Education and Postdoctoral Training (1975-1991)
1975-1980: BA, Biochemistry, UC Berkeley (T4 phage DNA replication w/J. Hosoda)
1980-1986: PhD, Genetics, UC Davis (Molecular genetics of protein secretion in yeast w/D. Ogrydziak)
1987-1990: Terry Kinney Postdoctoral Research Associate, USDA-ARS Plant Gene Expression Center, Albany, CA (Tomato pollen gene expression w/S. McCormick)
1990-1991: NSF Plant Science Center Research Associate, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (Genetics of abscission zone development w/S. Tanksley).
Academic Appointments (1991-present)
1991-1996: Assistant/Associate Professor, Soil & Crop Sciences Department, Texas A&M University
1996-2002: Coker Endowed Chair Associate/Full Professor, Department of Genetics & Biochemistry, & Director, Clemson University Genomics Institute, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA
2002-present: Antle Endowed Chair Professor of Excellence in Agriculture, School of Plant Sciences, & Director, Arizona Genomics Institute, University of Arizona, Tucson,
Select Honors & Awards
2005: USDA Secretary’s Honor Award for Superior Service, Group Leader - USA Rice Genome Consortia
2009-20010: Alexander von Humboldt Research Award - AvH Foundation, DE
2010: Elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
2014-2019: AXA Chair for Genome Biology & Evolutionary Genome, International Rice Research Institute, the Philippines.
2015: The International DBN (Beijing Da Bei Nong Technology Group) Science & Technology Award, by the 9th DBN Science & Technology Awards Program, Beijing, China
Research Focus: Our laboratory pioneered the application of bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) cloning technology to plant genome biology in 1994 (e.g. Arabidopsis, sorghum, rice & maize). Using this technology, we developed BAC-based physical maps for Asian & African rice and 11 of its wild relatives, maize & tomato, as examples. The Wing lab led the USA effort to sequence the rice genome (chromosomes 3 & 11) as part of the International Rice Genome Sequencing Project (Science 2005). Since then, the primary focus of our lab has been to understand the evolutionary biology of the wild relatives of rice and the natural variation that is present in rice genebanks world-wide. The wild relatives of rice contain a virtually untapped reservoir of genes that can be used for crop improvement. To capture this natural variation, our consortia (the Intl. Oryza Map Alignment Project – IOMAP) has focused on the generation of high-quality reference genome assemblies for all 15 subpopulations of cultivated rice and representatives of all 11 genomes types of the genus Oryza. Our goal is to apply this research to identify new alleles and traits that can be used to develop the next generation of super crops to help solved the 10-billion people question. That is, crops that are higher yielding and more nutritious, while at the same time having less of an environmental footprint: crops that can grow with less water, fertilizer & pesticides, and have reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
National Geographic Video
Research Areas: Computational Biology, Evolution, Food Security, Genetics, Genomics, Molecular Biology
Since 2010, the Arizona Genomics Institute has hosted an extremely popular annual outreach activity called “Plant Science Family Night” (PSFN), which targets K-5 students. Our most recent PSFN attracted >700 participants and was featured in Ventana Vista Elementary School’s year book.