Last week, Brent and Brian took a trip down to Kansas to visit The Land Institute. While in Salina, they met with David Van Tassel to discuss the future of the Silphium domestication project. Our lab will be working with a few people across the country, including the Kane Lab at Colorado.
This project will be focused on two specific species in the Silphium genus native to North America, Silphium integrifolium (whole-leaf rosinweed) and Silphium perfoliatum (cup plant). It is our hope that a domesticated variety would be utilized in a similar manner as commercial sunflower. During our trip, we noticed significant pest and disease damage to the whole-leaf rosinweed, but not in the cup plant. As a result, we may define male and female lines based on the two species in this overall domestication project, with the aim of breeding a successful hybrid variety suitable for agricultural applications. Check out the pictures below for more information!