Alabama Public Television highlights Auburn-HudsonAlpha collaboration

Published: February 15, 2021
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Auburn University’s collaboration with the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville will be the focus of Alabama Public Television’s next episode of “Spotlight on Agriculture” Feb. 18 at 9 p.m. and again Feb. 21 at 2 p.m.

Auburn and HudsonAlpha merged their strengths in 2019 to improve crops for Alabama farmers. APT will highlight how their collaborative efforts are using plant breeding and genomics methods to expand the diversity of Alabama crops while making current crops more profitable for farmers.

“Alabama is one of the nation’s top-ranked states for biodiversity and climate diversity, yet we grow a small number of crops,” said Paul Patterson, dean of Auburn’s College of Agriculture. “Scientists at both Auburn and HudsonAlpha are working to capitalize on the diversity we enjoy.

“At Auburn, we have a world-renowned plant-breeding program, and HudsonAlpha is a leader in plant genomics. Together, our scientists are breeding and developing new crop varieties that can thrive on Alabama farms.”

APT visited farms, industries and research labs throughout the state to explore the potential of several new crops and the impact they could make. One of those crops, winter-grown barley, would complement the state’s emerging craft-brew industry, which currently uses grains grown outside of Alabama.

APT also explored several traditional crops—such as peanuts, cotton and soybeans—and how, through specialized breeding, new varieties are more disease resistant and drought tolerant.

APT’s “Spotlight on Agriculture” is a quarterly series that was introduced in 2018 to highlight agricultural programs at Auburn and their impact on the state.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.