ARS Geneticist, Dr. Sukumar Saha Awarded the CSSA International Service in Crop Science Award for Work in Developing Unique Cotton Plant (https://www.ars.usda.gov/Research/docs.htm?docid=25976).
ARS Geneticist, Dr. Sukumar Saha Awarded the 2016 CSSA International Service in Crop Science Award for Work in Developing Unique Cotton Plant, July 2016
Dr. Sukumar Saha, ARS Research Geneticist from the Genetics and Sustainable Agriculture Research Unit in Mississippi State, Mississippi will be awarded the 2016 CSSA International Service in Crop Science Award, by the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), along with a $1,000 monetary prize, at the CSSA International Convention on November 9, in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Saha is being recognized for collaborative work with scientists from Uzbekistan on plant biotechnology. From 2002, Dr. Saha’s active participation and leadership in cutting-edge genomics and plant breeding technologies has enhanced Uzbekistan genomics research capacity and fostered the commercialization of RNAi technology. The ARS Office of International Research Programs (OIRP), together with the ARS National Program Office, promote strategic bilateral and multinational partnerships that can enhance the productivity and impact of ARS research, stimulate economic development and US trade, preserve the environment, and improve the quality of life for all Americans. The award is unique because it is the first time the CSSA has recognized the impact of ARS research in this international service award category. The collaborative ARS - Former Soviet Union project with Uzbek scientists, developed a unique cotton plant with early flowering and maturity, and improved fiber quality by using RNAi technology (2014 Nature Comm.DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4062:1-10). Four RNAi “Porloq” series cotton lines are being grown now on 60,000 hectares in Uzbekistan for seed increase. The discovery brought great opportunity for farmers in Uzbekistan where cotton is a primary economic resource, and agriculture employs three-fourths of the labor force.