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WRBGC Group Together for the Holidays!

12/19/2018. Program members from St. Paul campus as the NCROC spent the day together on St. Paul campus to celebrate the holiday season and prepare talks for an upcoming symposium. It was a treat to have everyone together in the same place!



Graduate student, Clare Gietzel, explores wild rice seed microbial communities. 

10/29/2018. Have you ever smelled wild rice seed that has been stored on water? You wouldn't forget it if you have because it stinks! That is in large part to the bacteria and fungi that are growing on and in the seed. One of Clare's research projects aims to identify those microbes growing on wild rice seed and determine what effect they have on the seed itself. 



Program Trip to a Cultivated Wild Rice Farm.

8/28/2018: The WRBGC program visited a cultivated wild rice farm to collect data as well as seed. At this particular location, large wild rice ponds containing remnants of old, lost varieties of wild rice have been kept in perpetuity. For the breeding program, this offers us a unique pool of genetic diversity that we wouldn't find elsewhere in cultivated wild rice. 


NCROC Visitor's Day was a Success!

8/23/2018: The Wild Rice Breeding, Genetics, and Conservation program held tours at our paddy complex for our visitors. We were able to talk about what we do in the research program, field questions about wild rice, and showcase our DNA extraction demo. Thank you for everyone who came out to join us!

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Panicle Genetic Diversity Abound!

Wild rice has been flowering for quite awhile now and it is beautiful! Check out just a few of the different seed head types present in our germplasm below as well as a great closeup of the male florets. 

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Participating in the 2nd Annual Seed Longevity Workshop

7/31/2018: Dr. Kimball and Jacques Duquette attended the 2nd Annual Seed Longevity Workshop in Fort Collins, Colorado to learn more about current seed storage research going on around the world. Why is this important for Northern wild rice?

Did you know the Northern wild rice seed is recalcitrant? That means that is cannot be dried down and stored long term like other important agronomic crops such as wheat or corn, which means there is currently no Northern wild rice stored in any seed bank anywhere in the world.

This is not only important for the breeding program but also for the Northern wild rice in our lakes and river systems where a natural or man-made disaster could wipe out Northern wild rice seed and we could lose that genetic diversity forever. So our program is focused on creating a long-term storage protocol for Northern wild rice to ensure that Minnesota does not lose its wild rice.

issicon   jacquesatisss    issspostersample


Cultivated Wild Rice Field Day

7/24/2018: The breeding program hosted our annual field day for cultivated wild rice growers. Members of the program discussed research with the growers and gave them a tour of the paddies. All in all it was a successful day and we are appreciative of all the growers who came out to visit with us today. 

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Welcome New Program Members!

6/6/2018: The Wild Rice Breeding, Genetics, and Conservation Program is excited to welcome four new members. Amanda Monson will be working at the NCROC as our new research plot coordinator. Mingqin Shao will be working on the St. Paul campus and is our new Postdoctoral researcher working on improving genomic resources for the program. Claire Geitzel will be on the St. Paul campus as well and will be working on improving wild rice seed storage as well as pollen travel studies. Haleigh Ortmeier-Clarke is an undergraduate student in the Plant Sciences and will be helping the program with our website development and educational outreach. Check out the 'People' page of the website to learn more about the program's new members.  

NCROC Discover STEM Outreach Day


The cultivated wild rice team participated in the NCROC Discover STEM Outreach Day in Grand Rapids to help educate local high school students about some of the many opportunities in STEM fields. The team answered questions about cultivated wild rice production and showed students how to easily extract DNA!


Left: Jenny Kimball discussing the wild rice plant architecture with students. Right: Jacques Duquette teaching students how to extract DNA. Photo taken by Leanne Stanley 

Wild Rice Plant Breeding Assistant/Agronomist Position Opening. Apply now!



Research Plot Assistant Position Opening. Apply now!


The research plot assistant will be part of a wild rice research team engaged in improving cultivated wild rice varieties. The research plot assistant will help maintain field research plots, and support wild rice breeding, production, and agronomical research. The validity of research depends upon the quality of work in the research plot assistant position. This position has diverse responsibilities and will rely heavily on general agricultural and farm maintenance knowledge.

PDF icon kimball_research_plot_assistant_flyer.pdf


Celebrating Henry Schumer's Retirement


After years of murmurs, Henry has decided to take the plunge and retire. Henry has been a part of the wild rice program for 42 years, and "while the products from the program may not have his name on them, his fingerprints are all over them (~Dr. Raymie Porter)." Henry has been an integral part of the program, and the new breeder has reminded him (more times than I'm sure he can count) that she will continue to call him with questions and advice...probably until he blocks her number. The wild rice program and members of the NCROC celebrated with coffee and carrot cake with cream cheese (Henry's favorite). He will be sorely missed but we are excited to see Henry take on a new adventure!

pic of all of us

From the left: Jacques Duquette, Dan Braaten, Jenny Kimball, and Henry Schumer. Photo taken by Leanne Stanley at the NCROC. 

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Vince Fritz presenting Henry with his University of Minnesota stained glass window. Photo taken by Leanne Stanley at the NCROC. 

New Postdoc Position in the Kimball Lab


The successful candidate will lead a project aimed at improving genomic resources of Zizania species including sequence analyses, comparative mapping, and molecular marker development. The postdoctoral research associate will provide bioinformatic and statistical data analysis support to achieve these goals. Go to and search for Job ID: 322063 to apply.

Dr. Kimball meets Dr. Raymond Porter


Dr. Kimball was fortunate to meet the previous breeder, Dr. Raymond Porter, at the Cultivated Wild Rice Symposium in Grand Rapids, MN. 

Dr Porter

From the left: Dr. Raymond Porter, Jenny Kimball, Dan Braaten, Jacques Duquette, and Henry Schumer. Photo taken by Leanne Stanley at the NCROC.