Fredy Altpeter, Dr. Sc. Agr.

Fredy Altpeter, Dr. Sc. Agr.

Professor of Agronomy

Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

2013 Awardee

Fredy Altpeter studies genetic improvement of commercially important grasses, including sugarcane, turf, forage and biomass/bioenergy grasses.

Altpeter integrates molecular biology, biotechnology, plant breeding, and plant physiology for identification and incorporation of beneficial heredity units. Targeted traits include environmental and biotic stress tolerance for sustainable grass production, improvement of turf or biomass quality for increased value and performance, and genetic components controlling yield and conversion of grass biomass to bioenergy to reduce biofuel production costs.

Altpeter’s team has developed biotechnologies for crop improvement, including genetic transformation, in vitro mutagenesis, and chromosome doubling protocols for grasses. Recent research focuses on new biotechnologies, including targeted mutagenesis and intragenic technologies for crop improvement to accelerate the commercialization of genetically modified crops.

Altpeter also published the development of advanced genetic transformation protocols for sugarcane. Beside this laboratory research, Altpeter manages a field research program that utilized conventional and molecualr plant breeding techniques for improving the biomass yield, stress tolerance, and biosafety of napiergrass. Altpeter’s expertise is sought by global leaders in the industry and by publications in top journals. Altpeter’s recent peer-reviewed publications describe the generation of transgenic sugarcane with reduced lignin content. The findings led to improvements in biofuel applications, and transgenic grasses with higher quality. The transgenic grasses offer better insect and herbicide resistance and enhanced salt and drought tolerance.