Kevin Dorn's Research

Kevin's dissertation research revolves around the development of genetic and genomic tools for pennycress. Our work to improve pennycress as a winter cover crop and biodiesel feedstock started in a new collaboration between Professors David Marks and Don Wyse. The overall goals of the pennycress work is to develop lines with ideal agronomic traits, such as low seed dormancy, fast maturity, and improved seed characteristics. To accomplish these goals, we are leveraging the billions of dollars and over 40 years spent researching the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana. As pennycress is related to Arabidopsis, we are able to translate much of the knowledge regarding the basic biology of Arabidopsis to pennycress. One method we're using to improve pennycress is to use the power of genomics and next-generation sequencing to develop a draft genome for pennycress. The genome sequence will lead to the identification of agronomically important genes for selective breeding and  allow for genomic-assisted breeding to improve pennycress as a winter cover crop and biofuel source. 

Click here to read more about our projects to sequence the pennycress transcriptome and genome. 


Please feel free to contact Kevin at