Post Doctoral Researcher
Maize molecular genomics
All alleles eventually trace back to some change in the organism's DNA—a SNP, an indel, a copy-number variation, etc. Several different techniques can identify regions near such causative changes, but identifying which change is important among a sea of potential changes is still difficult. I am interested in identifying the molecular changes that underlie phenotypic changes and how we can use genomics-level tools—genome-wide association studies, transcriptomics, epigenetics, etc.—to pin down the exact mutations involved.
The so-called “neglected” crops are plants that have been grown traditionally for thousands of years, but which have not received major breeding efforts in the 20th and 21st centuries. Examples of these crops include pearl millet (and other millets), cowpea, chickpea, amaranth, quinoa, lentils, and dozens of others. In many locations, these neglected crops are often already better adapted to local conditions, poor soils, and biotic and abiotic stresses than major crops (maize, wheat, and rice). For example, pearl millet can grow and produce a harvest right up to the edge of the Sahara desert, hundreds of miles past the point where other crops die of drought. With so much focus now on sustainable intensification—producing more food with fewer resources—these neglected crops hold great potential to help in global food security. I currently have several collaborations in progress to analyze genomic data on several of these crops (chiefly pearl millet), and plan to expand the list to several other crops the near future.
PhD, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale University
Wallace JG, Larsson S, Buckler ES. (2013). Entering the Second Century of Maize Quantitative Genetics. Heredity (doi: 10.1038/hdy.2013.6).
Wallace JG, Zhou Z, Breaker RR. (2012). OLE RNA Protects Extremophilic Bacteria from Alcohol Toxicity. Nucleic Acids Research 40(14): 6898-6907.
Wallace JG, Breaker RR. (2011). Improved genetic transformation methods for the model alkaliphile Bacillus halodurans C-125. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 52(4), 430-432.
Block KF, Puerta-Fernandez E, Wallace JG, Breaker RR. (2011). Association of OLE RNA with bacterial membranes via an RNA-protein interaction. Molecular Microbiology, 79(1), 21-34.