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Washington State University Molecular Plant Sciences


Professor and Vogel Endowed Chair in Wheat Breeding and Genetics, Ph.D. (Genetics) 1990, Kansas State.



Wheat is the world’s most important food crop and WSU has perhaps the largest group in the nation working on understanding and manipulating the wheat genome. Goal of my program is to understand mechanism of agronomically important genes and manipulate these genes for crop improvement using genomics and informatics tools.

While studying distribution of genes on cereal chromosomes, we have learned that most wheat genes are present in gene-rich regions, which encompass only about 10% of the genome. These gene-rich regions are interspersed by large blocks of repeated DNA sequences. Although recombination only occurs in the gene-rich regions, recombination among various gene-rich regions may vary as much as 20 fold.

Currently we are trying to understand structural and functional organization of the gene-rich regions and the recombination hot spots. Secondly, chromosome pairing and homology search is a poorly understood process but it is important not only for basic understanding of biology but also for alien introgression in crops such as wheat where genes from wild relatives are routinely transferred into cultivated wheat. Manipulation of chromosome pairing control can make this process efficient and directed. Ph1 gene of wheat is the principal regulator of chromosome pairing and we are working on understanding its mode of action.

Selected Publications

Raman Dhariwal, Gaganpreet Kaur, Johar S. Saini, Kulvinder S. Gill, Harindra S. Balyan, Pushpendra K. Gupta 2012. Identification of an alternate wheat dwarfing gene: wheat homologues of Arabidopsis Dwarf4 gene. Crop Improvement 39:13.

Gaganpreet Kaur, Raman Dhariwal, Kanwardeep Singh, Suruchi Jindal, Johar S Saini, Madhu Mita Jindal, Kulvinder S Gill (2012). Exploring the role of auxin influx carrier gene AUX1 for development of an improved dwarfing system in wheat. Crop Improvement 39:215.

Kanwardeep Singh, Suruchi Jindal, Raman Dhariwal, Gaganpreet Kaur, Johar Singh, Kulvinder S. Gill (2012). In silico prediction and analysis of TaPIN1 (Auxin efflux carrier) gene in wheat. Crop Improvement 39:419.

Suruchi Jindal, Kanwardeep Singh, Gaganpreet Kaur, Raman Dhariwal, Kulvinder S. Gill, Kuldeep Singh (2012) In silico prediction and analysis of maximum auxiliary branching (max2) gene in Triticum aestivum using comparative genomics. Crop Improvement 39:409.

Deepa Dewan, Navneet Kaur, Kulvinder S. Gill and Gursharan S Randhawa (2012) Role of rootless concerning crown and seminal roots (RTCS) gene in wheat: Bioinformatics and molecular approach. Crop Improvement 39:111.

Navneet Kaur, Deepa Dewan, Kulvinder S. Gill and Gursharan S Randhawa (2012) Study role of NRT2 gene in nutrient use efficiency in Wheat through virus induced gene silencing. Crop Improvement 39:249.

Neway Mengistu; P.S. Baenziger; K.M. Eskridge; I. Dweikat; S.N. Wegulo; K.S. Gill; A. Mujeeb-Kazi 2012. Validation of QTL for grain yield-related traits on wheat chromosome 3A using recombinant inbred chromosome lines. Crop Science 52(4):1622-1632.

Harvinder S Bennypaul, Jasdeep S Mutti, Sachin Rustgi, Neeraj Kumar, Patricia A Okubara, Kulvinder S Gill 2012. Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) of genes expressed in root, leaf, and meiotic tissues of wheat. Functional and Integrative Genomics:12(1):143-156.

Dilpreet S Brar, Ian C Burke, Joseph P Yenish, Jared Bell, and Kulvinder Gill. 2011. Inheritance and Physiological Basis for 2,4-D Resistance in Prickly Lettuce (Lactuca serriola L.). J Agric Food Chem 59 (17):9417-9423.

PS Baenziger, I Dweikat, KS Gill, K Eskridge, T Burke, M Shah, BT Campbell, ML Ali, N Mengistu, A. Mahmood, A. Auvuchanon, Y Yen, S Rustgi, B Moreno-Sevilla, A Mujeeb-Kazi, and MR Morris. 2011.  Understanding Grain Yield: It Is a Journey, Not a Destination. Czech J. Genet. Plant Breed. 47:S77–S84.

Navdeep S Mutti, Adam G Dolezal, Florian Wolschin, Jasdeep S Mutti, Kulvinder S Gill, Gro V Amdam. 2011. IIS and TOR nutrient-signaling pathways act via juvenile hormone to influence honey bee caste fate. The Journal of Experimental Biology 214:3977-3984 doi:10.1242/jeb.061499.

Hyejin Lee, Sachin Rustgi, Neeraj Kumar, Ian Burke, Joseph P. Yenish, Kulvinder S. Gill, Diter von Wettsteina, and Steven E. Ullrich. 2011. Single nucleotide mutation in the barley acetohydroxy acid synthase (AHAS) gene confers resistance to imidazolinone herbicides. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA vol. 108 no. 21 8909-8913 doi: 10.1073/pnas.110561210.

Jasdeep S Mutti, P. Stephen Baenziger b, R. A. Graybosch, Roy French, and Kulvinder S Gill 2011. Registration of seven winter wheat germplasm lines carrying Wsm1 gene for wheat streak mosaic virus resistance. Journal of Plant Registrations: 5 (3):414-417.

Harvinder S Bennypaul, Jasdeep S Mutti, Sachin Rustgi, Neeraj Kumar, Patricia A Okubara, Kulvinder S Gill. 2011. Use of barley stripe mosaic virus (BSMV) for virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) and gene expression in various wheat tissues. Functional and Integrated Genomics (Epub ahead of print). DOI: 10.1007/s10142-011-0245-0.

Ali, M.L., Baenziger, P.S., Ajlouni, Z.A., Campbell, B.T., Gill, K.S., Eskridge, K.M., Mujeeb-Kazi, A., Dweikat, I. 2011. Mapping QTL for agronomic traits on wheat chromosome 3A and a comparison of recombinant inbred chromosome line populations. Crop Science 51:553-566.

Dilpreet S. Riar, Sachin Rustgi, Ian C. Burke, Kulvinder S. Gill, and Joseph P. Yenish. 2011. EST-SSR development from five Lactuca species and their use in studying genetic diversity among L. serriola biotypes. J. Heridity 102(1):17-28.

Xiaojuan Mi, Kent Eskridge, Dong Wang, P. Stephen Baenziger, B. Todd Campbell, Kulvinder S. Gill, and Ismail Dweikat. 2010. Bayesian mixture structural equation modeling in multiple-trait QTL mapping. Genetics Research 92:239-250, doi:10.1017/S0016672310000236

Xiaojuan Mi, Kent Eskridge, Dong Wang, P. Stephen Baenziger, B. Todd Campbell, Kulvinder S. Gill, Ismail M. Dweikat, J A Bovaird. 2010. Regression-Based Multi-Trait QTL Mapping Using a Structural Equation Model. Statistical Applications in Genetics and Molecular Biology 9(1):22 pages, DOI:10.2202/1544-6115.1552.

Jasdeep S. Mutti, Devinder Sandhu, Deepak Sidhu, Kulvinder S. Gill. 2010. Dynamic nature of a wheat centromere with a functional gene. Molecular Breeding 26 (2):177-187. 10.1007/s11032-009-9389-1.