Education Profile

  • Ph.D., 2010 - Cornell University, Plant Breeding and Genetics
  • M.S., 2004 - Kansas State University, Plant Pathology
  • B.S., 2003 - Kansas State University, Agronomy

Research Interests

The plant breeding and genetics group led by Prof. Poland at KAUST is focused on the formidable questions of how to develop climate resilient crops to address the grand challenges of food security in the coming generations. Prof. Poland leads work on important crops including wheat and date palm to better understand the dynamic plant genomes and increasing genetic gain in crop breeding. The group has active research in quantitative genetics and genetic diversity studies including crop wild relatives using association genetics, genomics and high-throughput phenotyping. In collaboration with public breeding programs, Prof. Poland is implementing the use of genomic selection and high-throughput phenotyping to accelerate breeding in wheat, intermediate wheatgrass and other species. Looking at the grand challenges facing agriculture, the lab is also focused on species with extreme stress tolerance such as saltgrass (Distichlis spp.) that can grow in salinity at the level of seawater. Neodomestication, breeding and cultivation of such species could provide a trajectory change for agriculture in the face of hotter climates and rapidly shrinking water reserves.

Selected Publications

  • Genomic selection for processing and end-use quality traits in the CIMMYT spring bread wheat breeding program, Battenfield, S. D., C. Guzm n, R. C. Gaynor, R. P. Singh, R. J. Pe a, S. Dreisigacker, A. K. Fritz and J. Poland, The Plant Genome, 2016, 9(2).
  • Multiple wheat genomes reveal global variation in modern breeding, Walkowiak, S., et al., Nature, 2020, 588(7837): p. 277-283.
  • Development of a complete set of wheat–barley group-7 Robertsonian translocation chromosomes conferring an increased content of β-glucan, Danilova, T. V., Friebe, B., Gill, B. S., Poland, J., & Jackson, E., Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 2018, 131(2), 377–388.
  • High-throughput phenotyping with deep learning gives insight into the genetic architecture of flowering time in wheat, Wang, X., H. Xuan, B. Evers, S. Shrestha, R. Pless and J. Poland, GigaScience, 2019, 8(11).
  • Highthroughput phenotyping enabled genetic dissection of crop lodging in wheat, Singh, D., X. Wang, U. Kumar, L. Gao, M. Noor, M. Imtiaz, R. P. Singh and J. Poland, Frontiers in Plant Science, 2019, 10(394).
  • Improving grain yield, stress resilience and quality of bread wheat using large-scale genomics, Juliana, P., J. Poland, J. Huerta-Espino, S. Shrestha, J. Crossa, L. Crespo-Herrera, F. H. Toledo, V. Govindan, S. Mondal, U. Kumar, S. Bhavani, P. K. Singh, M. S. Randhawa, X. He, C. Guzman, S. Dreisigacker, M. N. Rouse, Y. Jin, P. P rez-Rodr guez, O. A. Montesinos-L pez, D. Singh, M. M. Rahman, F. Marza and R. P. Singh, Nature Genetics, 2019.