Richard Veilleux

Julian and Margaret Gary Professor - Horticulture

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Dr. Veilleux works in the area of plant breeding and genetics using modern tools of genomics, transgenics, molecular marker analysis and plant cell and tissue culture to augment traditional breeding and selection.


Dr. Veilleux manages an active graduate program, supervising students working on a diversity of horticultural crops including potato, strawberry, Impatiens, and tomato. He and his students are actively engaged in applying the recently obtained genomic resources of potato and strawberry to breeding projects, ranging from assessing variation for the coding sequence of metabolic genes to development of mutant populations for gene discovery. Sequencing the potato genome, published in 2011, was based on the availability of a “doubled monoploid” potato developed in the Veilleux lab. Although the doubled monoploid is not a commercially important potato, it produces edible tubers and generally looks like a potato. Its reduced genetic complexity compared to commercial potatoes made it relatively easy to sequence using available next generation sequencing technology. Its sequence will serve as the reference genome for potato for many years. Dr. Veilleux teaches three graduate courses, two offered in alternate years: "Genetics and Breeding of Horticultural Crops" and "Plant Tissue Culture" and one course offered every year: "Introduction to Graduate Studies and Research." He also teaches laboratory sections and guest lectures in several undergraduate courses.