The Messing lab would like to contribute to the understanding of the expression of regulation of gene copies in plants. It is now apparent that many gene products are derived from multiple gene copies. As use of copies rapidly increases, their sequences are quite conserved or so similar that it becomes difficult to infer gene products from which the genes they produce. Therefore, it becomes necessary to sequence the genome of an organism so that one can sort gene copies in their location on chromosomes. Then one can match each RNA species quantitatively with individual gene copies.
190 Frelinghuysen Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Joachim (Jo) Messing is the Research Director of the Waksman Institute of Microbiology, University Professor of Molecular Biology and the Selman A. Waksman Endowed Chair of Molecular Genetics at Rutgers University. Dr. Messing developed tools that helped lay the foundations of the biotechnology and genomics revolutions. He developed the first vectors for blue-white screening, single-stranded- DNA production, and universal-primer-based sequencing. He invented shotgun sequencing, developed the first programs for shotgun sequencing, and reported the first genome shotgun sequence (cauliflower mosaic virus).
Dr. Messing's 1980s-1990s work focused on the sequencing and engineering of maize storage proteins. More recently, his laboratory has used RNA interference to study the role of these proteins in seed development and molecular breeding. One of the new initiatives of his laboratory investigates the potential of sweet sorghum and duckweed as alternative bio-energy sources.