Rodante Tabien led the development and release of Antonio rice, a new cultivar developed through pedigree methodology from the cross of Cypress and Cocodrie.

Antonio has averaged numerically higher yields across Texas when compared with cultivars such as Cocodrie and Presidio and has not been statistically lower yielding in Stuttgart, Ark., or Crowley, La. Antonio is categorized as a very early heading cultivar that can be harvested in 119 days. Antonio averaged two days later maturity than Cocodrie and four days later than Presidio when grown at the Beaumont AgriLife Research and Extension Center.

This new pure line rice cultivar averages about 40 inches in height at maturity, categorized as a non-lodger similar to Cocodrie, and averages 62 percent head rice yield compared with Cocodrie at 60 percent and Presidio at 63 percent.

Rodante’s second new rice cultivar, Colorado, was derived by crossing Cocodrie (developed in Louisiana) with L202 (a semi-dwarf long grain cultivar developed in California). Colorado averaged 7 percent higher total yield than Cocodrie in performance trials at Beaumont over the past several years. This new cultivar matures slightly earlier than Antoinio and similar to Cocodrie. Head rice production of Colorado averages about 2 percent greater than Cocodrie.

Bill Rooney recently developed and released Black Tx430 grain sorghum germplasm line because of it potential value in the health food industry. Since consumers often make food choices based on health benefits, the food industry is developing and marketing food products that slow and/or reduce digestibility, reduce cholesterol levels, are high in antioxidants, and have anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties.

In addition, consumers often judge the nutritional value and appeal of food products based on color, prompting the food industry to use a range of 6 artificial dyes to improve sensory appeal.

 Many of these health benefits are associated with phenolic compounds that are present naturally in all sorghums to varying degrees. Flavonoids have been identified over the years as phytoalexins since they are produced in response to fungal invasion or other stresses in sorghum. However, one such flavonoid, 3-deoxyanthocyanin, is more stable than the common anthocyanins, making it a potential natural food colorant that could replace current artificial colorants in some food products.

Black Tx430 germplasm line is unique because it produces a black-colored grain when produced in a summer growing season. The dark color results from high levels of 3-deoxyanthocyanins in the pericarp of the grain. Because the anthocyanins compounds are present in the pericarp, they are easily concentrated by simply decorticating the grain and processing the resulting bran.