Plant Genomics & Biotechnology

program-Plant_GenomicsThe molecular breeding program utilizes DNA marker technology to aid the efficient and effective incorporation of valuable traits into improved rice cultivars. Many traits important in the development of cultivars can be difficult to measure or are environmentally sensitive, which makes it difficult to make progress in breeding programs. DNA marker technology aids in overcoming these limitations by using a small amount of seed or leaf tissue from a plant to perform an easily interpreted laboratory test for indicating the likelihood of having the trait of interest. Because it is difficult to combine numerous important traits simultaneously into cultivars, marker-assisted breeding gives geneticists a versatile set of tools that can augment, as well as verify, traditional selection techniques.


  • Scott Finlayson, plant reproduction and development, College Station, TX
  • Dirk Hays, cereal grain development genetics, College Station, TX
  • Shuyu Liu, small grains geneticist, Amarillo, TX
  • Sakiko Okumoto, plant physiology, molecular biology, genetics, College Station, TX
  • Endang Septiningsih, rice genomics and genetics, College Station, TX
  • David Stelly, plant breeding, genetics, molecular and environmental plant sciences, College Station, TX
  • Michael Thomson, rice genomics and genetics,┬áCollege Station, TX
  • Hongbin Zhang, plant genomics and molecular genetics, College Station, TX

Research Interests

  • Genomics and molecular genetics of crop plants for better understanding of how plant genomes are structured, organized, evolve and function at the whole-genome level
  • Develop integrated genomic tools for enhanced and continued crop genetic improvement and variety breeding
  • Application of molecular genetic techniques with emphasis in molecular markers, to complement and advance breeding programs and to understand crop genetic architecture
  • Development, evaluation and utilization of molecular markers with emphasis in areas such as high-throughput marker assisted selection, identification and tagging of genes that affect important economic traits, and allele mining
  • Basic and practical needs related to plant reproductive genetics or biology, evolution, chromosome biology and cytogenetic manipulation, genomics, genetic barriers to introgression, or other processes that impact our ability to genetically analyze, manipulate and improve plants

Related Sites of Interest

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