Blake Meyers is the Director of the UC Davis Genome Center, a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, and the Novozymes Chair of Genomics at the University of California, Davis. Prior to UC Davis, he was on the faculty of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, the University of Missouri – Columbia, and the University of Delaware. Meyers grew up in Williamsburg, Virginia, and received a B.A. in biology from the University of Chicago, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in genetics from the University of California – Davis. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and of the American Society of Plant Biologists. Meyers has been an editor of The Plant Cell since 2008, and Editor-in-Chief of that journal from 2020 to 2024.

Research Interests

The Meyers laboratory was one of the earliest users of short-read sequencing and co-developed applications of this technology including small RNA analysis and related approaches. His group supported these efforts by development of bioinformatics methods for data handling and analysis. These experiments provided key insights into the biological functions and genomic impact of small RNAs. The lab's work in Arabidopsis identified and characterized microRNAs, plant small RNA biogenesis pathways, and their impact on gene expression and genome biology. Subsequent work in rice, Medicago, soybean, maize and other species described the diverse mechanisms by which small RNAs are produced and function, as well as their targets, and their evolution in flowering plants. The Meyers lab has performed extensive investigations of the functions, biogenesis, and evolution of trans-acting siRNAs and phased, secondary siRNAs (phasiRNAs). One focus of the work is reproductive phasiRNAs generated from non-coding RNAs; these are prevalent in anthers of many flowering plants during early anther development and meiosis, and are required for full male fertility, demonstrated specifically in species of grasses.

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Primary Section

Section 62: Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 25: Plant Biology