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Clemson University
college of agriculture, forestry and life sciences clemson university

Richard Boyles

Assistant Professor of Plant Breeding & Genetics
Plant and Environmental Sciences Department, PeeDee Research and Education Center

Office: 210 Pitner Center
Phone: 843-519-0488



Educational Background

Ph.D. Genetics
Clemson University 2016

B.S. Biological Sciences
University of South Carolina 2012

Research Interests

My research focuses on cereal crop improvement using a combination of traditional and advanced plant genetics and breeding approaches. My interests are (1) to develop crop varieties and hybrids with superior performance in the region, (2) to broaden the current gene pool that exists in regional breeding populations, and (3) to identify useful genes and alleles for important traits in grass row crops including grain yield and quality components.


Patil NY, Hoffmann Jr L, Winans N, Perumal R, Hayes CM, Emendack Y, Boyles RE, Dahlberg J, Klein RR, Klein PE, Rooney WL (2024) Registration of sorghum backcross-nested association mapping (BC-NAM) families in a BTx623 or RTx436 background. Journal of Plant Registrations 18:204-219. doi:10.1002/plr2.20286

Kumar N, Boatwright JL, Sapkota S, Brenton ZW, Ballén-Taborda C, Myers MT, Cox WA, Jordan KE, Kresovich S and Boyles R* (2023) Discovering useful genetic variation in the seed parent gene pool for sorghum improvement. Front Genet 14:1221148. doi:10.3389/fgene.2023.1221148

DeWitt N, Lyerly J, Guedira M, Holland JB, Ward BP, Murphy JP, Boyles RE, Mergoum M, Babar A, Shakiba E, Sutton R, Ibrahim A, Tiwari V, Santantonio N, Van Sanford DA, Howell K, Smith JH, Harrison SA, Brown-Guedira G. Bearded or smooth? Awns improve yield when wheat experiences heat stress during grain fill. Journal of Experimental Botany 74(21):6749-6759. doi:10.1093/jxb/erad318.

Boyles R*, Ballén-Taborda C, Brown-Guedira G, Costa J, Cowger C, DeWitt N, Griffey CA, Harrison SA, Ibrahim A, Johnson J, Lyerly J, Marshall DS, Mason RE, Mergoum M, Murphy JP, Santantonio N, Saripalli G, Sutton R, Tiwari V, Van Sanford D, Winn ZJ (2023) Approaching 25 years of progress toward Fusarium Head Blight resistance in southern soft red winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L). Plant Breeding 143:66-81. doi:10.1111/pbr.13137

Schoen A, Wallace S, Holbert MF, Brown-Guidera G, Harrison S, Murphy JP, Santantonio N, Van Sanford D, Boyles R, Mergoum M, Rawat N, Tiwari V (2023) Reducing the generation time in winter wheat cultivars using speed breeding. Crop Sci 63(4):2079–2090. doi:10.1002/csc2.20989

Babar MA, Harrison SA, Blount A, Barnett RD, Johnson J, Mergoum M, Mailhot DJ, Murphy JP, Mason RE, Ibrahim A, Sutton R, Simoneaux B, Boyles R, Stancil B, Marshall D, Fountain M, Klos KE, Khan N, Wallau M, Jordan HG (2023) ‘FLLA09015-U1’: A broadly adapted dual-purpose oat cultivar for southern USA. Journal of Plant Registrations 17(2):228-233. doi:10.1002/plr2.20249

Wenndt A, Boyles R, Ackerman A, Sapkota S, Repka A, Nelson R (2023) Host determinants of fungal species composition and symptom manifestation in the sorghum grain mold disease complex. Plant Disease 107(2). doi:10.1094/PDIS-03-22-0675-RE.

Babar MA, Harrison SA, Blount A, Barnett RD, Johnson J, Mergoum M, Mailhot DJ, Murphy JP, Mason RE, Ibrahim A, Sutton R, Simoneaux B, Boyles R, Stancil B, Marshall D, Fountain M, Klos KE, Khan N, Wallau M, Jordan HG, Ma X, Arbalaez J (2023) ‘FLLA11019-8’: A new dual-purpose facultative oat cultivar for grain and forage production in the southern United States. Journal of Plant Registrations 17(2):238:246. doi:10.1002/plr2.20272

Kumar N, Boatwright JL, Brenton Z, Sapkota S, Ballén-Taborda C, Myers M, Cox WA, Jordan K, Kresovich S, Boyles R* (2023) Development and characterization of a sorghum Multi-parent Advanced Generation InterCross (MAGIC) population for capturing diversity among seed parent gene pool. G3 Genes|Genomes|Genetics jkad037. doi:10.1093/g3journal/jkad037.

Sapkota S, Boatwright JL, Kumar N, Myers M, Cox WA, Ackerman A, Caughman W, Brenton Z, Boyles R, Kresovich S (2022) Genomic prediction of hybrid performance for agronomic traits in sorghum. G3 Genes|Genomes|Genetics jkac311. doi:10.1093/g3journal/jkac311

Ballén-Taborda C, Lyerly J, Smith J, Howell K, Brown-Guedira G, Babar MA, Harrison S, Mason RE, Mergoum M, Murphy JP, Sutton R, Griffey C, Boyles R* (2022) Utilizing genomics and historical data to optimize gene pools for new breeding programs: A case study in winter wheat. Frontiers in Genetics 13:964684

Winn Z, Lyerly J, Ward B, Brown-Guedira G, Boyles R, Mergoum M, Johnson J, Harrison S, Babar A, Mason RE, Sutton R, Murphy JP (2022) Profiling of Fusarium head blight resistance QTL haplotypes through molecular markers, genotyping-by-sequencing, and machine learning. Theoretical Applied Genetics 135:3177–3194. doi:10.1007/s00122-022-04178-w

Kumar N, Brenton Z, Myers M, Boyles R, Sapkota S, Boatwright JL, Cox A, Jordan K, Kresovich S (2022) Registration of the sorghum carbon-partitioning nested association mapping (CP-NAM) population. Journal of Plant Registrations 16:656-663. doi:10.1002/plr2.20229.

Boatwright JL, Sapkota S, Jin H, Schnable J, Brenton Z, Boyles R, Kresovich S (2022) Sorghum Association Panel whole-genome sequencing establishes cornerstone resource for dissecting genomic diversity. The Plant Journal 111:888-904.

Mergoum M, Johnson J, Buck J, Buntin D, Sutton S, Lopez B, Mailhot D, Chen Z, Bland D, Harrison S, Murphy JP, Mason RE, Sutton R, Babar A, Brown-Guedira, Ibrahim A, Boyles R, Baik B-K, Marshall D, Griffey C, Cambron S, Chen X, Cowger C (2022) A new soft red winter wheat cultivar ‘GA 08535-15LE29’ adapted to Georgia and the U.S. southeast region. Journal of Plant Registrations 16:597-605. doi:10.1002/plr2.20235

Boyles R*, Ackerman AJ, Kresovich S (2022) Traits and underlying genetics important for low-input organic sorghum production. Crop Science 62:753–766. doi:10.1002/csc2.20693

Ackerman AJ, Holmes R, Gaskins E, Jordan K, Hicks D, Fitzgerald J, Griffey C, Mason RE, Harrison S, Murphy JP, Cowger C, Boyles R*(2022) Evaluation of methods for measuring Fusarium-damaged kernels of wheat. Agronomy 12:532. doi:10.3390/agronomy12020532

Thavarajah D, Lawrence T, Powers S, Kay J, Thavarajah P, Shipe E, McGee R, Kumar S, Boyles R (2022) Organic dry pea (Pisum sativum L.) biofortification for better human health. PLOS ONE 17:e0261109. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0261109

Mural R, Grzybowski M, Miao C, Damke A, Sapkota S, Boyles R, Salas-Fernandez M, Schnable P, Sigmon B, Kresovich S, Schnable J (2021) Meta-analysis identifies pleiotropic loci controlling phenotypic trade-offs in sorghum. Genetics 218:iyab087. doi:10.1093/genetics/iyab087

Ackerman AJ, Wenndt AJ, Boyles R* (2021) The sorghum grain mold disease complex: Pathogens, host responses, and the bioactive metabolites at play. Frontiers in Plant Science 12:893. doi:10.3389/fpls.2021.660171

Mergoum M, Johnson J, Buck J, Sutton S, Lopez B, Bland D, Chen Z, Buntin G, Mailhot D, Babar MA, Mason R, Harrison S, Murphy JP, Ibrahim A, Sutton R, Simoneaux B, Griffey C, Bockelman H, Baik B-K, Marshall D, Cowger C, Brown-Guedira G, Kolmer J, Jin Y, Chen X, Cambron S, Boyles R (2021) A new soft red winter wheat cultivar, 'GA 051207-14E19', adapted to Georgia and the US Southeast environments. Journal of Plant Registrations 15:337-344. doi:10.1002/plr2.20113

Boatwright JL, Brenton Z, Boyles R, Sapkota S, Myers M, Jordan K, Dale S, Shakoor N, Cooper E, Morris G, Kresovich S (2021) Genetic characterization of a Sorghum Bicolor multiparent mapping population emphasizing carbon-partitioning dynamics. G3 Genes|Genomes|Genetics 11:jkab060. doi:10.1093/g3journal/jkab060

Mergoum M, Johnson J, Buck J, Sutton S, Lopez B, Bland D, Chen Z, Buntin G, Mailhot D, Babar MA, Mason E, Harrison S, Murphy JP, Ibrahim A, Sutton R, Brown-Guedira G, Simoneaux B, Bockelman H, Baik B-K, Marshall D, Cowger C, Kolmer J, Jin Y, Chen X, Cambron S, Boyles R (2021) Soft Red Winter Wheat, ‘GA 051207-14E53’: Adapted Cultivar to Georgia and the USA Southeast Region. Journal of Plant Registrations 15:132-139. doi:10.1002/plr2.20102

Shields L, Gang Y, Jordan K, Sapkota S, Boatwright J, Jiang X, Kresovich S, Boyles R* (2021_ Genome-wide association studies of antimicrobial activity in sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench]. Crop Science 61:1301-1316. doi:10.1002/csc2.20348

Ibrahim A, Sutton R, Johnson J, Mergoum M, Simoneaux B, Harrison S, Murphy J, Mason R, Babar A, Neely C, Opena G, Jin Y, Kolmer J, Boyles R, Cambron S, Baik B-K, Brown-Guedira G, Marshall D, Fountain M (2020) Registration of ‘GA06343-13E2 (TX-EL2)’ soft red winter wheat. Journal of Plant Registrations 15:107-112. doi:10.1002/plr2.20031

Disharoon A, Boyles R, Jordan K, Kresovich S (2020) Exploring diverse sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) accessions for malt amylase activity. Journal of the Institute of Brewing 127:5-12. doi:10.1002/jib.628

Sapkota S, Boatwright J, Jordan K, Boyles R, Kresovich S (2020) Identification of novel genomic associations and gene candidates for grain starch content in sorghum. Genes 11:1448. doi:10.3390/genes11121448

Sapkota S, Boatwright J, Jordan K, Boyles R, Kresovich S (2020) Multi-trait regressor stacking increased genomic prediction accuracy of sorghum grain composition. Agronomy 10:1221. doi:10.3390/agronomy10091221

Brenton Z, Juengst B, Cooper E, Myer M, Jordan K, Dale S, Glaubitz J, Wang X, Boyles R, Connelly E, Kresovich S (2020) Species-specific duplication event confers adaptive benefits in Sorghum bicolor. G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics. doi:10.1534/g3.119.400921

Sapkota S, Boyles R, Cooper E, Brenton Z, Myers M, Kresovich S (2020) Impact of sorghum racial structure and diversity on genomic prediction of grain yield components. Crop Science. doi:10.2135/cropsci2019.04.0221

Boyles R*, Marshall D, Bockelman H (2019) Yield data from the Uniform Southern Soft Red Winter Wheat Nursery emphasize importance of selection location and environment for cultivar development. Crop Science 59: 1887-1898. doi:10.2135/cropsci2018.11.0685

Boyles R, Brenton Z, Kresovich S (2019) Genetic and genomic resources of sorghum to connect genotype with phenotype in contrasting environments. The Plant Journal 97:19-39. doi: 10.1111/tpj.14113.

Boyles R*, Pfieffer B, Cooper E, Zielinski K, Myers M, Rooney W, and Kresovich S (2017) QTL mapping of agronomic and yield traits in two grain sorghum biparental families. Crop Science 57:2443-2456. doi:10.2135/cropsci2016.12.0988

Rhodes D, Hoffman Jr L, Rooney W, Herald T, Bean S, Brenton Z, Boyles R, Kresovich S (2017) Genetic architecture of kernel composition in global sorghum germplasm. BMC Genomics 18:15 doi:10.1186/s12864-016-3403-x

Boyles R*, Pfieffer B, Rauh B, Cooper E, Zielinski K, Myers M, Brenton Z, Rooney W, Kresovich S (2016) Genetic dissection of sorghum grain quality traits using diverse and segregating populations. Theoretical Applied Genetics doi:10.1007/s00122-016-2844-6

Boyles R*, Cooper E, Myers M, Brenton Z, Rauh B, Morris G, Kresovich S (2016) Genome-wide association studies of grain yield components in diverse sorghum germplasm. The Plant Genome 9. doi:10.3835/plantgenome2015.09.0091

Brenton Z, Cooper E, Myers M, Boyles R, Shakoor N, Zielinski K, Rauh B, Bridges W, Morris G, Kresovich S (2016) A genomic resource for the development, improvement, and exploitation of sorghum for bioenergy. Genetics genetics.115.183947. doi:10.1534/genetics.115.183947

Shakoor N, Ziegler G, Dilkes B, Brenton Z, Boyles R, Connolly E, Kresovich S, Baxter I (2016) Integration of experiments across diverse environments identifies the genetic determinants of variation in Sorghum bicolor seed element composition. Plant Physiol 170:1989-1998. doi:10.1104/pp.15.01971


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