Faculty Investigator Josh Clevenger, PhD, focuses his research efforts on crop improvement for sustainable agriculture, with a specific aim on helping small and underserved breeding programs and farmers across the world introduce genomics into their breeding practices.

A major goal of the Clevenger lab is to bridge the gap between science and nature by more rapidly introducing beneficial traits into cultivated crops farmers can plant on their land. To do this, the team is developing better computational tools to help identify selection markers for the traits, and new, rapid breeding practices to introduce these markers into existing crop lines.

The lab is currently trying to answer the following questions:

– How do we more effectively use genomics in breeding programs?

– Can we identify genetic sources for drought tolerance and low aflatoxin contamination to create drought and aflatoxin-resistant peanut varieties?

– Can we utilize pangenomes on a practical scale to more effectively target candidate variation linked to traits of interest in plants and animals?

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