Y. S., Pant, R. P., Lockhart, B. E. L., Srivastava, M., Chakraborty, N. K., and Varma, A. 1996. Association of a badnavirus with citrus mosaic disease in India. Plant Dis. 80:590-592.
- Lockhart, B. E., Morelli, G., and Websterdorp, J. 1995. Occurrence of tobravirus infections in Peperomia, Hosta and Phlox in the Midwestern U.S. Plant Dis. 79:1249
Researcher/Scientist: William Marsh, Roger Morris, Thomas Stein, Norman Williamson, Gerard Nimis
Brief Summary: In the early 1980s, sows in the U.S. averaged about 12 pigs per year compared to 20 in England. Researchers at the College of Veterinary Medicine originally developed PigChamp, a computerized health and management program for swine data collection to aid research for internal use, but began marketing it commercially in 1985.
The program revolutionized the swine industry by providing a diagnostic approach to identifying and solving production problems, and, by the early 1990s, PigChamp herds were averaging 19.3 pigs per year. Today, the product is the most widely used farm software package for tracking swine production and producers in 55 countries worldwide.
- University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. (1992). Minnesota Science, Vol. 47, No. 1. University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/133905.
- College of Veterinary Medicine. (1993). Allen D. Leman Swine Conference. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/183623.
- Office of Research and Technology Transfer. (1998). Research Review, 1998-1999 (Vol. 28). University of Minnesota. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/130377.
“Minnesota Blue” and “Nuworld” Cheeses
Accomplishment/Discovery: “Minnesota Blue” and “Nuworld” Cheeses
Researcher/Scientist: Willis Combs
Brief Summary: When Willis Combs first inoculated cheese with fungus Penicillium requeforti he had two broader aims: 1) Find an outlet for the growing supply of cows milk in Minnesota and 2) See if the sandstone caves he discovered while mushroom picking along the Mississippi River were as perfect for making Roquefort cheese and he thought.
Marketed as “Minnesota Blue,” Comb’s cheese brought St. Paul acclaim as the “Blue Cheese Capital of the World.” With the outbreak of WWII demand was too high for researchers to meet and other companies, including Land O’Lakes and Kraft, developed their own brands of blue cheese to meet market demand. The Caves of Faribault, which opened in 1936, today is the only cheese maker still curing and aging blue cheese exclusively in caves.
By 1953, U of M researchers developed a white-blue cheese called ‘Nuworld.’ It is the first new cheese in more than 500 years and becomes known as the “space-age” cheese. Today, Minnesota is the 8th largest dairy exporter and its prominence in the industry is thanks, in part, to Comb’s early work to find uses for Minnesota’s cows’ milk and to see if Minnesota’s sandstone caves could compete with France’s best.
- Popular Science Monthly (1935). “Caves for Cheese Making Discovered in America.” Popular Science Monthly. April. Vol 126, No. 4. Pg39. Link.
- Brick, Greg (2017). Minnesota Caves: History & Lore. ”Cheese Ripening.” Arcadia Pub 2017. Pg71-74. Link.
- University of Minnesota. Agricultural Experiment Station. (1945). Vol. III No.1 Keep Your Eye on New Dairy Products. Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/159734.
- University of Minnesota. (1947). The Minnesotan, 1947 - 1948. University of Minnesota. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/108686.
- University of Minnesota. Agricultural Experiment Station. (1953). Vol.X No.3 What's Happening to Butter and Margarine?. Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/160137.
Genetic Study on Dairy Cow Size
Accomplishment/Discovery: Genetic Study on Dairy Cow Size
Researcher/Scientist: C.W. Young, G.D. Mark, and Leslie B. Hansen
Brief Summary: Holstein cows in the US have been selected for increased body size for many years. This has been based on conformation traits, larger cows having more body capacity to consume feed, and the need to improve heifer growth by first calving. During 1966, 60 Holstein cows were paired by sire and were randomly assigned to one of either small of large genetic groups for body size.
This long-term selection project using divergent sire selection continued for more than 40 years.
The research project confirmed that small cows are indeed more feed efficient, have less maintenance costs, and have fewer health problems and improved productive life. The two genetic lines did not differ in production traits but income over feed costs was higher for the small cows. The project has been very relevant for many years.
- Hansen, L.B. J.B. Cole, G.D. Marx, and A.J. Seykora. 1999. Productive life and reasons for disposal of Holstein cows selected for large versus small body size. J. Dairy Sci. 82:795-801.
- Young, C.W., G.D. Marx, and J.D. Donker. 1982. You can change cow size and still use top sires. Minnesota Dairy Report 1981-82, page 32. Special Report 94, University of Minnesota Extension Service, Agricultural Experiment Station and Department of Animal Science.
- Becker, J.C., B.J. Heins, L.B. Hansen. 2012. Costs for health care of Holstein cows selected for large versus small body size. J. Dairy Sci. 95:5384-5392
Induced Innovation Theory
Accomplishment/Discovery: Induced Innovation Theory
Researcher/Scientist: Vernon W. Ruttan and Yujiro Hayami
Brief Summary: Vernon Ruttan arrived at the University of Minnesota in 1965 to head up the Agricultural Economics Department. His work focused on uncovering how science and technology can ease constraints to economic development, provide more abundant food and improve living standards.
Amongst his best-known work is the “induced innovation” theory, which he constructed with Japanese economist Yujiro Hayami. It holds that when faced with a scarcity of resources, people respond by circumventing the scarcity through technological innovations and social change. Notably, this model, unlike others available at the time, can explain the growth paths of both Japan and the United States, two countries with very different resource endowments.
The induced innovation model is now among the most widely accepted models of agricultural development, and has become the basis of agricultural development policy in a large part of the world.
- Ruttan, Vernan and Hayami, Yujiro. Agricultural Development: An International Perspective. Baltimore, The Johns Hopkins Press, 1971 (1st ed.) and 1985 (2nd ed.)
- Evenson, R., P.E. Waggoner, and V.W. Ruttan. “Economic Benefits from Research: An Example from Agriculture,” Science, 205(1979): 1101-1107.
- Schuh, G. Edward. (1986). Technology, Human Capital, and the World Food Problem. Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/112709.
- Cochrane, Willard W.. (1983). Agricultural Economics at the University of Minnesota 1886-1979. Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/112651.
- Ruttan, Vernon W.; Chambers, Clarke A.. (1995). Interview with Vernon Ruttan. University of Minnesota. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/50199.
Recommendations for Low-Temperature Cooking
Accomplishment/Discovery: Recommendations for Low-Temperature Cooking
Researcher/Scientist: Frank Busta and Pat Noren
Brief Summary: Frank Busta and Pat Noren did extensive studies of long-time low-temperature cooking to check its effect on Clostridium perfingens, the culprit in one of the most common types of food poisoning.
Their research became the basis for USDA standards for the minimum processing temperature of commercially processed, precooked beef available at deli counters.
- Busta, Francis; Adams, D. (1972). Ultrahigh-Temperature Activation of a Low-Temperature Bacillus subtilis Spore Germination System. Applied microbiology 24(3):418-23.
- University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. (1978). Minnesota Science, Vol. 33, No. 2. University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/123273.
DDGS as Swine Feed
Accomplishment/Discovery: DDGS as Swine Feed
Researcher/Scientist: Jerry Shurson
Brief Summary: In 1997, Jerry Shurson met with several industry professionals to discuss two key questions: (1) What are we going to do with all the dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS)? (2) Can it be fed to pigs? At the time, DDGS production in North America was estimated to hit 7 million metric tonnes by 2005 and finding new ways to use the product was a key concern.
Over the next decade, Shurson conducted research demonstrating DDGS’ excellent feeding value and unique properties when used in swine diets. By 2008, thanks to economic pricing, advances in feed quality and timely research, approximately 2.8 million metric tonnes of DDGS were fed to swine in the U.S., which was about 14% of the total DDGS produced, compared with only 89,000 metric tonnes s in 2001.
- Shurson, Jerry; Johnston, Lee; Baidoo, Sam; Whitney, Mark. (2009). What we know about feeding DDGS (Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles) to swine. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/139781.
Beef Production from Dairy Herds
Accomplishment/Discovery: Beef Production from Dairy Herds
Researcher/Scientist: Ken P. Miller
Brief Summary: Prior to Ken P. Miller began his work on the importance of dairy steers to the beef market there was a dearth of information on feeding, management, and harvest systems. Previous breeding programs at the University proved unsuccessful, but Miller planned to focus on finding ways to apply commercial systems for dairy steers as an important commodity.
Miller recognized the applied need and in 1962 at the University Southern Experiment Station initiated an extensive series of studies with male calves from birth to harvest. This culminated in the 1986 summary of all his programs, which were continued from 1985 by other researchers within or outside the University of Minnesota. This information on dairy beef production has continually been requested up to the present day.
- Chester-Jones, H. and A. DiCostanzo. 1996. Holstein feeding programs. Univ. of Minnesota Beef Cattle Management Update, Issue 35, University of Minnesota, St. Paul.
- Schafer, D.M., H. Chester-Jones, and B. Boetel. 2017. Beef production from the dairy herd. In Large Dairy Herd Management, 3rd ed.Chapter 11, pp 143 to 163. American Dairy Science Association, 1800 S.Oak St., Ste 100, Champaign, IL 61820.
- Miller, K.P., R.D. Goodrich, J.C. Meiske, an d C.W. Young. 1986. Studies on dairy beef production. Sta. Bull. AD-SB-2896. Agric. Expt. Sta., Univ. of Minnesota, St. Paul.
- Hodgson, R.E. 1962. The first fifty years: A historical review of the University of Minnesota Southern Experiment Station, Waseca, MN, University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, St. Paul.
Accomplishment/Discovery: Gentle Leader®
Researcher/Scientist: Robert K. Anderson and Ruth Foster
Brief Summary: Veterinarians and public health professionals at the University's Center to Study Human-Animal Relationships and Environments (CENSHARE) applied their knowledge of canine behavior to develop and test new designs for a collar and leash.
The Gentle Leader® causes dogs to respond instinctively, as they would to a mother dog nudging her pups at the nape of the neck, or to a dominant dog pressing down on their snouts. Today it remains one of the most popular dog training devices in North America and is featured at the Smithsonian Institute as one of the 100 best inventions of the 20th century.
- Office of Research and Technology Transfer. (1990). Research Review, 1990-1991 (Vol. 20). University of Minnesota.Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/130386.
- Klausner, Jeffrey: CVM Dean; Williams, Jan: Editor & Writer; Hoff, Mary: Writer; Welch, Shawn: Designer; Reidel, Michelle Mero: Production Supervisor & Photographer; Hansen, Dave: Photographer. (2002). Profiles (Fall, 2002) v.2 (2).University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/119033.
- Tobbell, Dominique A.; Anderson, Robert K.. (2012). Interview with Robert K. Anderson. University of Minnesota.Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/142564.
- Ames, Trevor: Dean; Graves, Brian: Communications Director; Kirchoff, Sue: Editor, Writer & Designer; Howard, Fran: Contributing Writer. (2012). Profiles (Summer/Fall 2012 v.11 (2). Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/144396.
US Food Stamp Program and Economic Ag Policy
Accomplishment/Discovery: US Food Stamp Program and Economic Ag Policy
Researcher/Scientist: Willard W. Cochrane
Brief Summary: When he arrived at the University in 1951, Willard Cochrane had already made a name for himself serving in government and agricultural agencies. Throughout his career, he was a leading advocate of the idea that farmers couldn't depend on the free market, and that government intervention in agriculture was needed to assure abundant, affordable food.
By 1960, he was working as an adviser to President Kennedy and was among the chief architects, and the main intellectual force, behind the modern food stamp program, which tens of millions have used since it was passed.
Throughout his career, Cochrane’s ideas went beyond being printed in academic journals but were turned into policies that affected millions of Americans.
- Cochrane, Willard W., (1979), The Development of American Agriculture: A Historical Analysis. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 41-47, 179-88.
- Cochrane, Willard W.. (1983). Agricultural Economics at the University of Minnesota 1886-1979. Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/112651.
- Gray, Roger W.; Sorenson, Vernon L.; Cochrane, Willard W.. (1954). Price Supports and the Potato Industry. Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/164343.
- Cochrane, Willard W. Farm Prices: Myth and Reality. Pp. vii, 189. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1958.
- Cochrane, Willard W. The Curse of American Agricultural Abundance: A Sustainable Solution (Our Sustainable Future). University of Nebraska Press, 2003.
Freezing Semen Revolutionizes AI
Accomplishment/Discovery: Freezing Semen Revolutionizes AI
Researcher/Scientist: Edmund Graham
Brief Summary: Edmund Graham was well ahead of others in the AI field when he wrote “Factors Involved in Freezing Semen” in 1953. But within a decade more than 60 percent of all dairy cattle inseminations used frozen semen.
Graham’s work continued to uncover new techniques that revolutionized the AI industry and by 1972, he developed an extender for turkey semen, enabling production of hatching eggs via artificial insemination with only one-sixth as many toms as before. Annual savings to turkey producers a decade later were estimated at $13 million.
- Tajima, A., Graham, E. F., Shoffner, R. N., Otis, J. S., & Hawkins, D. M. (1990). Cryopreservation of semen from unique lines of chicken germ plasm. Poultry Science, 69(6), 999-1002.
- E.K. Graham, B.G. Crabo. (1978). Some methods of freezing and evaluating human spermatozoa. “The Integrity of Frozen Spermatozoa,” Library of Congress, Nat. Acad. Science, Washington, DC. 77, 940, 301
- K.I. Brown, B.G. Crabo, E.F. Graham, M.M. Pace. (1971). Some factors affecting loss of intracellular enzymes from spermatozoa. Cryobiology, 8 , pp. 220-224
- E.F. Graham, M.M. Pace. (1967). Some biochemical changes in spermatozoa due to freezing. Cryobiology, 4 (1967), pp. 75-84.
Breakthroughs in Precision Agriculture
Accomplishment/Discovery: Breakthroughs in Precision Agriculture
Researcher/Scientist: Pierre C. Robert
Brief Summary: Precision agriculture is considered a key part of the third wave of the modern agricultural revolutions. The concept of precision agriculture first emerged in the United States and the U of M’s Pierre C. Robert lead the way. In 1985, his research team varied lime inputs in crop fields and in the 1990s they developed the Soil Survey Information System (SSIS), one of the first, rudimentary GIS programs.
The groundbreaking technologies and concepts Robert’s team developed paved the way for rapid developments in private industry and the University’s Precision Agriculture Center continues this legacy.
- Miao, Y., Mulla, D.J. & Robert, P.C. Precision Agric (2006) 7: 117. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11119-006-9004-y
- Robert, P. C. 2002. Precision agriculture: a challenge for crop nutrition managementPlant and Soil247143149
- McBratney, A., Whelan, B., Ancev, T. et al. Precision Agric (2005) 6: 7. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11119-005-0681-8
New Lighting Technologies Increase Reproductive Performance in Turkeys
Accomplishment/Discovery: New Lighting Technologies Increase Reproductive Performance in Turkeys
Researcher/Scientist: Mohamed El Halawani
Brief Summary: With more than five million turkey hens in the U.S., increasing each turkey’s average egg production by only five eggs adds up to more than $15 million in additional annual revenue. As early as 1987 it has been known that the color of light affects birds’ performance and that manipulating the color of light delivered, amount of light and timing of light can enhance flock performance.
Mohamed EI Halawani developed a new lighting program that starts with 14 hours of daily light. Every week the light is cut by one-half hour per day, until reaching six hours. Then lighting is gradually increased. Hens exposed to this "step down, step up" lighting program begin laying eggs three weeks earlier than normal. In addition, El Halawani found a specific wavelength of red lights that improves reproduction in turkeys.
- University of Minnesota. College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. (2011). Solutions, Fall 2011.University of Minnesota. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/164106.
- University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. (1993). Minnesota Science, Vol. 47, No. 3. University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/134518.
- University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. (1984). Minnesota Science, Vol. 39, No. 2. University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/133786.
Development of Artificial Insemination
Accomplishment/Discovery: Development of Artificial Insemination
Researcher/Scientist: Laurence Winters and Clarence L. Cole
Brief Summary: Laurence Winters first attempted artificial insemination (AI) of swine in 1929. He then turned to sheep and dairy cattle, which led to Minnehaha Tuba’s, the first AI-conceived calf, birth in 1936.
In 1937, Clarence L. Cole turned his attention to practical uses of AI since it allowed for the breeding of thousands of females using the semen of a single male with outstanding genetic traits. By spring 1938, he had inseminated 121 cows in Grand Rapids with a conception rate of 87 percent. It was the first demonstration of the how AI could be used to improve dairy herds. Commercial AI organizations soon followed and the herd bull largely became a relic.
The technique was perfected and expanded for use in the swine, sheep and poultry industries.
- Green, W.W.; Winters, L.M.. (1948). Artificial Insemination of Farm Animals. Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/163950.
- University of Minnesota Extension Service. (1996). The North Central Experiment Station. University of Minnesota Extension Services. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/176208.
- Cole, C.L.; Winters, L.M. (1939). Artificial Insemination in Dairy Cattle. Published as Paper No. 1622 of the Scientific Journal Series of the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station.
Sustainable Post-Occupancy Evaluation Survey
Accomplishment/Discovery: Sustainable Post-Occupancy Evaluation Survey
Researcher/Scientist: Denise Guerin, Abimbola Asojo and Caren Martin
Brief Summary: The Sustainable Post-Occupancy Evaluation Survey (SPOES) provides a qualitative analysis of occupants’ satisfaction and helps direct attention to both successful areas as well as areas that need improvement in a building. It includes several Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) categories that contribute to overall occupant well being.
To date, the SPOES questionnaire has been tested in offices, laboratories, classrooms and training center buildings throughout Minnesota where post-occupancy evaluations are required per B3 guidelines for new buildings.
- Guerin, D., Kulman Brigham, J., Kim, H-Y., Choi, S., & Scott, A. (2012). Post-occupancy evaluation of employees work performance and satisfaction as related to sustainable design criteria and workstation type. Journal of Green Building,7(4).
- Asojo, A.O., Bae, S., & Guerin, D. (2017, March). A Post-Occupancy Evaluation of Occupants satisfaction: A Case Study of Indoor Environmental Quality in Classroom Buildings. 2017 Interior Design Educators Council Conference in Chicago, Illinois.
- Bae, S., Asojo, A.O., Guerin, D. & Martin, C. (2017). Post-occupancy evaluation of the impact of Indoor Environmental Quality on health and well-being in office buildings. Journal of Organizational Psychology, 17, 7 (ISSN# 2158-3609).
- Guerin, D., Kim, H-Y., Kulman Brigham, J., Choi, S., & Scott, A. (2011). Thermal comfort, indoor air quality and acoustics: A conceptual framework for predicting occupant satisfaction in sustainable office buildings, International Journal of Sustainable Design,1(4),348-360.
- Guerin, D., Kim, H-Y., Kulman Brigham, J., Choi, S., & Scott, A. (2011). Development of a post-occupancy evaluation tool for designers to measure occupant satisfaction, performance, and well-being in sustainable buildings. Design at the Edge. Taipei, Taiwan: International Design Alliance, 252-256.
- Guerin, D., Kim, H-Y., Kulman Brigham, J., Choi, S., & Scott, A. (2012). Enhancing student learning: The role of sustainable classroom design. Proceedings of the Interior Design Educators Council Annual Conference, Baltimore, MD.
- Sample Report – Minnesota Senate Building: http://www.b3mn.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Minnesota-Senate-Building.pdf
Accomplishment/Discovery: Honeycrisp Apple
Researcher/Scientist: Jim Luby and David Bedford
Brief Summary: Jim Luby and David Bedford were interested in bringing the flavor and texture back to apples when they arrived at the University and took over the fruit breeding program. They found both with the nearly abandoned ‘1711,’ which was saved and later released as ‘Honeycrisp.’ Today, it is known around the world for its crisp and juicy texture, and in 2006 was named Minnesota’s “Official State Fruit.”
The 2006 Better World Report recognizes the development of ‘Honeycrisp’ apple as one of the top 25 innovations of the decade, and since the introduction of ‘Honeycrisp’ in 1991 millions have been planted in the U.S. and internationally. Today, ‘Honeycrisp’ is able to garner 2-3 times the cost per lb. of other varieties, making it a profitable choice for growers.
- Honeycrisp Apple Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honeycrisp
- Luby, James J.; Bedford, David S.. (1992). Honeycrisp Apple. Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/141481.
- University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. (1990). Minnesota Science, Vol. 45, No. 4. University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/133900.
- Clark, Matthew Daniel. (2014). Characterizing the host response and genetic control in 'Honeycrisp' to apple scab (Venturia inaequalis). Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/172140.
Accomplishment/Discovery: Minnesota MapServer
Researcher/Scientist: Tom Burk
Brief Summary: With additional funding by NASA, a team led by T.E. Burk developed and distributed the Minnesota MapServer software from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s.
The software merges information from satellite images and existing ground sources into a data-rich picture of an area. The data assists agencies and individuals to quickly and accurately assess terrain characteristics. It is one of the charter projects that came together to form the OSGEO (open-source geospatial foundation). Today, Minnesota Mapserver is used by thousands of individuals and organizations worldwide and is now distributed by an international development team.
- UMN-MapServer: A high-performance, interoperable, and open source web mapping and geo-spatial analysis system (2006) Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 4197 LNCS pp. 400-417
New Practices for Wetland Restoration
Accomplishment/Discovery: New Practices for Wetland Restoration
Researcher/Scientist: Susan Galatowitsch
Brief Summary: Susan Galatowitsch and her research team made several key discoveries related to wetland restoration in the 2000s. Among these is that restoring hydrology seldom leads to the re-assembly of the expected and desired complement of plant species without additional interventions. This is due to a difference in “propagule pressure” of invasive and native species in the landscape and competition for nutrients.
These findings have contributed to a shift in wetland restoration practice in the U.S. from one that previously centered on water availability to one that also considers likely limitations of specific species establishment and persistence.
- Aronson, M & S Galatowitsch. 2008. Long-term vegetation development of restored prairie pothole wetlands. Wetlands 28: 883-895.
- Green, EK & SM Galatowitsch. 2002 Effects of Phalaris arundinacea and nitrate-N addition on wetland plant community establishment. Journal of Applied Ecology 39: 134-144.
- Perry, LG, SM. Galatowitsch, &CJ Rosen. 2004. Competitive control of invasive vegetation: a native wetland sedge suppresses Phalaris arundinacea in carbon-enriched soil. Journal of Applied Ecology 41: 151-162.
- Kettenring, KM & SM Galatowitsch.2011. Carex seedling emergence in restored and natural prairie wetlands. Wetlands 31: 273-281.
Streptomyces Bacteria and Disease-Suppressive Soils
Accomplishment/Discovery: Streptomyces Bacteria and Disease-Suppressive Soils
Researcher/Scientist: Linda Kinkel and Neil Anderson
Brief Summary: In the 1990s, Linda Kinkel and Neil Anderson were pioneers in understanding the role of antibiotic-producing Streptomyces bacteria in creating disease suppressive soils that positively impact plant health.
Their research documents cultural practices that resulted in sharp increases in Streptomyces densities in agricultural soils with concurrent increases in antibiotic production and reduction of plant disease development. This line of research has matured into and influenced contemporary soil microbiome concepts.
- Liu, D., Anderson, N. A., & Kinkel, L. L. (1996). Selection and characterization of strains of Streptomyces suppressive to the potato scab pathogen. Canadian Journal of Microbiology, 42(5), 487-502.
- University of Minnesota Department of Plant Pathology. (2015). Aurora Sporealis 2015. University of Minnesota: Department of Plant Pathology. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/175816.
- University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. (1992). Minnesota Science, Vol. 47, No. 2. University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/133906.
- Office of the Vice President for Research. (1999). Research Review, 1999-2002 (Vol. 29-30). University of Minnesota.Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/130375.
Flavor Science and the Food Industry
Accomplishment/Discovery: Flavor Science and the Food Industry
Researcher/Scientist: Gary A Reineccius
Brief Summary: Modern flavor science began with the advent of gas chromatography. Since then, numerous approaches have been taken to understand the relationships between the chemical compositions of a food and flavor perception.
Gary Reineccius has been a leading voice in flavor science for over 40 years. During that time, he has analyzed hundreds of key molecules and compounds that lead to flavor, including identifying components that make an off-flavor. Significantly, his results can be translated into useful advice for food processors. In 2011, this led to the creation of the Flavor Research and Education Center, a first of its kind consortium of food industry partners working with researchers to address current flavor challenges.
- University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. (1986). Minnesota Science, Vol. 41, No. 2. University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/133798.
- University of Minnesota Alumni Association. (2012). Minnesota Magazine, Winter 2012. Vol.111 No.2. University of Minnesota Alumni Association. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/163522.
- University of Minnesota. College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. (2013). Solutions, Spring 2013.University of Minnesota. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/164111.