Plant Breeding/Genetics (Molecular-Quantitative Genetics)
C131 Plant Sciences
Dr. Byrne teaches and conducts research in plant breeding and genetics. He received his PhD in Agronomy from the University of Missouri in 1987, his MS in Horticulture from the same university in 1978, and his AB in Biology from Washington University. Dr. Byrne’s 10 years of international experience include positions with the U.S. Peace Corps in Nepal, the U.S. Agency for International Development in the Cape Verde Islands, and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico. He has enjoyed sabbatical experiences in Turkey, India, and China.
Dr. Byrne’s research program focuses on the application of quantitative and molecular genetics to crop improvement. He applies quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis and association mapping to locate and characterize the genes that control yield components, drought tolerance, and end-use quality in wheat, disease resistance in common bean, and seed yield in Brassica oilseed crops (canola, camelina). Another research interest is biotechnology risk assessment; studies have been conducted to estimate the level of gene flow between wheat and jointed goatgrass and between adjacent corn fields under Colorado conditions. Recently he has collaborated with soil microbiologists to study the effects of rhizosphere microbial communities on plant performance.
Extension & Outreach:
Since 2000, I have conducted a public outreach program on the benefits and risks of genetically engineered crops. This has included making presentations throughout Colorado, nationally and internationally to farmers, K-12 teachers, scientists, and the general public.
Three Fact Sheets on this topic are available through CSU Extension: GM Crops: Techniques and Applications (http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/crops/00710.html) Bio-Pharming (http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/crops/00307.html) and Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods (http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09371.html).