top of page


Crops are incredibly diverse at the level of their DNA and how they grow in the field.  We sequence crop genomes to understand this diversity of DNA, and we measure millions of plants in the field to understand how this  DNA diversity generates differences in the ways plants look and grow. In order to conduct these experiments, we often create germplasm that mixes the diversity of maize varieties from around the world.  

Did you know that any two maize varieties are far more genetically different that people are from chimpanzees?

maize seeds.png


Germplasm diversity is the key to finding useful adaptations for breeding and for finding the genes responsible for variation.  We have characterized and developed a wide range of germplasm that is publicly available as seeds.

plate dna_cropped2.png

genotyping by sequencing(GBS)

There are hundreds of thousands of varieties of crops that are developed and tested every year.  GBS is a cheap and efficient process for measuring and tracking genetic variation for both breeding, genetics, and conservation biology. We develop bioinformatics (e.g. TASSEL-GBS and Practical Haplotype Graph) to work with this data.

download (1).png

whole genome sequencing

Whole genome sequencing allows us to identify the specific DNA changes responsible for trait variation.  Our group has led the development of diversity maps (HapMaps and PanGenomes) by sequencing hundreds to thousands of maize, grape, and cassava varieties.

maize photo.png

trait diversity

The diversity that matters is the diversity that shows up in the field. We and our collaborators score maize for a wide range of traits including yield, flowering time, height, nutritional quality, drought tolerance, frost tolerance, and nitrogen use efficiency.

bottom of page