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Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics & Genomics: People

Peggy Ozias-Akins

Professor and Institute Director

Peggy Ozias-AkinsDepartment of Horticulture
2356 Rainwater Road
Tifton, GA 31794

Phone: 229-386-3902
Fax: 229-386-7371
Email: pozias@uga.edu

Research area: Female reproduction and gene transfer in plants

Additional website: Ozias-Akins Biotechnology Lab

Bio

The research program in Dr. Ozias-Akins' lab focuses on female reproduction in grasses and molecular breeding of peanut. Apomixis is a naturally occurring mode of female reproduction that results in embryo formation without the involvement of meiosis or fertilization of the egg. Seed-derived progeny of an apomictic plant are genetically identical to the maternal parent. In order to assist the conventional transfer of apomixis into pearl millet as well as enhance the potential for introduction of this trait across taxonomic boundaries through gene transfer, the lab has an ongoing molecular marker program to tag and clone the gene(s) for apomixis.

Dr. Ozias-Akins' lab has also developed a reproducible transformation system for peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) that can result in the production of dozens of independently transformed cell lines after microprojectile bombardment of embryogenic peanut tissues. This transformation system has been used to introduce genes that offer resistance strategies for targeting Aspergillus flavus and aflatoxin contamination of peanut and that down-regulate allergen gene expression.  More recently, molecular marker discovery and application is facilitating peanut breeding through marker-assisted selection.

Education

Degree Field Institution Date Obtained
B.S. Biology Florida State University 1975
Ph.D. Botany University of Florida 1981