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September 21st, 2009:

Updating the Blogroll

I’ve recently started following two more plant/ag blogs* that are both so interesting I want to share them with all of you:

First of all they have exciting perspectives and information. The author of Plants are the Strangest People has personal experience with literally hundreds of plant species.** While I can talk about the principles behind plant breeding and crop improvement***, writer of The Scientist Gardener works in the field and is a fountain of interesting posts.

That would be enough on its own, but to be honest I’ll also disclose that the authors are based in regions I’m unashamedly biased towards (central Iowa and central New York respectively) and were kind enough to link here (I discovered their blogs when their web addresses started popping up in the sources of my incoming traffic).

*The highly observant will have noticed links to these blogs were added to the blogroll (which I’ve moved farther up as it was previously getting lost in the clutter of the right-hand column) yesterday evening.
**Sadly the only species I’ve grown for my own research are Corn, Sorghum, and Arabidopsis. Beyond that I can draw on the knowledge I gained though social connections. For example: once dating a girl who worked on Soybeans, working next to a lab that studied Tomatoes, having a TA who worked in a Wheat genomics, or interviewing in a Carrot and Garlic breeding lab. A serious drawback of molecular biology (and even more so now that I’m moving into comparative genomics) is on a day to day basis we’re exposed to only a tiny fraction of the great diversity within the world of plants.
***I can’t be grateful enough that I was able to fit “Genetic Improvement of Crop Plants” a course in the plant breeding department into my schedule as an undergrad. That course, along with “Molecular Biology and Genetic Engineering of Plants” have proven incredibly useful when I get into the more applied side of plant biology. (On the more basic research side I’m ¬†indebted to “Plant Development” and “Advanced Plant Genetics”)