Patricia (Trish) Klein Ph, D., Professor
Associate Head for Graduate Studies
Department of Horticultural Sciences
Office Phone: 979-862-6308
Lab phone: 979-862-4802
Lab Number: 154
Dr. Klein’s research aims to utilize advances in high-throughput genotyping, bioinformatics, and phenotyping to acquire knowledge of plant genes and germplasm, and utilize this information to develop markers for marker-assisted selection and for the development of new germplasm. To meet the needs of the increasing world population, crop productivity needs to double on existing agricultural lands, and breeding practices must be more efficient in meeting the needs for food, feed, and fiber. Technologies such as sequenced-based high-throughput genotyping, whole genome gene expression analyses, novel computational tools and high throughput phenotyping – can accelerate plant breeding and hence the speed at which new varieties are developed. Our research projects aim to develop as well as utilize recent advances in high-throughput sequencing, genotyping, transcriptomics, and bioinformatics to aid breeders to develop new sources of germplasm with enhanced traits of interest. We seek to develop genomic and genetic tools for several plant species including sorghum, pecan, and rose to aid in crop improvement. Although vast amounts of information in genetics, genomics, phenomics and bioinformatics has been generated for many agronomic crops including sorghum, this is not true for a number of horticultural plants. Thus there is a need to continue to develop the genomic and genetic resources for these species to accelerate the breeding process. Thus the overall goal of our research is to develop improved germplasm for a number of plant species either by introgressing traits from unadapted germplasm or through identification and incorporation of traits of interest into elite breeding material. In 2012, Dr. Klein was awarded the COALS Dean’s Outstanding Achievement Award for excellence as part of the Sorghum Bioenergy Breeding and Genomics Interdisciplinary Research Team.