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Osorno Receives Bean Improvement Cooperative Award

NDSU dry bean breeder Juan Osorno was awarded the Distinguished Achievement Award by the Bean Improvement Cooperative during their biennial meeting November 2-4, 2015.
Osorno Receives Bean Improvement Cooperative Award

L-R: Juan Osorno receives his award from Phillip Miklas, BIC President, and James Beaver

Nov. 23, 2015

NDSU dry bean breeder and Plant Sciences associate professor Dr. Juan Osorno was awarded the Distinguished Achievement Award by the Bean Improvement Cooperative (BIC) during their biennial meeting November 2-4, 2015 in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.

The award is presented to a scientist who has worked in bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) improvement fewer than 15 years. It recognizes outstanding scientific accomplishments relating to bean improvement and/or education. Dr. James Beaver, bean breeder at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez (UPRM) and NDSU Plant Sciences adjunct professor, nominated Osorno for the award.

Osorno completed his Master’s degree work under Beaver at UPRM and his Ph.D. at North Dakota State University. Since his time at UPRM, Osorno and Beaver have continued to collaborate on research. In addition, Osorno grows a winter nursery in Puerto Rico, which Beaver oversees.

Osorno has been the dry bean breeder at NDSU since 2007. The objective of the dry bean breeding program is to develop high yielding, high quality bean genotypes adapted to the Northern Great Plains. This involves many characteristics of dry beans and different disciplines of research including genetics, pathology, physiology and nutrition. His current research focus is on developing bean cultivars with enhanced levels of disease resistance and greater tolerance to abiotic stress such as waterlogging.

During his career, Osorno has developed and released several germplasm lines and cultivars. He has published several articles focused on plant breeding and the development and application of molecular markers in breeding programs. Besides his main breeding program at NDSU, he also serves as advisor to breeding programs in Guatemala, China, and Colombia.

In 2014, Osorno was a member of a national research team that successfully completed the sequence of the common bean genome. He organized a national field trial that identified regions of the genome associated with seed size and other traits of economic importance. See the full story at

In addition to his research work, Osorno teaches genetics and has been the major advisor for ten graduate and numerous undergraduate students and interns at NDSU.

Learn more about the NDSU dry bean breeding program at

Source: Juan Osorno, 701-231-8145,                          
Author: Kamie Beeson, 701-231-7123,
Editor: Karen Hertgsaard, 701-231-5384,

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