|Office:||316 Tyson Building|
Department of Horticulture,
The Pennsylvania State University,
University Park, PA 16802
|Joined Dept:||October 1, 1994|
|Appointment:||Research(100%), Tomato Genetics and Breeding|
Since I graduated from college in 1984, I have been continuously working in the area of plant genetics and breeding. Over the years, I have accumulated a wide range of experience in planning and conducting experiments in the area of plant germplasm conservation, evaluation and characterization, development of new germplasm and release of improved breeding lines and cultivars.If you are interested in knowing more about me here is the link "Link" to my recent update
From October 1994, I have been working in the Tomato Genetics and Breeding Program in the Department of Horticulture at Penn State University under the leadership of Dr. Majid Foolad. I have been involved in all aspects of the program, from designing and excuting experiments to data collection and analysis. I have conducted experiments in the areas of salt tolerance, cold tolerance, drought tolerance, disease resistance, and fruit quality improvement (SSC, PH and Lycopene) and otther important traits such as yield. After screening handreds of accessions of wild and cultivated germplasm, I have been engaged with making thousands of crosses between wild accessions and cultivated types and developing advanced genetics and breeding populations. The derived populations have been used for investigating the genetic bases of the various traits, including inheritance studies and identifying and mapping controlling genes. Our research has involved extensive field, greenhouse and laboratory experimentation, and I have played major roles in all aspects. In particular, I have been involved with developing new and more effective protocols for conducting experiments under different conditions. For example, we have developed, for the first time, a unique and effective system for evaluating tomato plants for early blight resistance under greenhouse conditions. This system has allowed us to reliably screen tomato populations for disease resistance, the results of which are comparable with screening under field conditions.We also developed unique protocols for studying late blight resistance, salt tolerance, cold tolerance and drought tolerance in tomato
One of my major responsibilities has been to prepare a productive working environment for the postdoctoral researchers and graduate and undergraduate students working in the tomato program. Within the past 13 years I have worked with and helped many postdoctoral scholars and graduate students, over a hundred of undergraduates and some research affiliates in our program. I have helped them not only with preparing research materials but also conducting experiments. In fact, as a manager of the laboratory, greenhouse and the field for the tomato program, I have played significant roles in helping the researchers and ensuring successful conduct of their experiments. I have to admit that this responsibility has been the most enjoyable and rewarding part of my position. I always consider working in an educational institution such as Penn State a privilege and a great opportunity to serve young scientists. Part of my responsibilities has been supervision of undergraduate and high school students who joined the tomato program for various reasons and purposes. I also have contributed to the teaching of Horticulture 407 (Plant Breeding). For example, I served as a teaching assistant in Spring 1997 and have contributed to the laboratory sessions on cytogenetics, pollination biology, and disease resistance, since 1995.
Prior to joining Penn State University, I worked as a visiting scientist in "Pistachio Genetics and Breeding Program" at the University of California, Davis. During the 15-month period that I worked in that program, I developed a new protocol to make high-resolution chromosome slides from pistachio buds. This technique significantly improved our ability to study somatic cell chromosomal number and karyotyping different species. I was able to determine karyotypes of 14 pistachio species for both male and female plants.
Before coming to the U.S., I worked at the "National Laboratory for Longan and Loquat Germplasm Research", Fujian Academy of Agricultural Sciences (FAAS), China, for 9 years. I worked on three national grants and two provincial grants on Longan and Loquat germplasm collection, observation, classification, evaluation, utilization and breeding. Over the years, we collected germplasm of the two crops and their related species from all over China and other countries, including Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and the U.S. During those years, I gained practical experience in germplasm collection, characterization, fruit quality analysis, and selection of desirable germplasm for fresh market and processing purposes. While working on germplasm evaluation, we also focused on releasing germplasm for direct utilization and breeding new cultivars. For example, we released a group of high economic-value varieties to 8 different territories, which brought higher income to farmers and richer dinning table to consumers. We also created and characterized a polyploid Loquat (2n=4x=64), which then was used to breed seedless loquat cultivars. In order to be able to observe and analyze small chromosomes (e.g. Longan and Loquat), I developed a protocol to prepare a high-resolution plant chromosome slides in 1985. This technique has been used in the areas of cytology, karyotyping, C-banding and in vitro studies. I also joined a project and successfully modified maturity of Loquat fruit by using different culture practices and hormones application, which extended fresh market season.
During my research career, I have demonstrated skills in the application of several different aspects of conventional and modern technology for plant research. I am familiar with the application of several software applications necessary for scientific analysis. Working in reputed universities such as UC Davis and Penn State, has given me an opportunity to be a part of a multi-disciplinary team of molecular biologists, physiologists, plant breeders, pathologists and computer sciences which immensely benefited development of my scientific capacity. I have developed the ability to study challenging problems and have accomplished my goals with good success. I have a continuing desire to actively participate in challenging services in the field of research and teaching.