Thursday, August 4, 2016

Speaker Spotlight - L J Grauke, Ph.D.

We are proud to present a profile for L J Grauke - one of our guest seminar speakers..

L J Grauke, Ph.D.
Curator, National Collection of Genetic Resources for Pecans and Hickories (NCGR-Carya)
Research Horticulturist, USDA ARS Pecan Breeding & Genetics Program
10200 FM 50
Somerville, Texas 77879

L J Grauke is Curator of the National Collection of Genetic Resources for Pecans and Hickories (NCGR-Carya). The collection is the major germplasm repository for the genus Carya in the United States, and is dedicated to the collection, maintenance, evaluation, characterization and distribution of world genetic resources for that genus. Research includes practical aspects of species identification, designation, distribution, site adaptation, phenology, and relationships with associated insects and diseases. He has made collections of pecans and hickories in Mexico, Vietnam, and China as well as throughout the United States, developing and maintaining the living collections that comprise the NCGR -Carya. He has worked to develop reliable molecular genetic markers to characterize the geographic distribution of genetic diversity across the genus.

Grauke is Research Horticulturist for the USDA-ARS Pecan Breeding & Genetics program. The major objective of that program is the development of improved pecan cultivars and rootstocks for all U.S. production areas. Controlled crosses are made using selected parents, and the resulting seedlings are carefully evaluated in nursery orchards. Selected individuals with outstanding performance are propagated in test orchards within the program and in cooperator orchards, where their performance is compared to commercial standards of the production industry. He contributed to the release of ‘Oconee’, ‘Houma’, ‘Navaho’, ‘Kanza’, ‘Hopi’, ‘Nacono’, ‘Waco’, ‘Lakota’, ‘Mandan’, ‘Apalachee’ and ‘Lipan’. In addition to the routine evaluation of selections under test, research is also conducted for the improvement of selection criteria using standard field observations and molecular genetic techniques.

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