Dr. Nelly Arguello-Blanco Receives the 2023 Horticulture and Crop Science Graduate Student Publication Award

Nov. 14, 2023
Red sunset over a wheat field, Nelly is operating a piece of equipment in the field.

Congratulations to Dr. Nelly Arguello-Blanco on receiving the 2023 Horticulture and Crop Science Graduate Student Publication Award for her work on The effect of cycles of genomic selection on the wheat (T. aestivum) genome!

Her article was published in Theoretical and Applied Genetics in March 2023 and was part of her dissertation. She shared she was "excited and grateful" to receive the award and wanted to be sure to note "the plant breeding business is a long-term endeavor, so was this research! Thanks to the former members of the wheat lab who also worked on this project". 

While, Dr. Nelly Arguello-Blanco is no longer a graduate student, she did receive her PhD from our department in 2022, under the advisement of Dr. Clay Sneller. Following graduation, she returned to HCS as a Research Associate in Dr. Sneller’s wheat breeding program. In her words "the wheat breeding program at The Ohio State University aims at delivering varieties with better performance for grain yield, disease resistance and end-use quality".

Learn a bit more about Dr. Nelly Arguello-Blanco, her award-winning paper, & the wheat breeding program...

What sparked your interest in genomic selection + wheat? 

Genomic selection is one of the state-of-the-art prediction tools that reduces the duration of the traditional breeding cycles and the time to reach commercialization of a wheat variety. The job of a wheat breeder is to deliver varieties to farmers, in a timely manner and with better agronomical value such as yield, disease resistance and end-use quality. Why do I like wheat? Wheat provides 20% of the calorie intake worldwide, and wheat is the third most planted crop in the U.S.

What was the most surprising thing you learned while writing this paper?

To maintain the short and long-term goals of a breeding program, breeders should co-evolve the population of lines used to build prediction models (base population) and populations subjected to predication (parent pool of lines). 

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