MREC Graduate Student Wins Proposal Competition and Travel Grant at Root Short Course

MREC graduate student Yuvraj Khamare won a mock grant proposal and $300 travel grant from the University of Florida short course entitled Linking Root Architecture to Function. Khamare worked with three other graduate students to create a mock $1 million grant proposal related to linking root architecture with root structure.

MREC graduate student Yuvraj Khamare (far right) and his team accept their mock grant proposal winning certificate. Photo Credit: Yuvraj Khamare, UF/IFAS

The team broke down the proposal into two parts:

  1. Identify a root architecture ideotype for root knot nematode resistance
    2. Characterize root architecture effects on rhizosphere microbial community composition and how it effects the nutrient cycling, like nitrogen and carbon fixation

Data collected would include root length density, lateral roots density, root diameter, root surface area and shoot biomass. Meta-genomics and biological assay would be used to assess taxonomic and functional diversity and to identify the microbial community in the rhizosphere, the soil near plant roots that impact plant health.

A real-world application for the project is to find maize and bean types resistant to nematodes and better at nutrient cycling to increase crop yield and quality.

“The short course was a great learning experience and will help my graduate research on weed management in ornamental and landscape plants,” said Khamare, a first-year doctoral student in environmental horticulture. His current project is entitled ”Fertilizer Placement Affects Weed Growth and Competition with Container-Grown Ornamentals.”

Here, Khamare explains his doctoral research about weed management in ornamental and landscape plants to students. Photo Credit: Angela Colonna, UF/IFAS

Khamare conducts research under the guidance of MREC researcher Chris Marble, assistant professor of ornamental & landscape weed management. Both Khamare and Marble are currently located at the UF/IFAS Mid-Florida Research and Education Center in Apopka.

The short course was host by the UF/IFAS Center for Stress Resilient Agriculture. The CSRA “is dedicated to providing transformational, research-based solutions to crop and cropping-system stress.” For more information about CSRA, follow this link.

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