Andrea Eveland, Ph.D.

Andrea Eveland, Ph.D.

Inflorescence architecture, cereal crops

Assistant Member and Principal Investigator
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

  • Keywords:
    Inflorescence architecture, cereal crops

  • Research:
    Inflorescence architecture, e.g. the number, length and angle of branches and flowers, is a primary determinant of yield, regulating seed number and harvesting ability.  Cereal crops display a diverse array of architectures in their inflorescences, which are fundamentally derived from variations on a common, grass-specific morphology.  Research in the Eveland lab leverages this diversity among species, as well as that within a species resulting from natural variation or genetic perturbation (mutant alleles), to understand the gene networks controlling inflorescence development in grasses.  Approaches include generation and integration of large-scale genomics datasets that capture precise morphological changes during inflorescence development, computational interrogation of these data to derive testable hypotheses and testing these hypotheses with classical genetics and functional genomics experiments.  Cross-species network comparisons with maize, sorghum and Setaria, and the natural variation that exists among them, are used to explore conserved and divergent regulation of developmental programs and how this contributes to specific architectures in cereal crops.

    This research addresses important agronomic challenges by identifying key genes and pathways as control points for yield, linking developmental and stress networks, and translating across grasses.  The latter include orphan grain crops grown in developing countries that have seen little improvement in yield potential.