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.
Xiaoxiao Liu, Research Associate (Jan 2018 – Present)
Kele Hui, Research Assistant (Oct 2017 – Present)
Part-time student workers:
Brittany Ehrlich, Mar 2019 – Present
Reagan Heinrich, Jun 2020 – Present)
Lyanna De Leon, June 2020 – Present
Current Graduate Students
Co-Chair of 1 Ph.D. and 2 M.S. Candidates:
Mr. Zhen Wang, Ph.D., Aug 2019 – Present
Mr. Mustafa Cerit, MS, Aug 2019 – Present
Ms. Kaycee Sebastiani, MS, Aug 2019 – Present
Committee in 1 Ph. D. and 2 M.S.
Mr. ZeTian Fang, Ph.D., 2019 – present
Mr. Travis Meyer, MS, 2019 – present
Ms. Ellen Melson, MS, 2020 – present
Chair/co-chair: 4 Ph.D, 2MS (bold); Committee: 6 Ph.D. 6 MS:
Jorge Luis Valenzuela Antelo, Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics, 2017 – 2020, Now Corn breeding lead with Bayer CropSciences in Mexico.
Mehmet Dogan, M.S. in Plant Breeding and Genetics, 2018 – 2020, now Wheat breeding in Turkey.
Smit Dhakal, Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics, 2014-2018, Postdoc with University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign;
Yan Yang, Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics, 2014-2018, Postdoc with Joint Genome Institute;
Silvano Assanga Ocheya, Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics, Soil and Crop Science, Texas A&M University, Aug. 2012 – Aug. 2016; Corn breeder with Bayer CropScience;
Smit Dhakal, MS in Dept. of Agricultural Sciences, West Texas A&M University, Canyon, Texas, Aug. 2012 – May 2014;
Anil Adhikari, Aug. Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics, SCSC, 2016 – May 2020
Fatma Betul Sade, M.S. in Plant Breeding and Genetics, SCSC, 2017 – May 2020
Xiangkun Gu, Ph.D. in Molecular Environmental Plant Sciences, Jun. 2013-Aug. 2017;
Sara Ajayi, Ph.D. in Plant Physiology, Soil and Crop Science, TAMU, 2014-2018;
Yuanyuan Chen, Ph.D. in Molecular Environmental Plant 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;
Xi Chen, M.S. in Soil and Crop Sciences, TAMU, 2012-2017;
Tessa Rose Ries, M.S. in Horticulture, TAMU, 2015-2017;
Sabahat Zahara, MS in Molecular Environment Plant Sciences, TAMU, 2015-2017;
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 (30)
Ph.D. student Jorge L Valenzuela-Antelo was selected as a student speaker award on the Texas Plant Breeding Symposium at College Station, Texas on Feb 20, 2020.
Ph.D. student Jorge L Valenzuela-Antelo received 2nd student poster competition during Texas Plant Protection Association during Dec 10-11, 2019, College Station TX.
Ph.D. student Jorge L Valenzuela-Antelo received Research and Presentation Travel Award from Office of Graduate and Professional Studies in 2019.
Scientist Chenggen Chu received the 2019 Research Collaboration Award from Soil and Crop Science Dept, Texas A&M University.
Scientist Chenggen Chu received the 2019 Vice Chancellor Excellence Team Award in Wheat Genomics.
Research Assistant and undergraduate Jaqueline Avila Moore received the Amarillo Center Excellence award in 2019.
Research Associate Lisa Garza got the 2017 Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Amarillo Center Team Build Award, the most honorable award in the center.
Ph.D. student, Smit Dhakal, Tom B. Slick Fellowship, $33,010. Jan. 2018 – Dec. 2018
Ph.D. student, Yan Yan, Excellent Student Award from Association of Chinese Soil and Plant Scientists of North America, Tampa, FL, Oct 23, 2017.
Ph.D. student, Yan Yang, Tom B. Slick Fellowship, $32,696. Sep. 2017 – Aug. 2018.
Ph.D. student, Yan Yang, 3rd place in poster presentation, DuPond Pioneer Plant Breeding Symposium on Feb. 15, 2017.
Ph.D. students, Silvano Assanga, Smit Dhakal, and Yan Yang got the McFaddenn Conference Scholarship to participate the Joint Edgar McFadden Symposium/ Hard Winter Wheat Workers Workshop. April 17-20, San Antonio, Texas.
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.
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 21stCentury 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
Chair Elect/Chair/Past Chair of C-8 Plant Genetic Resources officers of ASA-CSSA-SSSA (ACS), 1/1/2020-12/31/2022: Will organize the workshop in 2021.
C – Ron Phillips Plant Genetics Lectureship Committee member, 1/1/2020-12/31/2020.
Member/Chair-Elect/Chair of C – Calvin Sperling Memorial Biodiversity Lectureship Committee, 1/1/2020-12/31/2022.
ACS – Student Research Symposium Contest Committee member, 1/1/2020-12/31/2021.
Member and Ex Officio of C – Frank N. Meyer Medal for Plant Genetic Resources Committee, 1/1/2021-12/31/2021.
C – Program Planning Committee Chair in Div. C-8, 1/1/2021-12/31/2021.
C – Nominations for President-Elect Committee Chair in Div. C-8, 1/1/2021-12/31/2021.
C – Div. C-8, Plant Genetic Resources Officers-member, 1/1/2023-12/31/2023.
Associate Editor-Frontiers in Genetics-Plant Genomics, 2020-present.
Guest editor for Frontiers in Plant Science for topic “Genomics-enabled Triticeae Improvement”, 2020-2021.
Mentor for Golden Opportunity Scholar, ASA-CSSA-SSSA, 2019-2020.
Poster judge for graduate student posters in National Association of Plant Breeders, GA August 2019.
Poster judge for student posters in the 1st Wheat Congress, Saskatoon, SK, Canada, July 2019. Read through >30 posters to choose a winner.
C302: Associate Editor of Crop Science, Jan. 2017 – Dec. 2019
ACS320: Book and Multimedia Publishing Committee (2013-2015) and Chair (2017-2019)
Crop Science Society of America – member since 2003
American Society of Agronomy – Member since 2009
C655.2: National Small Grain Variety Review Board, Alternate (Jan 2014 – Dec 2015) and Member (Jan 2016 – Dec 2017)
Secretary/president-elect/president -The Association of Chinese Soil & Plant Scientists in North America (ACSPSNA), 2015-2018. https://www.chinesesoilplant.com/
CSSA-C454: Young Scientist Award Committee (Jan 2014 – Dec 2015)
ASA-A45: Tengtou Ag Sci, Award Committee (Jan 1, 2012 – Dec 31, 2013)
CSSA-C451: Crop Science Research Award Committee, CSSA, (2008-2010)
Editorial Board: International Journal of Plant Biology & Research Since Sep, 2013: http://www.jscimedcentral.com/PlantBiology/editors.php
Associate Editor, The Crop Journal, since Sep 2014: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/the-crop-journal/editorial-board/
Joined Expert working groups in Wheat Initiative for Breeding methods and strategies, wheat phenotyping, control of pathogen and pest since Sept. of 2014
Previous Group Personnel
Chenggen Chu, Associate Research Scientist (Aug 2017 – Feb 2020)
Jackie Avila (May 2016 – July 2020)
Lisa Garza, Research Assistant/Associate, (Feb 2015 – Jul 2018)
Chor Tee Tan, Postdoctoral Research Associate (Aug 2013 – Aug 2014); Assistant Research Scientist (Sep 2014 – Aug 2016); Associate Research Scientist (Sep 2016 – Feb 2017)
Hangjin Yu, Research Assistant, (July 2015 – Aug 2016); Research Associate (Sep 2016 – May 2017)
Maria Pilar Fuentealba, Research Tech (Sep 2011 – Feb 2012); Research Assistant (Feb 2012 – Aug 2015)
Cameron Skees, Amarillo College Student Part time RA (Jun – Dec 2016)
Julio Rocha Amarillo College Student Part time RA (Jun 2016 – July 2017)
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)