My research focuses on dissecting leaf angle variation through multiple genetic approaches.
We developed genetic mapping populations with inbred lines B73, PHW30, and Mo17 that segregate for leaf angle in different parts of the canopy. Our first goal was to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) that are linked to leaf angle variation in the lower part of the canopy, and compare those results with QTL identified from previous studies. By conducting a meta-analysis, we can identify regions of the genome linked to leaf angle variation, and candidate genes within those regions that are segregating with high frequency in global germplasms. Future research is focusing on measuring four leaves throughout the canopy across multiple years and environments to identify leaf specific QTL that control leaf angle. We are also assessing genomic prediction for leaf angle using material from the Ames Panel. Leaf angle in the upper and lower canopy was predicted for 2,812 lines from the Ames Panel. We empirically validated phenotypes for 294 of those predictions across three years. Additionally, we validated plant height and ear height for these same lines.
Prior to coming to Iowa State, I was a research associate for four years at DuPont Pioneer (now DowDuPont), where I supported their industrial rice-breeding program via genetic discovery and molecular marker development.
B.A., Drake University, 2005