Edward S. Buckler

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Primary Section: 62, Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences
Membership Type:
Member (elected 2014)


Edward Buckler is a Research Geneticist with the Senior Scientific Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service, and he is an Adjunct Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics at Cornell University. He is recognized as a leader in the integration of quantitative and statistical genetics with genomic approaches, and then applying these tools to maize and other crops. This work has provided insights into how complex traits are controlled, and he has identified genetic variation useful for crop improvement. Buckler grew up in Arlington, VA, and graduated from the University of Virginia with degrees in biology and archaeology. He then attended the University of Missouri and graduated with a PhD in Biology. He was a postdoctoral fellow in statistical genetics at North Carolina State University. He joined the USDA and North Carolina State as a geneticist and faculty in 1998, and later moved to a position with the USDA and Cornell University in 2003. He has numerous leadership positions within the crop genetics community and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Research Interests

Edward Buckler’s group is interested in the genetic basis of trait variation, and using this natural variation to improve crops. His group uses the tools of genomics to study the natural variation of maize and numerous other crops, developing statistical approaches to powerfully relate this genetic variation to the performance of crops in the field. His group has also helped lead in the development of the largest public genetic mapping resources for any species. Their research has provided insights into the genetic diversity of species, the genetic architecture of complex traits, hybrid vigor, and the genes controlling numerous traits related to plant flowering, development, starch, and pro-Vitamin A. These research approaches have been applied to numerous other species, and to genetic and breeding efforts around the world.

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