Research Interests: My program focuses on improving sweet corn by breeding and the discovery of genetic information that will be useful for sweet corn improvement. I direct a sweet corn breeding program that generates commercially useful inbreds and hybrids. In the breeding program we make extensive use of tropical and other non-sweet germplasm. Our genetic research centers on three areas 1. The relationship between the development of the maize plant and pest resistance. 2. Endosperm mutants and their effects on quality, germination, and cold tolerance. 3. Phylogenetics and evolution of sweet corn. A fourth area of research involves participatory breeding and on farm research for organic crop production.
Plant breeding and quantitative genetics. Population enhancement for biomass increase and cell wall composition. Interface of plant breeding and quantitative and molecular genetics. Combination of different sources of genetic information such as phenotypic, genotypic and expression data. Genetic analysis of developmental traits in maize.
Genetics and breeding. Current research interests in maize include lignocellulosic biofuel, abiotic stress tolerance, epigenetics, and seed development and composition using genetic and genomic analysis. Genomic research in switchgrass supports development of cultivars for biofuels.
Some of the most relevant traits in Agriculture (like yield, grain quality, and some
diseases) are complex, quantitative traits. My program focuses on breeding cereals for more sustainable agricultural systems by working on the study of complex quantitative traits and the development, comparison, and deployment of new methodologies for quantitative genetics data analysis for plant breeding. We use genomic data to unveiling new genetic diversity to deploy in breedingprograms in three areas: 1) population genetics and diversity; 2) quantitative
genetics applied to plant breeding; and 3) experimental designs and multi-environment studies for large genetic data. Our focus is in breeding of cereals such as oats, wheat, and barley