B.S., Shandong Agricultural University, China, 1988
Associate Professor (Sep. 1, 2016 – Present), Assistant Professor (Aug. 2010 – Aug. 2016), Small Grains Genetics and Genomics, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Amarillo, TX, 2010 – Present
Adjunct professor, Dept. of Agricultural Sciences, West Texas A&M University, Canyon, TX, 2012 – Present
Research Scientist in Small Grain Breeding, Genetics and Genomics at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, 2007 – 2010
Visiting Fellow in Common Bean Breeding and Molecular Genetics at Agriculture Agri-Food Canada – Harrow Research Center, 2004 – 2007
Molecular mapping of genes/QTL associated with important traits of crops.
Identification, validation and application of SNP markers linked to traits of interest.
Molecular cloning of genes linked to important traits.
Marker-assisted breeding to develop germplasm lines and cultivars in Small Grains and Common Bean.
Research Projects and Goals
Genetic and genomic studies of important traits of wheat in Great Plains. Traits include drought and heat tolerance, resistance to diseases (leaf, stem and stripe rusts, wheat streak mosaic virus), and arthropods (greenbug, Hessian fly, and wheat curl mite) as well as good end-use quality. Both traditional and molecular breeding techniques are used to develop germplasm lines with one or more target traits. Genomic techniques including gene/QTL mapping, target molecular marker identification, validation and utilization, diagnostic and high throughput KASP SNP screening, gene cloning, gene functional analysis will be used to understand and improve those target traits.
1) Developing germplasm lines with multiple favorable alleles for drought tolerance, insect and disease resistances.
2) Genetic mapping and genomics studies of genes/QTL for important traits in adapted cultivars. Study drought tolerance through RNASeq analyses of water stressed plants.
3) Validating and applying diagnostic and high throughput KASP markers in marker-assisted breeding for target genes and major QTL controlling important traits in wheat production.
Chor Tee Tan, Postdoctoral Research Associate (Aug 2013 – Aug 2014); Assistant Research Scientist (Sep 2014 – Aug 2016); Associate Research Scientist (Sep 2016 – Present)
Lisa Garza, Research Assistant, (Feb 2015 – Present)
Hangjin Yu, Research Assistant, (July 2015 – Aug 2016); Research Associate (Sep 2016 – Present)
Part-time student workers: Jackie Avila, Cameron Skees, Julio Rocha, Amarillo College, (May 2016 – Present)
Graduate Students (2012 – Present)
Chair of 3 Ph. D. Candidates; Silvano Ocheya Assanga, Yan Yang, Smit Dhakal, Soil and Crop Science, College Station.
Committee of 5 Ph. D. candidates and 4 MS candidates; Padmarathi Sengodon, Bharath Reddy, Yuanyuan Chen, Xiangkun Gu, and Sara Ajayi.
M.S. students Brandon J. Gerrish, Sabahat Zahra, Tessa Ries, and Xi Chen in TAMU and Mahendra Bhandari at WTAMU.
Graduated students (Chair: 1 Ph. D; co-Chair: 1 MS; Committee: 3 Ph. D. 2 MS):
Silvano Assanga Ocheya, Ph.D. in Soil and Crop Science, Texas A&M University, Aug. 2012 – Aug. 2016;
Smit Dhakal, MS in Dept. of Agricultural Sciences, West Texas A&M University, Canyon, Texas, Aug. 2012 – May 2014;
Yuanyuan Chen, Ph. D. in Molecular Environmental Plnt Sciences, Aug. 2014 – Dec. 2016;
Bharath Reddy, Ph. D. in Soil and Crop Science, Texas A&M University, Aug. 2010 – Dec. 2015;
Padmarathi Sendgodon, Ph. D. in Soil and Crop Science, Texas A&M University, Jan. 2010 – May 2015;
Brandon J. Gerrish, MS in Dept. of Soil and Crop Sciences/Molecular Environment Plant Sciences, College Station, Jun. 2014 – Dec. 2015;
Mahendra Bhandari, MS in Agronomy, West Texas A&M University, Canyon, Texas, Aug. 2014- Aug. 2016
Awards and recognition of supervised students and team members (18)
- Ph. D. student, Silvano Ocheya Assanga, first place in poster presentation, DuPont Pioneer Plant Breeding Symposium on Feb. 18, 2016.
- Research Scientist, Chor Tee Tan, Research Collaboration award from the Dept. of Soil and Crop Sci. in TAMUS in 2015.
- Ph. D. student, Silvano Ocheya Assanga, graduate research award from the Dept. of Soil and Crop Sci.in TAMUS in 2015.
- 2015 TAMU College of Agriculture and Life Science Dean’s Outstanding Research Achievement Award for Interdisciplinary Research Team including Wheat breeding genetics, physiology, quality and extension programs.
- Yan Yang, Dudley Smith Travel Award from Dept of soil and crop science, Texas A&M University. $1,800. Travel to USDA-ARS at Manhattan, KS to learn genotyping-by-sequencing and data analyses. May 2015.
- Yan Yang, 2015 Student Operation Connection for the 132nd Convention, American Seed Trade Association, Washington, DC, June 17-20, 2015.
- Yan Yang, Monsanto Beachell Borlaug International Scholarship. 2015-2017.
- Smit Dhakal, Feb 2015, Plant Breeding Symposium at College Station, First place on poster competition
- Silvano Assanga Ocheya, Feb. 2015, Plant Breeding Symposium at College Station, Selected speaker award on research
- Yan Yang, Feb. 2015, Plant Breeding Symposium at College Station, Selected speaker award on research
- Silvano Assanga Ocheya, 2014 Texas Plant protection Association, outstanding graduate student award.
- Silvano Assanga Ocheya, The Norman E. Borlaug Leadership Enhancement in Agriculture Program (LEAP) of the US government’s Feed the Future Borlaug 21st Century Leadership Initiative, USAID, Sep. 2014-Aug. 2015.
- Silvano Assanga Ocheya, International Travel Bursary award as an invited international participant on Tomorrow’s Leaders Forum on Food, Feed, Fiber, and Fuel security as climate changes at the Agricultural Biosciences International Center, Oct. 5-9, 2014, Saskatoon, SK, Canada.
- Silvano Assanga Ocheya, Ph. D. Candidate, Borlaug Next Generation Delegate by Chicago Council, May 2014.
- Silvano Assanga Ocheya, Monsanto Beachell Borlaug International Scholarship, 2013-2016.
- Smit Dhakal, Ph. D. candidate, Excellence Fellowship from College of Agriculture and Life Science, TAMU, 2014-2015.
- Smit Dhakal, M.S. candidate, Texas A&M AgriLife Research Amarillo Fund for Excellence for graduate student, 2012-2014.
- Srirama Krishna Reddy, Assistant Research Scientist, Research Collaboration Award from Soil and Crop Science, TAMU, 2012.
Professional Association Members and Activities
1. Crop Science Society of America – member since 2003
2. American Society of Agronomy – Member since 2009
3. Associate Editor of Crop Science, Jan. 2017 – Dec. 2020
4. C655.2: National Small Grain Variety Review Board, Alternate (Jan 2014 – Dec 2015) and Member (Jan 2016 – Dec 2017)
5. CSSA-C454:Young Scientist Award Committee (Jan 2014 – Dec 2015)
6. ACS320: Book and Multimedia Publishing Committee (2013-2015) and Chair (2017-2019)
7. ASA-A45: Tengtou Ag Sci, Award Committee Jan 1, 2012 – Dec 31, 2013
8. CSSA-C451: Crop Science Research Award Committee, CSSA, 2008-2010.
9. Editorial Board: International Journal of Plant Biology & Research Since Sep, 2013: http://www.jscimedcentral.com/PlantBiology/editors.php
10. Associate Editor, The Crop Journal, since Sep 2014: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/the-crop-journal/editorial-board/
Previous Group Personnel
Maria Pilar Fuentealba, Research Tech (Sep 2011 – Feb 2012); Research Assistant (Feb 2012 – Aug 2015)
Theresa Albrecht, Part Time Research Assistant (Jun 2015 – Jul 2015)
Ashley Holms (Texas Tech student in Medical Science, Jun 2014 – Aug 2014)
Cody Shachter (Amarillo College student in Biology, Mar 2011 – Apr 2014)
Srirama Krishna Reddy, Research Associate (Jun 2011 – Aug 2012); Assistant Research Scientist (Sep 2012 – Aug 2013)
Jay Martin (WTAMU student in Agriculture, Sep 2012 – Jun 2013)
Serina Nelson (WTAMU graduate in Biology, Jul 2011 – Jun 2012, Biology)
Benjamin Brooks (WTAMU MS student in Biology, May 2011 – Aug 2011)
Zac Badrow (WTAMU MS student in Biology, Nov 2010 – Feb 2011)
Jared Suhr (WTAMU graduate in Agriculture, Oct 2010 – Jun 2011)