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Stephen Kresovich

Robert and Lois Coker Trustees Chair of Genetics
Agricultural and Environmental Science Department, Agricultural Sciences Department, Genetics and Biochemistry Department, Plant and Environmental Sciences Department, Public Service Activities

Office: 318 Biosysems Research Center
Phone: 864-656-1194


 Educational Background

Ph.D. Agronomy (Crop Physiology and Genetics)
The Ohio State University 1982

M.S. Agronomy
Texas A&M University 1977

A.B. Biology
Washington and Jefferson College 1974


Stephen Kresovich joined Clemson University in July 2013 as the Robert and Lois Coker Trustees Chair of Genetics in the Department of Genetics and Biochemistry and the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. In this role, Dr. Kresovich serves as director of the Clemson Institute of Translational Genetics and the Advanced Plant Technology Program. Both initiatives are charged to integrate advances in genetics and genomics to solve problems in agriculture, the environment, and human health.

Dr. Kresovich’s internationally recognized research focuses on conservation and use of genetic and genomic resources of crop plants including sorghum, maize, and sugar cane. Dr. Kresovich has more than 150 peer-reviewed publications and also has developed a number of commercially released hybrids of sorghum and sugar cane. Dr. Kresovich is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Crop Science Society of America.

Currently, Dr. Kresovich serves as the lead Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-PI on five funded grants which include:

DOE Systems Biology Program
United Sorghum Checkoff Program
USDA, NIFA, National Needs Fellowships

 Research Interests

Over the past two decades, tremendous progress has been made to advance our understanding of crop genome organization, variation, and evolution, particularly as it relates to potential discovery and exploitation of useful genic or genotypic diversity in plants. Critical to this progress has been advances in molecular biology/genetics, genomics, as well as thoughtful applications of the theories of evolutionary biology and plant breeding. It is well recognized that a crop genome is a dynamic unit whose organization and variation has been molded by evolutionary processes and human intervention.

Dr. Kresovich’s research objectives are: (1) to identify regions of the sorghum, sugar cane, and maize genomes which have been fixed through evolution, domestication, or crop improvement and associate these selective sweeps with useful types and traits, (2) to characterize and understand the relationship between DNA sequence variation and desirable phenotypes, (3) to identify both conserved sequences across grass/grain families and genera and rapidly evolving sequences between species and individuals to predict gene diversity and function, (4) to characterize molecular diversity of sorghum, sugar cane, and maize in natural populations, landraces, and elite germplasm, and (5) to develop and test strategies to efficiently discover, conserve, and use variation in natural populations and genebank collections by integrating current advances in genomics, bioinformatics, and plant genetics/breeding.


Cooper, E.A., and S. Kresovich. Accepted. The comparative and evolutionary genomics of sorghum. In: Achieving Sustainable Cultivation of Sorghum. Vol. 1, Chapter 4. Burleigh Dodds, London.

Boyles, R.E., B.K. Pfeiffer, E.A. Cooper, K.J. Zielinski, M.T. Myers, W.L. Rooney, and S. Kresovich. Accepted. QTL mapping of agronomic and yield traits in two grain sorghum biparental families. Crop Sci.

Boyles, R.E., B.K. Pfeiffer, B.L. Rauh, E.A. Cooper, K.J. Zielinski, M.T. Myers, Z.W. Brenton, W.L. Rooney, and S. Kresovich. 2017. Genetic dissection of sorghum grain quality traits using diverse and segregating populations. Theor. Appl. Genet. 697-716.

Rhodes, D.H., L. Hoffman Jr., W.L. Rooney, T.J. Herald, S. Bean, R.E. Boyles, Z.W. Brenton, and S. Kresovich. 2017. Genetic architecture of kernel composition in global sorghum germplasm. BMC Genomics. Volume 18, Article Number 15.

Rhodes D.H., and S. Kresovich. 2016. Sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] genotypes with contrasting polyphenol compositions differentially modulate inflammation in mouse macrophages. J. Chemistry. DOI: 10.1155/2016/9640869.

Brenton, Z.W., E.A. Cooper, M.T. Myers, R.E. Boyles, N. Shakoor, K.J. Zielinski, B.L. Rauh, G.P. Morris, and S. Kresovich. In press. Establishment and characterization of the sorghum biomass association panel: a resource for genetic analysis and crop improvement. Genetics.204:21-33.

Shakoor, N., G. Ziegler, B. Dilkes, Z. Brenton, R.E. Boyles, E. Connolly, S. Kresovich, and I. Baxter. 2016. Ionomics and genome wide association reveals loci affecting seed mineral concentration in Sorghum bicolor. Plant Phys. 170:1989-1998.

Boyles, R.E., E.A. Cooper, M.T. Myers, Z. Brenton, B.L. Rauh, G.P. Morris, and S. Kresovich. 2016. Genome-wide association studies of grain yield components in diverse sorghum germplasm. Plant Genome. doi:10.3835/plantgenome2015.09.0091.

Coulon, S.M., D.K. Wilson, M.L. Van Horn, G.A. Hand, and S. Kresovich. 2016. Neighborhood gene-environment associations with cortisol and blood pressure: evidence for differential susceptibility in African-American adults. Ann. Behav. Med. 50:98-107.

Lasky, J.R., H.D. Upadhyaya, P. Ramu, S. Deshpande, C.T. Hash, J. Bonnette, T.E. Juenger, K. Hyma, C. Acharya, S.E. Mitchell, E.S. Buckler, Z. Brenton, S. Kresovich, and G.P. Morris. 2015. Genome-environment associations in sorghum landraces predict adaptive traits. Science Advances 1:e1400218.

Salas Fernandez, M.G., K. Strand, M.T. Hamblin, M. Westgate, E. Heaton, and S.Kresovich. 2015. Genetic analysis and phenotypic characterization of leaf photosynthesis capacity in sorghum. Gen. Res. Crop Evol. 62:939-950.

Rhodes, D.H., L. Hoffman, W.L. Rooney, P. Ramu, G.P. Morris, and S. Kresovich. 2014. Genome-wide association study of grain phenol concentrations in global sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] germplasm. J. Ag. Food Chem. 62:10916-10927.

Shakoor, N., R. Nair, O.R. Crasta, G.P. Morris, F.A. Feltus, and S. Kresovich. 2014. A Sorghum bicolor expression atlas reveals dynamic genotype-specific expression profiles for vegetative tissues of grain, sweet, and bioenergy sorghums. BMC Plant Biology 14:35.

Morris, G.P., D.H. Rhodes, Z. Brenton, P. Ramu, V.M. Thayil, S. Deshpande, C.T. Hash, C. Acharya, S.E. Mitchell, E.S. Buckler, J. Yu, and S. Kresovich. 2013. Dissecting genome-wide association signals for loss-of-function phenotypes in sorghum flavonoid pigmentation traits. Genes, Genomes, and Genetics 3:2085-2094.

Morris, G.P., P. Ramu, S.P. Deshpande, C.T. Hash, T. Shah, H.D. Upadhyaya, O. Riera-Lizarazu, P.J. Brown, C.B. Acharya, S.E. Mitchell, J. Harriman, J.C. Glaubitz, E.S. Buckler, and S. Kresovich. 2013. Population genomic and genome-wide association studies of agroclimatic traits in sorghum. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 110: 453-458.

Felderhoff, T.J., S.C. Murray, P.E. Klein, A. Sharma, M.T. Hamblin, W. Vermerris, S. Kresovich, and W.L. Rooney. 2012. QTLs for energy-related traits in a sweet x grain RIL sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] population. Crop Sci. 52:2040-2049.

Sukumaran, S., W. Xiang, S.R. Bean, J.F. Pedersen, S. Kresovich, M.R. Tuinstra, T.T. Tesso, M.T. Hamblin, and J. Yu. 2012. Association mapping for grain quality in a diverse sorghum collection. Plant Genome doi10.3835/plantgenome2012.07.0016.

Kimber, C.T., J.A. Dahlberg, and S. Kresovich. 2012. The genepool of Sorghum bicolor and its improvement. In: Genetics and Genomics of the Saccharinae, pp. 23-42. A.H. Paterson, ed., Springer.

Caniato, F., C. Guimaraes, M.T. Hamblin, C. Billot, J.F. Rami, L.V. Kochian, A. Garcia, C.T. Hash, P. Ramu, S.E. Mitchell, S. Kresovich, A. Oliveira, G. Avelar, A. Borem, J.C. Glaszmann, R.E. Schaffert, and J. Magalhaes. 2011. A population structure study on sorghum aluminum tolerance reveals a striking diversity in gene action. PLoS ONE 6(6): e20830. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020830.

Kump, K.L., P.J. Bradbury, R.J. Wisser, E.S. Buckler, A.R. Belcher, M.A. Oropeza-Rosas, J.C. Zwonitzer, S. Kresovich, M.D. McMullen, D. Ware, P.J. Balint-Kurti, and J.B. Holland. 2011. Genome-wide association study of quantitative resistance to southern leaf blight in the maize nested association mapping population. Nat. Genet. 43:163-169.

Brown, P.J., S. Myles, and S. Kresovich. 2011. The genetic basis of racial classification in sorghum. Crop Sci. 51:224-230.

Salas Fernandez, M.G., I. Kapran, S. Souley, M. Abdou, I.H. Maiga, C.B. Acharya, M.T. Hamblin, and S. Kresovich. 2009. Collection and characterization of yellow endosperm sorghums from West Africa: a novel genetic pool for biofortification. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 56:991-1000.

Zamora, A., M.T. Hamblin, Q. Sun, C.F. Aquadro, and S. Kresovich. 2009. Positively selected disease resistance orthologous gene sets in the cereals identified using Sorghum bicolor L. Moench expression profiles and comparative genomics. Mol. Bio. Evol. 26:2015-2030.

McMullen, M.D., S. Kresovich, et al. 2009. Genetic properties of the maize nested association mapping population. Science 325:737-740.

Buckler, E.S., J.B. Holland, et al. 2009. The genetic architecture of maize flowering time. Science 325:714-718.

Yu, J., Z. Zhang, D. Tabanao, G. Pressoir, M. Tuinstra, S. Kresovich, R. Todhunter, and E.S. Buckler. 2009. Simulation appraisal of the adequacy of number of background markers for relationship estimation in association mapping. Plant Genome 2:63-77.

Murray, S.C., W.L. Rooney, S.E. Mitchell, and S Kresovich. 2009. Sweet sorghum diversity and association mapping for plant carbohydrate yield partitioning. Plant Genome 2:48-62.

Pressoir, G.H., P.J. Brown, W.Y. Zhu, N. Upadyayula, T. Rocheford, E.S. Buckler, and S. Kresovich. 2009. Natural variation in maize architecture is mediated by allelic differences at the PINOID co-ortholog barren inflorescence 2. Plant Journal 58:618-628.

Zeid, M., S.E. Mitchell, W. Link, M. Carter, A. Nawar, T. Fulton, and S. Kresovich. 2009. Simple sequence repeats (SSRs) in faba bean: new loci from Orobanche-resistant cultivar ‘Giza 402’. Plant Breeding 128:149-155.

Carter, M., A.M. Casa, M. Zeid, S.E. Mitchell, and S. Kresovich. 2009. Isolation and characterization of microsatellite loci for the Asian longhorned beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis. Mol. Ecol. Res. 9:925-928.

Paterson, A.H., et al. 2009. The Sorghum bicolor genome and the diversification of grasses. Nature 457:551-556.

Adetimirin, V.O., I. Vroh-Bi, C. The, A. Menkir, S.E. Mitchell, and S. Kresovich. 2008. Diversity analysis of elite maize inbred lines adapted to West and Central Africa using SSR markers. Maydica 53:143-149.

Brown, P.J., W.L. Rooney, C. Franks, and S. Kresovich. 2008. Efficient mapping of a plant height QTL in a sorghum association population with introgressed dwarfing genes. Genetics 180:629-637.

Murray, S.C., W.L. Rooney, S.E. Mitchell, A. Sharma, P.E. Klein, J.E. Mullet, and S. Kresovich. 2008. Genetic improvement of sorghum as a biofuel feedstock: II. QTL for leaf and stem structural carbohydrates. Crop Sci. 48:2180-2193.

Murray, S.C., A. Sharma, W.L. Rooney, P.E. Klein, J.E. Mullet, S.E. Mitchell, and S. Kresovich. 2008. Genetic improvement of sorghum as a biofuel feedstock: I. QTL for stem and grain nonstructural carbohydrates. Crop Sci. 48:2165-2179.

Salas Fernandez, M.G., M.T. Hamblin, L. Li, W.L. Rooney, M.R. Tuinstra, and S. Kresovich. 2008. Quantitative trait loci analysis of endosperm color and carotenoid content in sorghum grain. Crop Sci. 48:1732-1743.

Dawson, I.K., P.M. Hollingsworth, J.J. Doyle, S. Kresovich, J.C. Weber, C.S. Montes, T.D. Pennington, R.T. Pennington. 2008. Origins and genetic conservation of tropical trees in agroforestry systems: a case study from the Peruvian Amazon. Conserv. Genet. 9:361-372.

Thuillet, A.C., M.I. Tenaillon, L.K. Anderson, S.E. Mitchell, S. Kresovich, S. Stack, B. Gaut, and J.F. Doebley. 2008. A weak effect of background selection on trinucleotide microsatellites in maize. J. Hered. 99:45-55.