MEDIA ADVISORY: Famed Plant Geneticist to Deliver CSU Lecture on Possibilities with Corn

Note to Reporters: Reporters and photographers are invited to cover this event. For more information, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

Possibilities with corn – such as developing drought-tolerant plants, corn with greater nutrient content, and crops that grow year-round – will be the topic of discussion when a prominent maize geneticist visits Colorado State University for an invited lecture on Sunday, Nov. 4.

Edward S. Buckler, noted for landmark studies of corn genetics, will be featured speaker at the 13th annual Thornton-Massa Lecture.

The talk will be 4-5:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4 in the Behavioral Sciences Building Auditorium, 410 W. Pitkin St. on the CSU campus. It is free and open to the public.

Buckler’s lecture is titled, “Corn – A Genetic Powerhouse: Unleashing Natural Diversity with Genomics for More Sustainable, Robust and Nutritious Crops.”
Buckler says the complex corn genome, combined with new knowledge and genetic tools, presents many options for plant breeding. That’s significant given the prominent role of corn in the global economy, and the reliance of people in developing nations on corn as a major food source.

Buckler is a senior scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service in Ithaca, N.Y. He conducts research at Cornell University. Earlier this year, Buckler was named Distinguished Senior Research Scientist for USDA-ARS, the federal agency’s top scientific honor.

Buckler was awarded in part for developing corn varieties with significantly higher levels of carotenoids for subsistence farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, where corn is a dominant food crop and vitamin A deficiencies often cause childhood blindness and immune dysfunction.

“I’d like to stimulate thought about how we use the genetic tools now available,” Buckler said of his presentation at CSU. “What should we do with these really powerful tools? Society at large, including consumers, farmers and environmentalists, need to participate in answering the question.”

The Thornton-Massa Lecture was endowed by CSU donors interested in plant science. It is hosted by the colleges of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Sciences.

Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or