sealPurdue News

April 20, 2001

Research team winners
develop nematode-resistant soybean

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University's CystX research team will receive the 2001 Agricultural Dean's Team Award for developing the first soybean gene line resistant to the crop's No. 1 pest, the cyst nematode.

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Recipients of the award are Jamal Faghihi, research nematologist in the Department of Entomology; Richard Vierling, adjunct associate professor of agronomy and director of the Indiana Crop Improvement Association; Virginia Ferris, professor of entomology; and John Ferris, a former professor of entomology, who passed away in January 2000.

The award, which includes $10,000 to further research, will be presented during a campus ceremony from 2-4 p.m. May 3 in Room 116, Whistler Hall of Agricultural Research.

The group combined high-tech genomics with years of traditional bench science to develop the nematode-resistant soybean. The patented technology was called CystX. It has been applied to some soybean varieties already on the market. Many more soybean lines, including the top commercial lines, are expected to include CystX for the 2002 planting season.

The Deans' Team Award recognizes outstanding research conducted by an interdisciplinary group of researchers.

Vic Lechtenberg, Purdue's dean of agriculture, said when people from different areas of expertise and different departments come together to work on a problem, great discoveries can be the result.

"The Team Award is designed to encourage and reward outstanding research, Extension and education efforts that would not have happened without interdisciplinary cooperation," Lechtenberg said. "The members of the CystX team are to be commended for their collaborative efforts and for an outstanding piece of science."

CONTACT: Vic Lechtenberg, dean of agriculture, (765) 494-8391.

Compiled by Beth Forbes, (765) 494-2722,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Jamal Faghihi (top), Virginia Ferris and Rick Vierling have developed a soybean gene line that is completely resistant to nematodes, a microscopic roundworm that infects the roots of soybeans. Their research has earned the Dean’s Team Award and a $10,000 research grant. John Ferris, who passed away in January 2000, also was a member of the research team. (Purdue Agricultural Communications Service Photo by Tom Campbell)

A publication-quality photograph is available at the News Service Web site and at the ftp site. Photo ID: Team.award

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