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Dr. Jessup joined the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences in 2009 as an Assistant Professor of Perennial Grass Breeding with a 70% research and 30% teaching appointment. His research focuses on developing germplasm that will be used as biofuels, turfgrasses, forages, and biorefining platforms. Dr. Jessup received his B.S. degree in Plant and Environmental Soil Science at Texas A&M University in 1997 and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Plant Breeding in 1999 and 2005, respectively. From 2005-2007, he served as a post-doctoral research geneticist with USDA-ARS at College Station developing turfgrass genomics tools. In 2007, he accepted a position as a plant breeder with Mendel Biotechnology at Auburn, AL and was also responsible for developing public and private sector partnerships.In this position he also initiated a biomass feedstock breeding program involving Miscanthus spp., switchgrass, sorghum, and other perennial grasses.
Hybrid Seed Technology, perennial grass breeding program's interests focus on the utilization of breeding methods (molecular, cytogenetic, and classical) and capitalization of diverse stakeholders (corporate, public, and governmental) in order to deploy improved perennial grasses as biofuels (bioethanol, biopower), turfgrasses (drought tolerance, synergistic mutagenesis platforms), forages (multi-use biomass crops), ornamentals, phytoremediators, and renewable bioproducts (functional foods, pre-/probiotics, construction materials). High value target traits include net primary productivity, carbon sequestration, perenniality, photoperiodism, hybrid sterility, and apomixis.
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