FLORENCE — A crop geneticist whose research specializes in peanut breeding has joined the Advanced Plant Technology program at the Clemson University Pee Dee Research and Education Center.

Shyam P. Tallury has extensive plant breeding experience, particularly developing disease-resistant peanut germplasm for commercial production. He works closely with state peanut growers and local associations, and participates in public crop field days.

He will seek genetic solutions to improve crop production that will lead to new and improved germplasm lines and cultivars. He also will work to develop high-yield varieties; develop varieties with resistance to disease, pests and environmental stresses; and improve research methods used in breeding programs.

Tallury joins genetic researchers Stephen Kresovich and Ben Fallen in the Advanced Plant Technology program. Kresovich, an internationally recognized crop geneticist, leads the research efforts. Fallen’s research focuses on soybean breeding.

The Advanced Plant Technology program focuses on improving the value of South Carolina’s agronomic crops to support the state’s $34 billion agribusiness industry. Varieties and production methods developed through this program can be applied statewide to enhance crop production and value.

The program will complement ongoing plant science research at the Pee Dee center, on the main campus, and at Clemson’s Edisto and Coastal research centers in Blackville and Charleston, respectively.

George Askew, Clemson University associate vice president for Public Service Activities, said Tallury quickly will become an integral part of South Carolina’s important peanut-growing industry.

“Peanuts are a valuable crop in South Carolina,” Askew said. “Growers regularly plant more than 100,000 acres of peanuts here, yielding thousands of pounds of peanuts per acre.

“Dr. Tallury has exactly the research background to help the state’s peanut growers become even more successful,” he said. “He will greatly benefit Clemson’s research team in the Pee Dee.”

In 2012, Clemson University proposed — and the S.C. General Assembly endorsed — establishing the Advanced Plant Technology program at the Pee Dee center. Research there will provide a bridge to 21st century agriculture using traditional plant breeding and molecular genetics to develop new crops and crop-based products.

Specific objectives are to increase per-acre values of crops; develop new crops that can expand the market for South Carolina farm products; and to attract private agribusiness investment in research, development and application of new technologies and crop varieties.

Prior to joining Clemson, Tallury was a member of the crop science department at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. He supervised the peanut genetics research program there, developing high-yield, disease-resistant peanut germplasm and maintaining a seed inventory database of wild species.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and a master’s degree in plant breeding at universities in India, and a PhD. in crop science with a concentration in plant breeding from N.C. State.


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