Randall J. Wisser

Assistant Professor, Plant Genetics

University of Delaware

Plant and Soil Sciences
163 Townsend Hall (office)
304 Worrilow Hall (lab)
Newark, DE 19716

Email: rjw@udel.edu
Phone: 302-831-1356
Website: https://sites.udel.edu/wisserlab/

Education:
  • Postdoctoral Associate 2006-2008 Mentors: Dr. Peter Balint-Kurti, Plant Pathology and Dr. James Holland, Department of Crop Science, NCSU, Raleigh, NC

    Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics 2006 Cornell University, Ithaca, NY Dissertation: The genetic architecture of quantitative resistance in the cereals.

    B.S. in Biological Science 2000 Florida International University, Miami, FL Honors thesis: Analysis of heterokaryon formation in Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense.

Research Overview:

Quantitative trait variation, which is generally controlled by multiple genes with small and cumulative effects, is the rule rather than the exception in nature. I am fundamentally interested in contributing to understanding the genetic and mechanistic basis of quantitative trait variation and how this may leverage crop improvement. My research projects use population genetic-, genomic-, and bioinformatic-based approaches to address questions in plant genetics and breeding. The themes of my investigations converge on elucidating the genetic architecture of plant quantitative disease resistance in the grasses with a special focus on maize and its diseases. Currently, there are three emphasized topics of research in my lab: (i) development of methods for understanding population improvement from short-term selection, (ii) analysis of single and multiple disease resistance, and (iii) extending quantitative genetics methods to study natural plant pathogen variation.