Christina Wells

Associate Professor

Contact Information

Fax: 864-656-0435


  • 2000-01, Postdoctoral fellow, University of Nevada-Reno
  • 1999, Ph. D., The Pennsylvania State University, Plant Physiology
  • 1994, B.S. cum laude, Temple University, Biology

Research Interests

  1. Plant genomics
  2. Bioinformatics and computational biology
  3. Plant stress physiology

Our lab uses modern genomic and transcriptomic approaches to answer fundamental questions in plant biology. Currently, we are researching the transcriptional changes that underlie seasonal dormancy transitions in trees and investigating the role and evolution of MADS-box genes in peach. We collaborate with outside labs on a variety of computational projects in species as varied as nematodes, cotton, turfgrass and velvetbean. 

Selected Publications 

  1. International Peach Genome Consortium. 2013. Genome sequencing and analysis of peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch], a model genome for fruit crops and forest trees.Nature Genetics 45: 487–494.
  2. The International Peach Genome Initiative. 2013. The draft genome of peach (Prunus persica) identifies unique patterns of genetic diversity, domestication and genome evolution. Nature Genetics. In press. doi:10.1038/ng.2586
  3. Fu Z.,Agudelo P and Wells CE. 2012. Induction of glutaredoxin expression in response to desiccation stress in the foliar nematode Aphelenchoides fragariae. Journal of Nematology 44(4): 378-384.
  4. Fu Z., Wells CE and Agudelo P. 2012. Differential expression of a beta-1,4-endoglucanase induced by diet change in the foliar nematode Aphelenchoides fragariae. Phytopathology 102: 804-811.
  5. Fite K, Smiley ET, McIntyre J, and Wells CE. 2011. Evaluation of a soil decompaction and amendment process for urban trees. Arboriculture and Urban Forestry 37: 56-67.
  6. Baldi E, Wells CE, Marangoni B. 2010. Nitrogen absorption and respiration in white and brown peach roots. Journal of Plant Nutrition 33: 461-469.
  7. Zeng G, Birchfield ST and Wells CE. 2010. Rapid automated detection of roots in minirhizotron images. Machine Vision and Applications 21:309-317.
  8. Wiseman PE and Wells CE. 2009. Arbuscular mycorrhizal inoculation alters fine root demography in landscape trees. Journal of Environmental Horticulture 27(2): 70-79.
  9. Wiseman PE,Colvin KH and Wells CE. 2009. Performance of mycorrhizal products marketed for woody landscape plants. Journal of Environmental Horticulture 27(1): 41-50.
  10. Baldwin CM,Liu H, McCarty LB, Luo H, Wells CE and JE Toler. 2009. Altered light spectral qualities impact on warm season turfgrass growth and development. Crop Science 49:1444-1453.
  11. Zeng G, Birchfield ST and Wells CE. 2008. Automatic discrimination of fine roots in minirhizotron images. New Phytologist 177: 549-557.

Recent Courses

  • HORT 8140: Environmental Plant Stress Physiology
  • FOR 2210: Forest Biology
  • BIOL 8710: Bioinformatics Journal Club
  • BIOL 4910H Honors research
  • BIOL 4010/6010 Plant Physiology, Bioinformatics module
  • BIOL 3040 Biology of Plants

Current Graduate Students

  • Nathan Redding (Molecular basis of reniform nematode/soybean root interaction)
  • Elspeth Murday (Velvetbean transcriptome)
  • Wei Li (Molecular basis of reniform nematode/cotton root interaction)

Professional Affiliations

  • International Society of Computational Biologists