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Department  of
Plant  and  Soil  Science


APRIL 2021

Welcome to the PSS Newsletter!

We'd like to extend a hearty congratulations to the Plant & Soil Science graduates whose years of hard work and perseverance through a bumpy landing will be honored at the May 2021 Commencement ceremonies. (And don't forget that the location for commencement has been moved to the United Supermarkets Arena!)

For ongoing coverage of department news and access to an archive of past Newsletters, check out the PSS Newsroom online.

Visit the Newsroom


Shan Wong wins OIA Global Vision Award

Shan Wong, a PSS doctoral student, was awarded the Graduate Student International Research Award at the university's Office of International Affairs (OIA) Annual Global Vision Awards ceremony. Wong's research focuses on the orchid mycorrhizal preference and specificity of wild Vanilla species in Costa Rica, which are not fully understood. By understanding the mycorrhizal interaction, growers can continue to emphasize conservation management of ecological requirements of the wild Vanilla species in Costa Rica. The award was based on her work in the annual TTU Graduate School poster competition.    READ MORE »

Diamond Teaching Award presented to Vikram Baliga

PSS's own Vikram Baliga is one of 15 Texas Tech University instructors to be named as a recipient of a 2021 Diamond Award. The award was created by the Teaching Academy and the Teaching, Learning, & Professional Development Center (TLPDC) to recognize faculty whose innovative and adaptive teaching strategies went above and beyond to connect with their students amid the pressures of a global pandemic.    READ MORE »

Abidi selected as 2021 President's Excellence in Commercialization Award winner

In April, the Office of Research & Innovation named Abidi as the recipient of the 2021 President's Excellence in Commercialization Award. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the commercialization of innovative work conducted by Texas Tech University faculty, including the demonstration of a tangible impact on society and exceptional contributions in areas such as patents, licensing, innovative discovery, and technology development.    READ MORE »

Faculty & staff recognized with Length of Service Awards

This year's Texas Tech University Length of Service Awards marked the professional dedication of many members of the Department of Plant and Soil Science and the Fiber & Biopolymer Research Institute FBRI. Awarded at five-year intervals, the recognition includes a distinctive pin commemorating the landmark.    READ MORE »

Undergraduate research grants awarded

In order to give more opportunity to engage undergraduates in research activities, CASNR officials have selected nine standout students to receive 2021 Undergraduate Research Grants. This year's winners who will be working on research in the Department of Plant & Soil Science are Brock Buckingham working with Wenxuan Guo, Justin Dawsey working with Cade Coldren, and Ava Hale working with Rosalyn Shim.    READ MORE »

Recent Press

- Lindsey Slaughter's work on improving soil health using cow manure was featured by the Crop Science Society of America    READ MORE »

- KCBD recently tapped PSS's Vikram Baliga for advice on caring for and pruning freeze- and drought-damaged plants    READ MORE »


May 15th  |  May 2021 Commencement
Due to the potential for severe weather, Saturday's commencement ceremonies have been moved to the United Supermarkets Arena.  view the schedule »

May 19th  |  IGCAST Webinar
Functionalizing climate resilient grains for food quality, nutrition, and health: Challenges and opportunities  learn more »

May 28th  |  RIKEN CSRS Symposium
Hope for the Future | RIKEN Symposium on Sustainable Resource Science  see the itenerary »


- Denwar, N. N., Simpson, C. E., Starr, J. L., Wheeler, T. A., & Burow, M. D. (2021). Evaluation and selection of interspecific lines of groundnut (Arachis hypogaea l.) for resistance to leaf spot disease and for yield improvement. Plants, 10(5) doi:10.3390/plants10050873

- Deshmukh, R., Rana, N., Liu, Y., Zeng, S., Agarwal, G., Sonah, H., . . . Nguyen, H. T. (2021). Soybean transporter database: A comprehensive database for identification and exploration of natural variants in soybean transporter genes. Physiologia Plantarum, 171(4), 756-770. doi:10.1111/ppl.13287

- Hosseini, M. S., Samsampour, D., Zahedi, S. M., Zamanian, K., Rahman, M. M., Mostofa, M. G., & Tran, L. -. P. (2021). Melatonin alleviates drought impact on growth and essential oil yield of lemon verbena by enhancing antioxidant responses, mineral balance, and abscisic acid content. Physiologia Plantarum, doi:10.1111/ppl.13335

- Mostofa, M. G., Rahman, M. M., Ansary, M. M. U., Keya, S. S., Abdelrahman, M., Miah, M. G., & Tran, L. P. (2021). Silicon in mitigation of abiotic stress-induced oxidative damage in plants. Crit Rev Biotechnol, doi: 10.1080/07388551.2021.1892582

- Reyes, V. P., Angeles-Shim, R. B., Mendioro, M. S., Manuel, M. C. C., Lapis, R. S., Shim, J., . . . Doi, K. (2021). Marker-assisted introgression and stacking of major qtls controlling grain number (Gn1a) and number of primary branching (wfp) to nerica cultivars. Plants, 10(5) doi:10.3390/plants10050844

For a deeper cut, visit the departmental list of publications.

See more publications

What are we missing?

Have an announcement, research development,
publication, or upcoming event? We want to hear about it!

If you have any questions, corrections, or contributions
regarding the PSS Newsletter or online Newsroom,
please contact Melanie Jackson at

Contact us


Department  of  Plant  and  Soil  Science


Texas Tech University, Department of Plant and Soil Science
Box 42122
Lubbock, TX 79409

806 _ 742 _ 2838

May 14, 2021