Elsa Andrea Brugnoli with team in the field

Expanding Knowledge and Connections through the Fulbright Program at UC Davis

By Elsa Andrea Brugnoli, 2017-18 Visiting Fulbright Scholar at UC Davis

Elsa Andrea Brugnoli is a research assistant in the Agriculture College at Northeast National University in Corrientes, Argentina and spent September through December 2017 at the University of California, Davis, on a Fulbright Scholarship.

Fulbright scholars in fieldI went to University of California, Davis, through the Fulbright Visiting Scholar program to work with alfalfa, from September to December 2017. The agriculture and livestock production is important for the economy of Argentina. Also, alfalfa is one of the most important forage crops in the world. 

A desirable alfalfa breeding goal is to increase yield from late summer through early winter. Plant growth during this period is affected by "fall dormancy,” which refers to the characteristic growth reduction that typically occurs in late summer and early autumn as temperature declines and photoperiod shortens. Selection for improved yield could be accelerated and made more effective with appropriate use of molecular markers. 

The goal of my sojourn in the USA was to identify markers associated with fall dormancy using previously developed populations selected at UC Davis, for more or less dormancy. This technique will be easily applied in the north of Argentina, where forages present the same fall dormancy. Genomic selection also offers the possibility of accelerating genetic gain in alfalfa by greatly reducing cycle time from years to months. 

The successful of this project was important for expanding knowledge in the field and laboratory through collaboration with the U.S. However, my host professor, Director of the Plant Breeding Center Charles Brummer, and his team gave me the chance to learn, during my stay, not only about alfalfa improvement program but also about spinach breeding program and rice breeding program.

This experience was really important, because I was able to gain knowledge about different programs. 

Group dinner

This picture showed the hospitality and predisposition of Brummer’s team. Thank you very much Professor Brummer and UC Davis!

About Global Affairs at UC Davis

Global Affairs brings the world to UC Davis, welcoming more than 10,000 international students, scholars and leaders, and hosting programs that inspire global curiosity, understanding and engagement. Compelled by the valuable outcomes of thinking globally, we make transformative opportunities a reality by supporting the thousands of students and faculty studying and researching internationally-and by facilitating collaborations that tackle the world's most pressing problems through more than 150 international partnerships.

Putting our vision of a UC Davis community that engages, thrives, and leads in this interconnected world into action, Global Affairs is now in pursuit of an ambitious goal: Global Education for All.

About the Fulbright Program at UC Davis

The Fulbright Program offers a range of research and professional exchange opportunities for UC Davis students, faculty, staff in over 130 countries—and brings international scholars and students here for collaborations that transform the campus community and build bridges to all parts of the world. 

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