Dr. Peng Chee, a professor of Cotton Molecular Genetics/Breeding at the University of Georgia’s Coastal Plain Experiment Station in Tifton, is the recipient of the 2016 Cotton Genetics Research Award.
The announcement was made during the 2017 Beltwide Cotton Improvement Conference, which convened as part of the National Cotton Council-coordinated 2017 Beltwide Cotton Conferences. In recognition, Dr. Chee received a plaque and a monetary award.
One of his nominators, Dr. Andrew Paterson, a University of Georgia research professor and head of its Plant Genome Mapping Laboratory in Athens, said Dr. Chee has had numerous successes among them advancing scientists’ understanding of the genetics of nematode resistance. He said Chee has released advanced germplasm developed using both conventional breeding and DNA marker based methods.
Another nominator, Dr. Don Jones, director of Agricultural Research at Cotton Incorporated in Cary, N.C., said cotton producers have benefited from newly released commercial varieties resistant to root-knot nematode based on findings from Dr. Chee’s research. He said a variety that Dr. Chee developed in 2016 and licensed to one of the leading cotton seed providers is proof that “his research drives innovations in both the science and grower communities.”
“Dr. Chee is widely respected for his intellect, teamwork, and ability to communicate with colleagues,” Jones said.
Jones noted that Dr. Chee has a stellar professional record as evidenced by 46 peer-reviewed manuscripts, four book chapters, three germplasm releases, and two varieties developed. He also was part of the U.S. lead effort which published the Gossypium raimondii genome sequence in Nature, the first cotton centric paper in 50+ years in the world’s most prestigious science journal.
Dr. Chee holds a B.S. in Crop Science and a M.S. in Plant Breeding and Genetics from Montana State University. After earning his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics from North Dakota State University in 1998, Dr. Chee worked as a researcher at Texas A&M University for a year before moving with Dr. Paterson to the Coastal Plain Experiment Station in Tifton.
U.S. commercial cotton breeders have presented the Cotton Genetics Research Award annually since 1961 to a scientist for outstanding basic research in cotton genetics. The Joint Cotton Breeding Committee, comprised of representatives from state experiment stations, USDA, private breeders, Cotton Incorporated and the NCC, establishes award criteria.