Determining the consequences of the implementation of genetically modified (GM) crops into agriculture has been one focus in my research. I have studied the effects of hybridization and transgene movement from GM crops to their wild relatives using a Brassica model system. Future research will expand on current work and explore the consequences of crop gene introgression into the genetic backgrounds of weed species.
The enabling tool in my research has been the use of green fluorescent protein (GFP) as a marker for fitness enhancing transgenes, such as the Bt insecticidal protein. I am continuing my interest in the expression of transgene marker technologies, and am currently involved in the development of the transgenic systems for educational purposes. The use of novel GFP transgenic Arabidopsis in college-level genetics laboratory exercises allows students to explore Mendelian genetics and biotechnology in a single semester-long project.
PhD, North Carolina State University
Yuan, JS, Abercrombie, LG, Cao, Y, Halfhill, MD, Zhou, X, Peng, Y, Hu, J, Rao, MR, Heck, GR, Larosa, TJ, Sammons, RD, Trigiano, RN, Wang, X, Ranjan, P, Johnson, DH, Wadl, PA, Scheffler, BE, Rinehart, TA, Trigiano, RN, Stewart, CN, Jr. 2010. Functional genomics analysis of horseweed (Conyza canadensis) with special reference to the evolution of non-target-site glyphosate resistance. Weed Science. 58: 109-117.
Rose, CW, Millwood, RJ, Moon, HS, Rao, MR, Halfhill, MD, Raymer, PL, Warwick, SI, Al-Ahmad, H, Gressel, J, and Stewart, CN, Jr. 2009 Genetic load and transgenic mitigating genes in transgenic Brassica rapa (field mustard) × Brassica napus (oilseed rape) hybrid populations. BMC Biotechnology 9: 93
Rao, MR, Halfhill, MD, Good, LL, Ranjan, P, Abercrombie, JM, Gouffon, JS, Saxton, AM, Stewart, CN, Jr. 2009 Phytoremediation and phytosensing of chemical contaminants, RDX and TNT: identification of the required target genes. Functional and Integrative Genomics. 9:537-547.
Abercrombie, JM, Halfhill, MD, Ranjan, P, Rao, MR, Saxton, A, Yuan, J, Stewart, CN, Jr. 2008 Transcriptional responses of Arabidopsis thaliana plants to As (V) stress. BMC Plant Biology, 8:87.
Halfhill, MD, Good, LL, Basu, C, Burris, J, Main, CL, Mueller, TC, Stewart, CN, Jr. 2007. Transformation and segregation of GFP fluorescence and glyphosate resistance in horseweed (Conyza canadensis) hybrids. Plant Cell Reports, 26:303-311.
Older manuscripts available per request.