Renowned geneticist and plant breeder Charles Rick, whosehalf-century of research at UC Davis has forged a fundamentalunderstanding of tomato genetics, has been selected toreceive the first $200,000 Maseri Florio World Prize forDistinguished Research in Agriculture.
The award, created to recognize outstanding achievement inagricultural research, will be presented Nov. 11 inWashington, D.C. It includes $100,000 for Rick, a professoremeritus at UC Davis, and a matching amount for theinstitution or research program of his choice.
Now 82, Rick is known internationally among scientists andagriculturists as something of a modern-day Charles Darwinand Indiana Jones, all rolled into one. His researchexpeditions have taken him from the Galapagos Islands to theheights of the Andes where he has collected hundreds of wildtomato species.
In the wild tomatoes, Rick has identified 42 disease-resistance genes, many of which have been bred intocommercial tomato varieties. He also established the largestand most valuable collection of tomato seeds in the world.
"Dr. Rick has been a research pioneer whose findings have hadworldwide significance, said Clayton Yeuter, former U.S.Secretary of Agriculture and co-chair of the Maseri FlorioWorld Prize Advisory Board. "His contributions havebenefited almost every other vegetable and fruit crop grownaround the world."
Materials provided by University Of California, Davis. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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