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David M. Stelly
David M. Stelly
Professor
New Beasley Laboratory
979-845-2745
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1983
Specialty´╝ÜPlant Breeding, Genetics, Molecular & Environmental Plant Sciences
Vitae

Research Project Description and Team Members

Civilization needs plants that are more productive, provide higher quality products, can be produced and processed more economically and ecologically, and enhance our health. To meet these needs, our society needs new methods, knowledge, resources, germplasm, educators and scientists, including breeders, for genetic analysis and genetic improvement of plants.

My aim is to genetically analyze, manipulate and improve plants through integrated research and education. Most of our research involves cotton, a crop of immense importance to Texas, USA and world. Most of the remainder is directed toward improving our "platform" for synthesis of new, extra-ordinarily wide hybrids (intergeneric) of sorghum, the primary aim of which is to create new clonal and seed-based biofuel/feedstock alternatives.

To genetically improve cotton, we aim to better utilize naturally occurring sources of genetic variation, especially the variation among species related to the cultivated cotton species, Gossypium hirsutum (L.). While the ~50 wild species constitute extremely valuable sources of useful genes, perhaps 30,000 to 60,000 per species, there are many "barriers" and difficulties that greatly impede or preclude the recovery and identification of agriculturally useful genetic derivatives from such germplasm. We use a multi-disciplinary approach to define the genetic opportunities and to overcome the barriers, including plant breeding, genomics, cytogenetics, genetics, plant reproductive genetics, biology, pathology, nematology, and entomology.

Research themes supporting the above goals include [1] interspecific germplasm introgression and breeding, [2] genomics, marker development and various types of genome mapping, including FISH, RH, linkage, and BAC-based methods, [3] chromosome manipulations, [4] ploidy manipulations, and [5] apomixis. Our research entails extensive use of facilities for genomics, microscopy, computation, greenhouse and field-based plant research. Our lab works with many excellent collaborators, local and elsewhere, as our publications well indicate.

Graduate students under my direction can pursue graduate degrees in any of three graduate programs: [1] Plant Breeding, [2] Genetics, or [3] Molecular & Environmental Plant Sciences. Further information on the programs can be found at the websites for soilcrop.tamu.edu, genetics.tamu.edu and meps.tamu.edu.

Courses Taught
SCSC 603. Cytological and Histological Principles in Plant Breeding. (2-3). Credit 3.

Modern concepts and recent developments for advanced students in plant and soil sciences and related fields employing microscopic evaluation; specimen preparation, stain technology, theory and use of microscopes, micromanipulators, microtomes, the microtome cryostat, use of equipment in modern cytological research. Prerequisite: Graduate classification.

GENE 620. Cytogenetics. (3-0). Credit 3.

Examination and analysis of variation in chromosome structure, behavior and number; developmental and evolutionary effects of this variation. Prerequisite: GENE 603.

SCSC 681. Seminar. Credit 1 each semester.

For graduate students and staff members in soils and crops; presentation and discussion of special topics and research data in field of agronomy; participation required of all graduate students in agronomy.

GENE 685. Directed Studies. Credit 1 to 4 each semester.

Individual problems or research not pertaining to thesis or dissertation. Prerequisite: Approval of instructor.