Faculty with Plant Breeding Responsibilities

Faculty are listed by College and by Department.

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Breeder Focus Role

Crop and Soil Sciences

Brown-Guedira, Gina (USDA-ARS) Small grain genotyping laboratory, small grain germplasm introgression and breeding for disease resistance Core
Carter, Tommy (USDA-ARS) Broadening soybean genetic diversity, breeding focusing on drought tolerance and development of soyfoods Core
Dewey, Ralph DNA-based markers for identification and characterization of genes: soybean – seed storage, oil biosynthesis; tobacco – reduction of carcinogenic alkaloid compounds  Supporting
Dunne, Jeff Cultivar development; molecular breeding & genomics; analytics & bioinformatics Core
Goodman, Major Broadening maize genetic diversity, incorporation of exotic germplasm into corn inbred lines Core
Haigler, Candace Functional genomics of cotton fiber development and cellulose synthesis in various fiber and biomass crops  Supporting
Holland, James (USDA-ARS) Maize – nature of genetic variation, gene mapping, genetic basis of resistance to ear rot fungi (Fusarium), “phenomics” Core
Hulse-Kemp, Amanda Breeder tool development through genomics and bioinformatics Core
Krakowsky, Matt (USDA-ARS) Maize – Southeast Germplasm Enhancement of Maize (GEM) project coordinator, evaluating exotic maize germplasm and broadening genetic diversity in US maize hybrids.  Core
Kuraparthy, Vasu cotton breeding and genetics and polyploid translational genomics Core
Lewis, Ramsey Tobacco breeding, molecular markers and transgenic approaches, focusing on disease resistance and reduction of carcinogens Core
Livingston, David (USDA-ARS) Studies on freezing tolerance mechanisms in winter cereals Supporting
Mian, Rouf (USDA-ARS) Improvement of soybean seed composition traits Core
Milla-Lewis, Susana Turfgrass breeding and genetics. Develop warm and cool-season grasses Core
Murphy, Paul Cultivar development of wheat, oat, and triticale, focusing on disease and insect resistance and end-use quality Core
Qu, Rongda Turfgrass improvement using genetic transformation, focusing on drought resistance, higher biofuel production in switchgrass Supporting
Rufty, Thomas Physiological and genetic factors controlling plant reponses Supporting
Stalker, Thomas Peanut germplasm collections, incorporation of agronomically important genes using interspecific hybridization Core

Entomology and Plant Pathology

Balint-Kurti, Peter (USDA-ARS) Maize – fungal resistance sources for gray leaf spot and SCLB, mode of action of quantitative resistance genes Core
Brandenburg, Rick Pest management of peanut and turfgrasses, applied insect ecology Supporting
Carbone, Ignazio Molecular population genetics and genomics of fungi Supporting
Cowger, Christina (USDA-ARS) Biology, epidemiology, and population genetics of small grain pathogens, major focus on powdery mildew of wheat Supporting
Davis, Eric Plant resistance to nematodes Supporting
Gould, Fred Pest management, strategies for developing genetic engineered crops with pest resistance Supporting
Kennedy, George Plant insect interactions, epidemiology of thrips in tomato Supporting
Marshall, David (USDA-ARS) Breeding and genetics of small grain crops, introgression of disease resistance from wild species to adapted Core
Opperman, Charles Cellular and genetic basis of nematode parasitism, development of nematode resistant transgenic plants Supporting
Ristaino, Jean Population genetics of late blight of potato and tomato Supporting
Shew, Barbara Plant disease epidemiology and pathogen biology in peanuts Supporting

Horticultural Science

Ashrafi, Hamid Genetics, genomics, and breeding of blueberry. Core
Clough, Mark Potato genetics and genomics Core
Fernandez, Gina Small fruit crop breeding – blackberries and raspberries Core
Iorizzo, Massimo Genetics, genomics, germplasm improvement and breeding of small fruits (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc.) and vegetable crops.  Core
Kornegay, Julia Breeding of annuals and herbaceous perennials for cut flowers. Supporting
Panthee, Dilip Breeding and development of tomato lines and cultivars Core
Pecota, Kenneth Sweet potato breeding and genetics Core
Ranney, Thomas Ornamental breeding, development of new nursery crops Core
Spencer, Jessica Genetics, genomics, and breeding of blueberry. Core
Wehner, Todd Cucurbit breeding and genetics – cucumber, cantaloupe, watermelon, and luffa gourd Core
Yencho, G. Craig Potato and sweet potato breeding and genetics, application of genomics Core

Plant and Microbial Biology

Alonso, Jose Ethylene signal transduction in Arabidopsis, characterization of Arabidopsis genome Supporting
Brown, Dennis Virus structure and assembly using electron cryo-microscopy, insect response to alphavirus infection Supporting
Franks, Robert Arabidopsis flower development; transcriptional regulation, gene regulatory networks, molecular genetics Supporting
Sederoff, Heike Redirecting carbon metabolism to increase yield Supporting
Thompson, William Molecular and cell biology of plant gene regulation, plant transgenic technologies and genetic engineering Supporting


Lommel, Steven Associate Dean for Research, plant viral mechanisms Supporting
Stuber, Charles Director of NC State Plant Breeding Consortium, formerly research in quantitative genetics and DNA-based marker-assisted selection Supporting

College of Natural Resources

Breeder Focus Role

Forestry and Enviromental Resources

Cook, Rahcel Co-Director of the Forest Productivity Cooperative Core
Forrester, Jody Core
Frampton, John Christmas tree breeding and genetics, genetic conservation of Fraser fir Core
Gower, Tom Department Head, forest ecosystems Supporting
Hodge, Gary Quantitative genetics, Camcore, breeding of tropical and subtropical tree species, genetics of wood quality Core
Isik, Fikret Cooperative tree improvement program, quantitative genetics of loblolly pine Core
Jetton, Robert Gene Conservation and Forest entomology/pathology Core
McKeand, Steven Co-Director of Cooperative Tree Improvement Program, forest genetics Core
Potter, Kevin Conservation Genetics, Landscape Ecology, Forest Health, Landscape Genetics, Biodiversity, Evolutionary Ecology Core
Whetten, Ross Marker-assisted breeding in forest trees, genetic data analysis Core

College of Sciences

Breeder Focus Role

Biological Sciences / Genetics

Nielsen, Dahlia Satistical and population genetics, bioinformatics Supporting


Arellano, Consuelo Statistical consulting Supporting
Motsinger-Reif, Alison Computational genetics Supporting
Thorne, Jefferey Statistical genetics and molecular evolution. Supporting
Wright, Fred Director of Bioinformatics Research Center Supporting
Zeng, Zhao-Bang Statistical analysis of genetic architecture of complex traits with applications in plant and animal breeding, methods to map quantitative trait loci (QTLs) Supporting