Skip to main content
Skip to navigation

Renowned Plant Geneticist, Jeff Bennetzen, Visits IPG

Jeff Bennetzen

Dr. Jeff Bennetzen (m) with Drs. Richard Wallace (l) and J. Chris Pires

Columbia, Mo. — The Interdisciplinary Plant Group welcomed Jeff L. Bennetzen to the University of Missouri on February 1, 2010.

Bennetzen is chair and professor of genetics at the University of Georgia Athens. He is well known for his research on the intricacies of plant genomes and has studied corn, wheat, barley, rice, and sorghum. His work has earned him several awards, including election to the National Academy of Sciences (2004). He is also an American Association of Science Fellow (2005), a Guggenheim Fellow (2008), and a Norman Giles Eminent Scholar.

During his visit, Bennetzen gave a one-hour seminar titled "Transposon Driven and Derived Genome Evolution in the Grasses." The seminar focused on the role of transposable elements in the shaping of the evolution of the maize (corn) genome. He opened his lecture by stating that it was a privilege to be invited to give this lecture at, as he observed, "one of the great homes of maize genetics." A reception, sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Plant Group, immediately preceded the seminar.

Bennetzen also participated in a "Karyotype Klub Round Robin" with students and postodoctoral fellows and met individually with a number of IPG faculty.

Bennetzen's visit was sponsored, in part, by MU's Chancellor's Distinguished Lecture Series.