The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences

Plant molecular biology and biotechnology

Faculty in the Plant Biology graduate program with research interests in Plant molecular biology and biotechnology

Charles Anderson
Assistant Professor of Biology

In vivo imaging of plant cell wall dynamics. Molecular genetic analysis of genes involved in cell growth. Cell wall biosynthesis in dividing cells. Cell wall engineering for sustainable bioenergy production.

Michael Axtell
Professor of Biology

Discovery and characterization of plant microRNAs and siRNAs. Functions of microRNAs and siRNAs in the evolution of plant development. Genomics and bioinformatics of microRNAs, siRNAs, and their targets.

Philip Bevilacqua
Professor of Chemistry
Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Co-Director, Center for RNA Molecular Biology

John Carlson
Professor of Molecular Genetics, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management
Director, Schatz Center for Tree Molecular Genetics

Molecular genetics, genomics and biotechnology of woody plants related to development, environmental stress, carbon sequestration and genome organization.

Surinder Chopra
Professor of Maize Genetics, Department of Plant Science

Regulation of flavonoid biosynthesis during plant development and plant-pathogen interaction. Epigenetic regulation and allele specific patterns.

Erin Connolly
Professor and Head, Department of Plant Science

Molecular mechanisms of micronutrient transport. Iron uptake and compartmentalization. Metal ion homeostasis

Daniel Cosgrove
Eberly Chair and Professor of Biology

Mechanism of plant growth. Function and evolution of expansins. Biochemistry and rheology of plant cell walls. Growth responses to light, hormones, and water stress and other stimuli.

Wayne Curtis
Professor of Chemical Engineering

Regulation and signal transduction in plant secondary metabolism. Phytoremediation of hydrocarbons. Commercial chemical production in plants and plant tissue culture.

Majid Foolad
Professor of Plant Genetics, Department of Plant Science

Genetic characterization of resistance/tolerance to biotic/abiotic stresses, and genes/QTLs contributing to tomato fruit quality. Investigation of genes/QTLs for directed crop improvement and germplasm enhancement. Tomato cultivar development & release.

Ying Gu
Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Mechanism of cellulose biosynthesis in higher plants. Genetic modification of plant cell wall to scale-up biofuel production.

Mark Guiltinan
Professor of Plant Molecular Biology, Department of Plant Science
Director, Endowed Program in the Molecular Biology of Cocoa

Plant molecular and developmental biology. Starch biosynthesis. Tropical plant biotechnology. Plant-pathogen interactions. Biofuel feedstock production.

David R. Huff
Professor of Turfgrass Breeding and Genetics, Department of Plant Science

Population genetics. Plant evolution and ecology. Crop improvement. Physiological tolerance to biotic and abiotic stress.

Seogchan Kang
Professor, Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology

Genetic and cellular mechanisms underpinning plant-fungal interactions with Arabidopsis thaliana and Fusarium oxysporum as a model system. Molecular genetics and comparative genomics of fungal plant pathogens. Bioinformatics.

Teh-hui Kao
Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Chair, Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Plant Biology

Molecular, biochemical, and structural bases of the S-RNase-based self-incompatibility system in flowering plants. F-box protein-mediated ubiquitination and degradation of proteins.

Jesse Lasky
Assistant Professor of Biology

Hong Ma
Professor of Biology
Huck Distinguished Research Professor of Plant Molecular Biology

Plant reproductive development and cell biology. Plant molecular evolution and angiosperm phylogenomics. Plant functional genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics.

Sally Mackenzie
Lloyd and Dottie Huck Chair for Functional Genomics
Professor of Biology    
Professor of Plant Science

Organelle biology and cellular specializations. Plant epigenetics, memory and phenotypic plasticity. Crop epigenetic breeding.

Tanya Renner
Assistant Professor of Entomology

Evolution of chemical and structural defense. Molecular evolution, evolutionary genomics, and transcriptomics. Origins and evolution of carnivorous plants.

Cristina Rosa
Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology

Plant Virology, interaction of plant viruses with their insects as vectors and with their plant hosts. Virus evolution, exploration of plant viromes, viral co-infections, effect of climate change on viral resistant breaking strains. Use of nanotechnologies for virus detection and virus disease management.

Yinong Yang
Professor, Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology

Signal perception and transduction in rice-pathogen interactions; Molecular and genomic strategies for increasing disease resistance and drought tolerance in cereal crops.