Iago Lowe Hale, Ph.D.

Iago Lowe Hale, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Specialty Crop Improvement

Educational Background:

Ph.D., Plant Breeding and Genetics, University of California, Davis, 2011
M.Sc., International Agricultural Development, University of California, Davis, 2007
B.A., Physics/Religion, Dartmouth College, 1997

Courses to be Taught:

SAFS 733: Advanced Topics in Sustainable Agriculture (capstone; offered in spring semesters)
BIOL 933: Design, Analysis, and Interpretation of Experiments

General Area of Interest and/or Specialty:

I am interested in the characterization, maintenance, and utilization of crop genetic diversity as means of enhancing small farm viability, rural livelihoods, food security, and ecosystem integrity. This is to say that my work in the fields of plant genetics and breeding (traditional and molecular) stems not from a basic but a decidedly applied research interest with significant socioeconomic and ecological implications. For me, crop improvement is fundamentally about increasing the options available to both growers and consumers within a context of dynamic market forces, increasing land-use pressures, and uncertain environmental factors.

Motivated by this larger framework, the research objectives of my integrated plant breeding and plant molecular genetics/genomics program are: 1) To increase agricultural opportunities in New England by developing and providing improved germplasm to producers; 2) To develop molecular markers and genetic resources to support my breeding work and that of the larger plant improvement community, particularly in developing countries; and 3) To contribute to our understanding of the genetic bases of key traits at various scales, from individual plants (e.g. disease resistance) to whole farm systems (e.g. weed suppression) to landscapes (e.g. nutrient uptake).

In the field, classical breeding methods remain necessary for the practical development and delivery of improved plant varieties. In the lab, trait dissection, gene mapping, gene characterization, and molecular marker development can provide valuable information and support to breeding efforts. The integration of these field and lab components in one program insures that my basic genetic research stays consistently grounded in real-world production and is pursued with a firm commitment toward deployment.

A variety of research opportunities for students are available in my lab (http://www.unh.edu/halelab); please contact me if you are interested in learning more.

Selected Publications:

Hale I, Mamuya I, and Singh D (2012) Sr31-virulent races (TTKSK, TTKST, and TTTSK) of the wheat stem rust pathogen Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici are present in Tanzania. Plant Disease (in press)

Hale I, Zhang X, Fu D, and Dubcovsky J (2012) Registration of tetraploid and hexaploid wheat lines carrying the partial stripe rust resistance gene Yr36Gpc-B1 high grain protein content allele. Journal of Plant Registrations (in press)

Lowe I, Jankuloski L, Chao S, Chen X, See D, and Dubcovsky J (2011) Mapping and validation of QTL which confer partial resistance to broadly virulent post-2000 North American races of stripe rust in hexaploid wheat. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 123:143-157

Lowe I, Cantu D, and Dubcovsky J (2011) Durable resistance to the wheat rusts: integrating systems biology and traditional phenotype-based research methods to guide the deployment of resistance genes. Euphytica 179:69-79

Olson E, Brown-Guedira G, Marshall DS, Jin Y, Mergoum M, Lowe I, and Dubcovsky J (2010) Genotyping of U.S. wheat germplasm for presence of stem rust resistance genes Sr24, Sr36 and Sr1RSAmigo. Crop Science 50:668-675

Iago Hale
Rudman Hall, Room 385
Durham, NH 03824