Genetics and Biochemistry

Dr. Stephen Kresovich

Stephen Kresovich

The Robert and Lois Coker Trustees Chair of Genetics

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

Contact Information
Office: 318 Biosystems Research Complex
Phone: (864) 656-1194

Research Focus Areas
Plant Genetics and Biochemistry
Genomics, Bioinformatics and Population Genetics


Research Activities

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.

My 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.


Grant Support

North Carolina Biotechnology Center
Sorghum Tools

United Sorghum Checkoff Program
Sorghum Breeding and Genetics for the Southeastern U.S.

Genomic and Breeding Foundations for Cellulosic Sorghum Bioenergy Hybrids

National Science Foundation
Developing an Integrated Platform, Pipeline, and Analytical Tools for Next Generation Genotyping to Serve Breeding Efforts in Africa


Research Associates

Graduate Students



Outstanding manuscript on “Plant Genetic Resources”, Crop Science, 2011

Fellow, Crop Science Society of America, 1996

Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1995




Recent Publications

Rhodes, D.R., et al. Submitted. Genome-wide association study of grain phenol concentrations in global sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] germplasm. J. Ag. Food Chem.

Salas, M.G., et al. Accepted. Genetic analysis and phenotypic characterization of leaf photosynthesis capacity in sorghum. J. Exp. Bot.

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 14:35-2.

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 aroclimatic traits in sorghum. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 110:453-458.

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.

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.

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.