Spotlighted Research

Information regarding each faculty member's research interests by category is available here.

Dr. Layne speaking with growers about peaches

It’s Sticky Work, But Someone Has To Do It!

South Carolina has a reputation for high quality, delicious, juicy peaches.  As the #2 peach producing state in the U.S., it is vital that we remain competitive in the market.  Our peach germplasm program evaluates the performance of more than 300 peach and nectarine types from around the world.  Field days introduce producers to the newest and best cultivars to help them remain competitive.  Long-term research results can be viewed at the peach website.

Students cleaning up water sources

 Cleaning Water with Plants

Clean water is a hot commodity these days.  Alternative water sources need to be developed for agricultural purposes including reclaimed and recycled water.  Our floating wetland research program evaluates the capacity of various ornamental and native aquatic plant species to clean contaminants from stormwater and agricultural runoff.  For more information regarding wetlands and their use for cleaning water, visit the website.

Dr. Park (right) examines the greens at Burning Ridge Golf Club

Keeping a Golf Course Green

In early spring, large leopard print-like patches began appearing on more than half of Burning Ridge Golf Club’s greens.  While attending a turfgrass field day, Prince and Victor showed pictures to CU turfgrass expert Dara Park.  Dr. Park understood and recommended surface activating agents (surfactants) to treat the water-repellent soil and ensure growing roots had water to support the turf.  For more information on Dr. Park's research, visit the website.

Researcher breeding desirable qualities into peaches

RosBREED Bridging Genetics & Application

The U.S. Rosaceae genomics, genetics, and breeding community collaboratively work to translate genomics research into efficient breeding of Rosaceae fruit crops. Clemson University’s peach breeding program is one of twelve programs participating in this multiregional project gathering top researchers and industry stakeholders. RosBREED focuses on bridging the gap between genetics research and practical application in breeding programs.

Scientist planting seeds for research

Building Better Peaches from the Root Up!

Clemson University’s peach breeding program focuses on developing high quality, disease resistant peach varieties adapted to Southeastern USA environmental conditions.  Current projects involve developing new rootstocks resistant to nematodes, managing crop load via mechanical flower thinning, identifying molecular markers for genes that increase resistance to short life and bacterial diseases, and controlling chill requirement.

Dollar spot disease on turf

Environmentally Friendly Disease Prevention

Increased pressure to manage turfgrass in an ecologically friendly manner has reinvigorated the search for alternatives to synthetic fungicides. Synthetic and biological fungicides, including bacterial and fungal species, are being evaluated for their ability to suppress dollar spot. Preliminary research results show more than an 80% reduction in disease. Additional studies are ongoing evaluating fungicide rates and fertility interactions.

Patient watching nature images in study

Natural Healing Power?

Students participated in the Effects of Nature Images on Pain pilot study conducted in a mock hospital room at Clemson University. From a hospital bed, each participant viewed one of four nature images or no image at all. A pain stressor was introduced after a 10 minute resting period. Physiological data were collected before, during, and after the pain stressor while psychological data was collected before and after the pain stressor.