Plant Genetics

Gallavotti Lab is awarded a collaborative grant on auxin signaling

Andrea Gallavotti, Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant Biology at the Waksman Institute, is a Co-PI of a recently awarded five-year collaborative grant. The project, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and titled “Genomic and Synthetic Approaches Linking Auxin Signaling Modules to Functional Domains in Maize”, seeks to understand how auxin signaling regulates the formation of specific functional domains in maize inflorescences (

Prof. Pal Maliga Honored for Excellence in Plant Biology Research by National Society

Pal Maliga, distinguished professor in the Waksman Institute of Microbiology and professor of plant biology in the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, has won the Lawrence Bogorad Awar

Joachim Messing: Feeding the World

By Robin Lally

Ending hunger, conserving the environment and advancing medicine were more important goals to Rutgers Professor Joachim Messing than earning lots of cash.

Dr. Dong Receives 5 Year NIH Award

Juan Dong, Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant Biology at the Waksman Institute of Microbiology, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, is the principal investigator of an award supported by the National Institutes of Health.

SpirodelaBase - Spirodela Genomics

Genome sequencing of the duckweed Spirodela polyrhiza

The Lemnaceae are the smallest, fastest growing and simplest of flowering plants, representing an overlooked and potentially high-impact biofuel feedstock that is ripe for exploitation. Members of the family Lemnaceae are tiny aquatic monocots that range in size from 1.5 cm long (Spirodela polyrhiza) to less than a millimeter (Wolffia globosa). Many species are currently developed for industrial uses. For instance, the EPA uses Lemna minor to test water quality.

Dr. Andrea Gallavotti

Principal Investigator

Our research is aimed at understanding i) how pluripotent meristematic cells are formed during development; ii) how meristem fate and organ initiation are regulated; iii) the role of the plant hormone auxin in shaping plant architecture and regulating meristem function (; iv) the molecular mechanisms of plant domestication and evolution.  

Dr. Juan Dong

Principal Investigator

Cell polarity, in both animals and plants, is of paramount importance for many developmental and physiological processes.

Greenhouse Core Facility

Climate-Controlled Organic Environment

Construction of a new state of the art Greenhouse facility started in late November 2005 and was completed by April 2006. The facility features 4,200 square feet of growing space divided into two rooms and the peaked roof structure is fourteen feet to the truss, to better enable the proper growth of corn plants. This replaced the earlier Waksman greenhouse that was originally constructed in 1986, featuring 3,600 square feet of growing space divided in six rooms and a roof structure with a height of 7.5 feet at the truss.

Dr. Joachim Messing


Selman Waksman Chair in Molecular Genetics, Director of the Waksman Institute of Microbiology, and Principal Investigator of Plant Genome Initiative Research project. The Messing lab would like to contribute to the understanding of the regulation of the expression of gene copies in plants. It is now apparent that many gene products are derived from multiple gene copies. If these copies arose recently, their sequences are quite conserved or similar so that it is becomes difficult to infer from gene products from which gene they are produced.

Dr. Pal Maliga

Principal Investigator

Research in the laboratory is addressing problems of plastid genetics, plastid transgene biosafety and biotechnological applications of plastid transformation. We use Nicotiana tabacum and its dipoloid progenitor Nicotiana sylvestris, Arabidopsis thaliana and Medicago truncatula as model systems in our research.