Thomas Mitchell-Olds, Newman Ivey White Professor  

Thomas Mitchell-Olds

We study genetic variation in plant populations, focusing on genes that influence traits controlling plant performance in an environmental context – a central theme throughout our research in natural and agricultural populations. Much of our work is focused on the genes that affect ecological success and evolutionary fitness in natural environments. Similarly, the interaction of crop plants with their biotic and abiotic environments is controlled by complex trait variation which can be elucidated by interdisciplinary analyses incorporating functional genomics, physiological and chemical ecology, and population and quantitative genetics. We work at several levels: genetic variation within populations, local adaptation among populations, and the evolution of species differences. Our study systems are centered on the wild relatives of Arabidopsis, as well as complex trait variation of rice and Brachypodium in agricultural and natural populations.

Education:
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin at Madison, 1985
B.A., Earlham College, 1978

Office Location: French Science Center 3311, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: (919) 668-1635
Email Address: tmo1@duke.edu
Web Page: http://www.biology.duke.edu/mitchell-olds/

Specialties:
Evolution
Genetics
Ecology and Population Biology
Genomics

Research Categories: Ecological and evolutionary genomics; Complex trait variation; Drought tolerance and food security

Research Description: We study genetic variation in plant populations, focusing on genes that influence traits controlling plant performance in an environmental context – a central theme throughout our research in natural and agricultural populations. Much of our work is focused on the genes that affect ecological success and evolutionary fitness in natural environments. Similarly, the interaction of crop plants with their biotic and abiotic environments is controlled by complex trait variation which can be elucidated by interdisciplinary analyses incorporating functional genomics, physiological and chemical ecology, and population and quantitative genetics. We work at several levels: genetic variation within populations, local adaptation among populations, and the evolution of species differences. Our study systems are centered on the wild relatives of Arabidopsis, as well as complex trait variation of rice and Brachypodium in agricultural and natural populations.

Representative Publications   (More Publications)   (search)

  1. Topp, CN, AS Iyer-Pascuzzi, JT Anderson, C-R Lee, PR Zurek, O Symonova, Y Zheng, A Bucksch, Y Milyeko, T Galkovskyi, BT Moore, J Harer, H Edelsbrunner, T Mitchell-Olds, JS Weitz and PN Benfey, 3-dimensional phenotyping of growing root systems and QTL mapping identifies core regions of the rice genome controlling root architecture, PNAS, vol. 110 (2013), pp. E1695-1704 [doi] .
  2. KV Prasad, BH Song, C Olson-Manning, JT Anderson, CR Lee, ME Schranz, AJ Windsor, MJ Clauss, AJ Manzaneda, I Naqvi, M Reichelt, J Gershenzon, SG Rupasinghe, MA Schuler and T Mitchell-Olds, A gain-of-function polymorphism controlling complex traits and fitness in nature., Science, vol. 337 no. 6098 (August, 2012), pp. 1081-1084 [22936775], [doi]  [abs].
  3. JT Anderson, CR Lee, CA Rushworth, RI Colautti and T Mitchell-Olds, Genetic trade-offs and conditional neutrality contribute to local adaptation., Mol Ecol, vol. 22 no. 3 (2013), pp. 699-708 [22420446], [doi]  [abs].
  4. RI Colautti, CR Lee and T Mitchell-Olds, Origin, fate, and architecture of ecologically relevant genetic variation., Curr Opin Plant Biol, vol. 15 no. 2 (2012), pp. 199-204 [22341792], [doi]  [abs].
  5. JT Anderson, JH Willis and T Mitchell-Olds, Evolutionary genetics of plant adaptation., Trends Genet, vol. 27 no. 7 (July, 2011), pp. 258-266 [21550682], [doi]  [abs].
  6. PN Benfey and T Mitchell-Olds, From genotype to phenotype: systems biology meets natural variation., Science, vol. 320 no. 5875 (April, 2008), pp. 495-497 [18436781], [doi]  [abs].
  7. T Mitchell-Olds and J Schmitt, Genetic mechanisms and evolutionary significance of natural variation in Arabidopsis., Nature, vol. 441 no. 7096 (June, 2006), pp. 947-952 [16791187], [doi]  [abs].
  8. J Kroymann and T Mitchell-Olds, Epistasis and balanced polymorphism influencing complex trait variation., Nature, vol. 435 no. 7038 (May, 2005), pp. 95-98 [15875023], [doi]  [abs].