Source: COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY submitted to
CROPS FOR HEALTH: APPLYING PLANT GENOMICS FOR HUMAN HEALTH BENEFITS
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0208790
Grant No.
2007-38420-17766
Project No.
COLE-2006-04280
Proposal No.
2006-04280
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
KK
Project Start Date
Nov 15, 2006
Project End Date
Nov 14, 2011
Grant Year
2007
Project Director
Byrne, P. F.
Recipient Organization
COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY
(N/A)
FORT COLLINS,CO 80523
Performing Department
SOIL & CROP SCIENCES
Non Technical Summary
New technologies offer opportunities to understand and improve the human health promoting properties of food crops. This project will train two Ph.D. scientists in an interdisciplinary program that provides research and teaching expertise and experiential learning in the area of crops for health. The project will also strengthen our graduate research and teaching program in this subject area.
Animal Health Component
100%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
(N/A)
Applied
100%
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
90360993020100%
Goals / Objectives
Advances in molecular biological sciences offer new opportunities to understand and enhance the human health promoting characteristics of crop plants, with the goal of reducing the incidence of chronic disease. To contribute to that goal, Colorado State University has recently undertaken initiatives to strengthen the link between agriculture and human health. Objectives of this project are (1) to train two Ph.D. students in the targeted expertise shortage area of Agricultural Genomics and Bioinformatics, specifically as applied to improving crops for human health; (2) to foster research and teaching collaborations among faculty in the five departments involved in this project: Biology, Bioagricultural Sciences & Pest Management, Food Science & Human Nutrition, Horticulture & Landscape Architecture, and Soil & Crop Sciences; and (3) to build on this training grant to establish a long-term graduate program in Biomedical Agriculture. Outcomes of this project will be two Ph.D. scientists with research and teaching expertise in crops for health disciplines, a more diverse workforce in the food and agricultural sciences, and a strengthened graduate research and teaching program in a subject area that is crucial for the future of U.S. food and agricultural industries.
Project Methods
Two Ph.D. Fellows will be recruited through a national search that particularly targets under-represented populations; recruitment will be conducted in collaboration with the Colorado Alliance for Minority Participation. During their first semester, the Fellows will rotate through three research programs, choosing among labs with expertise in plant breeding, genomics, biochemistry, plant physiology, food science, nutrition, human health, and disease risk evaluation. Fellows will then select and develop an interdisciplinary project for their dissertation research. Through coursework and research experience, each Fellow will attain competency in four core areas of this program: genetics, genomics, and plant breeding; biochemistry and physiology; human nutrition and disease prevention; and statistics and bioinformatics. Novel features of the project include: 1) a bi-weekly seminar series composed of faculty and graduate student presentations, as well as outside speakers; 2) an annual program symposium; and 3) an innovative distance education course in phytochemicals and human health. Experiential learning opportunities will be customized to the career goals of each Fellow. In addition to lab rotations, they may include teaching experience on campus and to outreach audiences, an internship with private sector research programs, or a visit to an international agricultural research center. Project results will be disseminated to science professionals through peer-reviewed publications and presentations at scientific meetings. Policy makers will be informed of project impacts through written reports and presentations at appropriate venues. Results will reach public audiences through workshops, fact sheets, and press releases.

Progress 11/15/06 to 11/14/11

Outputs
OUTPUTS: The most significant outputs of the project were as follows: (1) The project trained two Ph.D. students in the area of Agricultural Genomics and Bioinformatics as applied to improving crops for human health. Adam Heuberger completed his Ph.D. in the summer of 2011. His dissertation research focused on the analysis of genetic diversity for metabolic profiles in cooked rice. His Ph.D. program provided him experiences in labs specializing in plant breeding, plant genomics, and food science and nutrition. In particular, he gained expertise in metabolomic and bioinformatic analysis, sets of skills that are becoming increasingly important in agricultural and food science research. Tatiana Zuber is in the final stages of completing her dissertation on the chemopreventative activity and antioxidant properties of genetically diverse potatoes from the Colorado breeding program. She completed lab rotations in molecular biology, cancer prevention, and plant biochemistry programs. Her program of study has provided skills in plant biochemistry, genetic analysis, and the use of colon cancer cell cultures. (2) The project has fostered research collaborations among faculty members in the departments of Bioagricultural Sciences & Pest Management, Horticulture & Landscape Architecture, Soil & Crop Sciences, and the College of Veterinary Medicine. The collaborations have involved investigations of the health promoting properties of beans, rice, and potatoes, and have led to at least three journal articles, a book chapter, and submission of numerous grant proposals. (3) The project has played an important role in ongoing efforts to establish a long-term Crops for Health program at Colorado State University. Among the five strategic initiatives of the College of Agricultural Sciences (July, 2010) is "Improving Food for Enhanced Human Health". As part of this initiative, a graduate program in Biomedical Agriculture is currently being developed. (4) To promote student learning in this subject area, two Crops for Health seminar courses and a distance education course on phytochemicals were partially sponsored by the project. Project results have been disseminated to scientific audiences through presentations at professional meetings and peer-reviewed publications. PARTICIPANTS: The primary participants were the two Graduate Fellows sponsored by the project, Adam Heuberger and Tatiana Zuber. At the beginning of their programs, both students benefited from rotations through three laboratories that focus on different disciplines. Both students also gained international experience during their degree programs. Mr. Heuberger received an award from the National Science Foundation to participate in a short course on rice production at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, and Ms. Zuber accompanied her advisor to conduct research on potato at the crops research institute in Lincoln, New Zealand. Mr. Heuberger obtained teaching experience by serving as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the undergraduate course Principles of Genetics. TARGET AUDIENCES: The primary target audiences for this project have been the agricultural, nutritional, and biomedical scientific communities. The two students and their advisors have given numerous presentations at professional meetings in the U.S. and internationally, and have published their results in peer-reviewed journals. Other audiences have been graduate students, who have benefited from the seminar courses and the distance education course, and university administrators and extension educators, who have been briefed on results of the project. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

Impacts
A primary impact of the project will be the two Ph.D. scientists who will play leadership roles in bridging the disciplines of agriculture, human nutrition, and biomedical sciences. One of the graduates is already making a professional impact through his post-doctoral position at the Colorado State University Proteomic and Metabolomic Facility. More than 25 other graduate students have also benefited through the two seminar courses and the distance education course. The project has highlighted research and training taking place at Colorado State University, thereby raising awareness of the connection between agriculture and human health. Other outcomes derive from the research results of the two Ph.D. students. Groundbreaking research has shown the diversity of metabolites produced by various strains of rice and in response to different environmental conditions. The potato project will provide evidence on the antioxidant properties and associated health effects of pigmented versus white fleshed potatoes. The success of this project is one of the factors that led the College of Agricultural Sciences to name "Improving Food for Enhanced Human Health" as one of its top strategic initiatives over the next five years. A tangible long-term impact of the project will be the establishment of a graduate level training program in Biomedical Agriculture. Although this program is not yet approved, it is advancing through the approval process for new graduate degree programs.

Publications

  • Heuberger, A.L. 2011. Metabolomic profiles of Oryza sativa and influence of genetic diversity. Ph.D. dissertation, Colorado State University, For Collins, CO.
  • Ryan, E.P., Heuberger, A.L., Weir, T., Barnett, B., Broeckling. C., and Prenni, J. 2011. Rice bran fermented with Saccharomyces boulardii generates a novel metabolite profile with bioactivity. J Ag. Food Chem. 59:1862-1870.
  • Heuberger, A.L., Davidson, R., Leach, J., Thompson, H., Brick, M., and Ryan, E. 2009. Metabolite Variation in Genetically Distinct Rice Cultivars: Implications for Human Nutrition and Health. Annual Meeting of the Crop Science Society of America. Nov. 1-5, 2009, Pittsburgh Abstract no. 55701.
  • Heuberger, A., Lewis, M., Chen, M., Brick, M., Leach, J., and Ryan, E. 2010. Genomic and Metabolomic Profiling of a Rice Core Collection That Exhibit Variable Effects On Lymphoma. Annual Meeting of the Crop Science Society of America. Oct. 31-Nov. 3, 2010, Long Beach, CA. Abstract no. 296-8.
  • Heuberger, A., Verdier, V., Leach, J.E., Ryan, E., and Brick, M. 2011. Influence of Environment On the Metabolite Profile of Cooked Rice (Oryza sativa). Annual Meeting of the Crop Science Society of America. Oct. 16-19, 2011, San Antonio, TX. Abstract no. 338-8.


Progress 11/15/09 to 11/14/10

Outputs
The two National Needs Fellows funded under this project (Adam Heuberger and Tatiana Zuber) entered the third and final year of their Crops for Health Ph.D. programs in 2010. Both fellows completed their required course work and passed written and oral preliminary exams during the past year. They are on track to complete their graduate programs in summer or fall of 2011. As part of his dissertation research, Mr. Heuberger conducted an integrated genomic and metabolomic analysis of 10 varieties of cooked rice to evaluate the genetic control over variation in rice bioactive compounds. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in biochemical pathways of nutritional importance were identified using existing rice SNP databases. Metabolite diversity was detected using ultra performance liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS). The SNP, UPLC-MS, and additional targeted biochemical analyses show extensive variation cin metabolites among the 10 varieties, as well as genetic variation in nutritionally-relevant biochemical pathways, and together suggest the ability to breed for rice varieties with enhanced nutritional content. Ms. Zuber's research focused on the potential role of potatoes as a source of protective bioactive agents against cancer. Anti-cancer properties in elite potato germplasm appear to be most pronounced in purple and red fleshed clones. A few clones initially extracted in organic solvents and reconstituted in aqueous cell culture medium at several concentrations have shown promise as inhibitors of cell proliferation with mammalian HT-29 colorectal adenocarcinoma cell cultures. Primarily pigmented potato clones, but also a few non-pigmented clones, from three consecutive years of harvest consistently inhibited the proliferation of HT-29 colon cancer cells up to 59% of control cultures. Developmental growth stage of the potato tubers was critical for effective inhibition. Mr. Heuberger won several awards in 2010: the Tak Tsuchiya Graduate Student Achievement Award in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences; First place in the Graduate student poster competition, Colorado Biological Mass Spectrometry Society meeting; an NSF travel award to attend the US-Japan Seminar on Plant-Pathogen Interactions, Corvallis, OR. PRODUCTS: Two students have continued into the third year of their Ph.D. programs. They have completed their course work, passed oral and written preliminary exams, and made significant progress on their research projects. Each student now has a publication related to this project in a peer-reviewed journal. OUTCOMES: The major product outcome will be two Ph.D. scientists trained in an interdisciplinary program and capable of making significant contributions in the Crops for Health area. Significant research findings related to variation in rice and potato germplasm for health-promoting properties have also resulted from this project. DISSEMINATION ACTIVITIES: Mr. Heuberger gave oral presentations on his research project at the following venues: (1) Genomic and metabolomic profiling of a rice core collection that exhibits variable effects on lymphoma. ASA-CSSA-SSSA, Annual International Symposium, Long Beach, CA; (2) Characterization of Saccharomyces boulardii-fermented rice bran. Research in Progress: Immunology group at CSU, Fort Collins, CO; (3) Investigation of the effect of rice bran metabolites on components of the immune system: A Crops for Health approach. Research in Progress: Immunology group at CSU, Fort Collins, CO. He also presented posters on his research at the following meetings: (1) Metabolite profiling of rice bran from parents in a genetic mapping population. Colorado Biological Mass Spectrometry Society meeting. Boulder, CO; (2) Investigations of rice diversity for cancer control & prevention. University of Colorado Cancer Center regional meeting, Denver, CO; (3) Metabolite profiles vary among rice cultivars: implications for host-pathogen interactions. US-Japan Seminar on Plant-Pathogen Interactions, Corvallis, OR. FUTURE INITIATIVES: We will find opportunities for the two fellows to present their research findings at appropriate regional and national scientific meetings. Educators and researchers in the Crops for Health area will be invited to present seminars at Colorado State University. Based on results of the students' research projects, CSU faculty will apply for additional grants to advance the Crops for Health program.

Impacts
The project has raised awareness of research and training taking place at Colorado State University. The National Needs project is one of the factors that led the College of Agricultural Sciences to name the Crops for Health Program as one of its top strategic initiatives over the next several years. The College recently announced a competitive grants program to fund projects corresponding to the designated strategic initiatives, including Crops for Health. Longer term impacts will be two Ph.D. scientists capable of playing leadership roles in bridging the disciplines of agriculture, human nutrition, and biomedical sciences, and an established graduate level training program in Crops for Health.

Publications

  • Heuberger, A.L., Lewis, M.R., Chen, M.-H., Brick, M.A., Leach, J.E., and Ryan, E.P. 2010. Metabolomic and functional genomic analyses reveal varietal differences in bioactive compounds of cooked rice. PLoS ONE 5:e12915.
  • Stushnoff, C., Ducreux, L.J.M., Hancock, R. D., Hedley, P. E., Holm, D., McDougall, G.J., McNicol, J. W., Morris, J., Morris, W.L., Sungurtas, J.A., Verrall, S.R., Zuber, T., and Taylor, M. A. 2010. Flavonoid profiling and transcriptome analysis reveals new gene-metabolite correlations in tubers of Solanum tuberosum L. Journal of Experimental Botany 61, 1225- 1238.


Progress 11/15/08 to 11/14/09

Outputs
Our two National Needs Fellows, Adam Heuberger and Tatiana Zuber, continued their PhD programs during this third year of the Crops for Health National Needs Fellowship Project. Both fellows are now mid-way through the second years of their graduate programs. Ms. Zuber completed her third required rotation, in the laboratory of Dr. Anireddy Reddy, where she helped characterize a newly discovered gene in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. She has chosen to conduct her Ph.D. research under the guidance of Dr. Cecil Stushnoff in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. Her dissertation research proposal was approved by her graduate committee; the topic is chemopreventative activity and antioxidant properties of genetically diverse potatoes from the Colorado breeding program. Relevant coursework completed by Ms. Zuber in 2009 included Plant Molecular Biology, Data Analysis for Researchers I, and Cancer Genetics. Mz. Zuber's preliminary exam is scheduled for early spring of 2010. Mr. Heuberger chose to conduct his multidisciplinary research under the guidance of three co-advisors: Mark Brick, Soil and Crop Sciences; Jan Leach, Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest management; and Henry Thompson, Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. The topic is the effect of different genotypes of rice bran on immunological responses of mammals, using mice as a model organism. Mr. Heuberger's coursework is virtually complete, and his preliminary exam will take place in spring or summer of 2010. Mr. Heuberger gave a presentation on the Crops for Health program at the Western Society of Crop Science annual meeting (June 22-24, 2009, Fort Collins, CO), and won the award for outstanding graduate student presentation. With supervision by faculty advisor Mark Brick, Ms. Zuber and Mr. Heuberger led a 1-credit graduate level group study course during fall semester on crops for health themes. PRODUCTS: Two students have continued the second year of their PhD programs. They have completed their laboratory rotations, determined their dissertation topics, and selected their graduate committees. A graduate level group study course on Crops for Health issues was held in fall, 2009. OUTCOMES: The major product outcome will be two PhD scientists trained in an interdisciplinary program and capable of making significant contributions in the Crops for Health area. Another expected outcome is that this USDA project will contribute to the establishment of a recognized graduate level training program in Crops for Health. DISSEMINATION ACTIVITIES: Mr. Heuberger gave presentations on the Crops for Health program at one regional meeting (Western Society of Crop Science annual meeting, June 22-24, 2009, Fort Collins, CO), and one international venue (6th International Rice Genetics Symposium, Nov. 16-19, 2009, Manila, Philippines) The graduate level group study course held in fall, 2009 attracted a group of 8 to 10 students and faculty each week, and thereby helped to disseminate information about current research in improving crops for their health benefits. FUTURE INITIATIVES: We will continue to search for opportunities for the two fellows to (1) receive training at an international research institute with similar interests in improving crops for their health promoting properties; and (2) present their research findings at national scientific meetings.

Impacts
The project has raised awareness of research and training taking place at Colorado State University. The National Needs project is one of the factors that led the College of Agricultural Sciences to name the Crops for Health Program as one of its top strategic initiatives over the next five years. Longer term impacts will be two PhD scientists who will play leadership roles in bridging the disciplines of agriculture, human nutrition, and biomedical sciences, and an established graduate level training program in Crops for Health.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 11/15/07 to 11/14/08

Outputs
Two fellows began their PhD programs during the second year of the Crops for Health National Needs Fellowship Project, as envisioned in the project proposal. They are Adam Heuberger, who started his PhD program in May, 2008, and Tatiana Zuber, who entered the program in August, 2008. Both students undertook rotations through research programs in different disciplines, as planned in the project proposal and recommended by the Crops for Health Steering Committee. Mr. Heuberger rotated in the laboratories of Drs. Mark Brick and Henry Thompson; Dr. Jairam Vanamala; and Dr. Jan Leach. He gained experience assisting with operation of the dry bean breeding program, researching the cancer prevention properties of beans, studying the disease prevention characteristics of black cumin, and developing a rice genomics database. Adam's coursework began in August, 2008 with courses in nutritional sciences and statistics. Ms. Zuber has completed one rotation under the guidance of Dr. Cecil Stushnoff, evaluating antioxidant properties of potatoes. She has begun a rotation in the Cancer Prevention Laboratory, under the guidance of Drs. Henry Thompson and Elizabeth Ryan, to study health promoting properties of wheat. In spring semester of 2009, she will complete her third rotation in the molecular biology laboratory of Dr. A.S.N. Reddy, characterizing a recently discovered gene in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Relevant coursework completed by Ms. Zuber includes Food Phytochemicals, Human Physiology, and Techniques in Cell and Molecular Biology. Under the guidance of faculty advisor Patrick Byrne, both students led a 1-credit graduate level group study course during fall semester on crops for health themes. PRODUCTS: Two students have begun their PhD programs. Together they have completed four rotations in different research programs. A graduate level group study course on Crops for Health issues was held in fall, 2008. OUTCOMES: The major product outcome will be two PhD scientists trained in an interdisciplinary program and capable of making significant contributions in the Crops for Health area. Another expected outcome is that this USDA project will contribute to the establishment of a recognized graduate level training program in Crops for Health. DISSEMINATION ACTIVITIES: The graduate level group study course held in fall, 2008 attracted a large group of students, faculty, and research associates, and thereby helped to disseminate information about current research in improving crops for their health benefits. FUTURE INITIATIVES: We will find opportunities for the two fellows to (1) receive training at an international research institute with similar interests in improving crops for their health promoting properties; and (2) present their research findings at a national scientific meeting.

Impacts
The project has already raised awareness of research and training taking place at Colorado State University. Longer term impacts will be two PhD scientists who will play leadership roles in bridging the disciplines of agriculture, human nutrition, and biomedical sciences, and an established graduate level training program in Crops for Health.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 11/15/06 to 11/14/07

Outputs
We conducted a national search for two PhD National Needs fellows. Announcements or advertisements were placed on web sites and newsletters of the Crop Science Society of America, Amercian Society for Horticultural Science, American Society of Plant Biologists, and the American Society for Nutrition. Announcements were also emailed to several plant breeding and genetics list-serves, and posted at employment sections of professional meetings. Working through the Colorado Alliance for Minority Participation, we publicized the fellowship opportunities at minority-serving institutions in Colorado and throughout the country. Inquiries were received from about 25 individuals, and full applications were received from 10 persons. After review of the applications, six applicants were invited to interview. One person was offered a fellowship and declined. Two other applicants were offered fellowships and accepted. Due to previous commitments, the candidates will not be able to begin their fellowship programs until May, 2008. PRODUCTS: A web site for the project has been established at http://www.cropsforhealth.colostate.edu/. OUTCOMES: To date there are no outcomes of the project. DISSEMINATION ACTIVITIES: Through the announcements mentioned above and the project's web site, a large number of people are now aware of the Crops for Health program at Colorado State University. FUTURE INITIATIVES: No Future Initiatives have been determined for this project.

Impacts
To date there are no impacts of the project.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period