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Seth C. Murray

Murray, Seth C.
Seth C. Murray
Butler Chair for Corn Breeding and Genetics
Agronomy Field Lab 110/111
Ph.D. Plant Breeding and Genetics, Cornell University, 2008
B.S. Crop and Soil Sciences, Michigan State University, 2001

Specialty: Corn Breeding and Genetics

Dr. Murray’s research interests focus on improving the productivity, sustainability (economic and environmental) and quality of agricultural production through scientific research and development; mostly in maize (corn). The approaches used to conduct this research include 1) high-throughput field phenotyping (UAS/drones, ground vehicles, NIRS), 2) molecular quantitative genetic discovery (including QTL mapping, GWAS), 3) statistical modeling and novel analysis methods (including big data and metanalysis), 4) development of new breeding and genetics approaches (including use of computer simulations), and ultimately 5) applied maize field breeding (classical and molecular). Primary traits of interest for discovering genetic variation and improvement in maize include yield, southern adaptation, stress (aflatoxin resistance, drought tolerance), plant height, composition (colored grain, high grain antioxidants, low phosphorus), and perennialism (ability to regrow over years). Graduate student training is deeply embedded in all of my research.
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Dr. Murray teaches a course on the history of and current topics in American agriculture (SCSC 201) each fall and a graduate course in Molecular Quantitative Genetics in Plant Breeding (SCSC 643) each spring.

Dr. Murray is the founder and editor of “The Plant Phenome Journal”, a Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) and Agronomy Society of America (ASA) open-access society journal. He serves as the Agronomic Science Foundation Board Chair. He has served as an associate editor for Crop Science and the Journal of Plant Registrations for a combined 11 years. He formerly served on the executive committee of the National Association of Plant Breeders (NAPB) for six years, the inaugural North American Plant Phenotyping Network elected board, as C-1 Division Chair in CSSA, and as a scientific meeting organizer for meetings including the American Seed Trade Association CSS conference (ASTA), the Texas Plant Protection Association (TPPA), and the Genetics of Maize-Microbe Interactions Workshop. He has served on a number of federal grant review panels and/or as an ad-hoc reviewer for ARPA-e, USDA-NIFA, NSF-BREAD, NSF-PGRP, and USDA-DOE.

Blavatnik Young Life Scientist Finalist, 2019
Fellow, Crop Science Society of America, 2018
Dean’s Outstanding Achievement Award in Interdisciplinary Research, Texas A&M, 2018
Crop Science Society of America, Young Crop Scientist Award, 2014
National Association of Plant Breeders Early Career Award, 2013
Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America, 1998

Support Staff and Students

Alper Adak | Robert Arnold | Colby Bass | Brandon Beck | Jake Cottrell | Emma Donnelly | Corrie Hopkins | Holly Lane | Regan Lindsey | Shakirah Nakasagga | Jacob Pekar | Nathalia Penna Cruzato | Colby Ratcliff | David Rooney | Scott Wilde

Courses Taught

SCSC 201 - Great Plains Settlement and Farming (3-0) Credits- 3: American Indian hunting and farming; transformation by manifest destiny, homestead act, railroads, Indian wars, U.S. Army, crops and farm families; effects of world wars, great depression, dust bowl, irrigation, fertilization, pest controls, precision farming. Fall semester I

SCSC 643 - Quantitative Genetics and Plant Breeding (3-0) Credits- 3: Classical, applied and molecular aspects of quantitative genetics in plant breeding; genetic relationships; genetic diversity; genetic phenomena (linkage, heterosis and epistasis); genotype by environment interaction; mapping quantitative trait loci (QTL); genomic and marker-assisted selection; application of statistical software. Prerequisites: STAT 651, SCSC 642 or GENE 613; or approval of instructor. Cross-listed with GENE 643.