Kochian Named to Agricultural Research Service Science Hall of Fame

by | Sep 16, 2015

Leon V. Kochian

Leon V. Kochian speaking at the Holley Center’s dedication.

WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2015— Leon V. Kochian has been named to the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Science Hall of Fame for discoveries in crop mineral nutrition. ARS is the chief intramural scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Leon V. Kochian will be one of four ARS scientists honored today in a ceremony at the ARS National Agricultural Library in Beltsville, Md. ARS established the Science Hall of Fame in 1986 to honor senior agency researchers for outstanding, lifelong achievements in agricultural science and technology. Nominees must be retired or eligible to retire to receive the award.

“The extraordinary contributions of these four scientists have had a significant impact on food and agriculture worldwide,” said ARS Administrator Chavonda Jacobs-Young. “Their outstanding accomplishments demonstrate commitment, knowledge and perseverance and exemplify the values that have made ARS the premier agricultural research organization that it is today.”

Kochian, center director of the ARS Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health on the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, New York, is a world leader in research on the adaptation of cereal crops to marginal soils, especially those limited by mineral deficiencies. Some of his most important work has been unraveling the strategies that plants use to tolerate toxic metals in the highly weathered soils of the tropics and subtropics—regions where many developing countries are located and food security is most tenuous. Kochian and his group carried out the pioneering studies that identified the physiological mechanisms and the associated genes that allow the major cereal crops (maize, rice, sorghum, and wheat) to tolerate toxic aluminum levels in acid soils. He also has contributed seminal findings towards a better understanding of how plant ion transporters function, as well as the role root biology processes play in mineral nutrition.

Kochian holds an adjunct position at Boyce Thompson Institute and is an active part of the community. We congratulate him on his induction into the Science Hall of Fame

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