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My research interests are in the application of molecular genetics to improve traits of ornamental plants. Genetic resources are expanding rapidly with the sequencing of plant genomes and transcriptomes. My lab is currently using DNA sequence information to screen plant populations for natural variation or induced variation in candidate genes that control ornamental traits. In peach, a woody plant model, we are examining allelic variation in genes that regulate floral timing and structure. In an herbaceous model, petunia, we are screening for induced mutations in plant genes required by pathogens for infection. I am interested in using this approach to screen germplasm collections of native ornamental species for variation in genes that control flowering and architecture.
- 85% Research
- 15% Instruction
- B.S. Botany, Duke, 1979
- Ph.D. Plant molecular biology, Texas A&M, 1988