Lee E. Gunter
Plant Systems Biology Group
Environmental Sciences Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6422
- Plant population genetics
- Molecular marker development
- Mapping of quantitative trait loci
- Sex determination mechanisms
- Genomics and bioinformatics
- Plant systematics and evolution
Background/Education [ Top ]
- B.S., Botany, University of Florida, 1988
- M.S., Botany, University of Georgia, 1993
Current Research Projects [ Top ]
Carbon Allocation and Partitioning in Woody Plants
The objective of this project is to understand the fundamental biological processes occuring at the genomic level that underlie the control of carbon allocation above and belowground and carbon partitioning into cell wall components. This knowledge would potentially permit customization of biomass for specific purposes, such as producing a feedstock that contains high cellulose content in the aboveground portion, making it more suitable for enzymatic conversion to ethanol, and high lignin in the belowground portion, making it less susceptible to microbial degradation and more effective at sequestering carbon. Control of carbon allocation and partitioning in woody perennials is being assessed by analyzing two segregating hybrid poplar families and identifying genetic markers (microsatellites) linked to these processes.
Jerry Tuskan (PI), Stan Wullschleger, Tim Tschaplinski, and Lee Gunter, ORNL; Mark Davis and Steve Thomas, NREL
Towards the Development of a Molecular Map in Switchgrass
The genetic improvement of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is an essential part of the Department of Energy's Bioenergy Feedstock Development Program's improvement of switchgrass as an herbaceous energy crop. The use of DNA-based markers has become a standard approach for modern plant breeders interested in enhancing the efficiency of identifying and introducing desirable traits into a specific genetic background. A genetic map based upon molecular markers provides a framework to locating key genes and proteins through estimates of linkage and recombination. In addition, molecular markers are valuable tools for analysis of polyploid species, and have resulted in an increased understanding of the evolution and genetics of polyploids. The goals of this project are 1) to establish a mapping population in switchgrass that exhibits variation in quantitative traits; 2) to develop RFLP and microsatellite genetic markers that can potentially be used to map QTL associated with increased productivity in switchgrass; and 3) to establish linkage relationships and ploidy type in tetraploid switchgrass.
Lee Gunter (PI), Jerry Tuskan, and Stan Wullschleger,ORNL; Joe Bouton, University of Georgia
Improving the Productivity and Sustainability of the Bioenergy Crop Switchgrass
This project is part of the larger Biofuels Feedstock Development Program, which is a mission-oriented program of research and analysis whose goal is to develop and demonstrate environmentally acceptable crops and cropping systems for producing large quantities of low-cost, high-quality biomass feedstocks. Part of the research focuses on assessing genetic variability of switchgrass cultivars and plantings over space and time using DNA fingerprinting techniques.
Stan Wullschleger (PI), Lee Gunter and Jerry Tuskan, ORNL.
Molecular Mechanisms of Reproduction and Wood Formation in Willow
The overall objective of the proposed research is to increase molecular access to genetic loci involved in sexual differentiation and in aberrant wood formation in willow. The long-term goal of this type of research is to support the development of bioenergy production systems by providing a more fundamental understanding of sexual differentiation and secondary growth mechanisms that can potentially be manipulated to enhance productivity of willow as a bioenergy feedstock. The primary objectives of the research are to determine 1) the genetic control of gender in basket willow and 2) the genetic control of spiral growth form in corkscrew willow.
Jerry Tuskan (PI) and Lee Gunter, ORNL; Richard Kopp, SUNY
Selected Publications [ Top ]
- Gunter, L.E., A.S. Black, S. Ratnayeke, G.A. Tuskan and S.D. Wullschleger. Assessment of genetic variation among 'Alamo' switchgrass seed sources using RAPD markers (in prep.).
- Gunter, L.E., G.T. Roberts, K. Lee, F.W. Larimer, and G.A Tuskan. SCAR Markers linked to sex determination in basket willow (Salix viminalis L.) (in prep.).
- Reed, R.A., W.H. Romme, G.A. Tuskan, L.E. Gunter, and M.G. Turner. Root morphology and clonal structure in post-fire aspen seedling populations on the Yellowstone plateau. Ecology (in review).
- McKnight, T.E., D.E. Holcomb, A.L. Creekmore, L.E. Gunter, A.D. McMillan, J.K. Munro, Jr. and G.D. Griffin. Enhanced electroporation-mediated gene delivery using alpha-radiation induced modification of the cellular membrane. Biotechniques (in review).
- Gunter, L.E., R.J. Norby, C.A. Gunderson and G.A Tuskan. 2000. Genetic variation and spatial structure in sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) and implications for predicted global-scale environmental change. Global Change Biology 6 (3): 335-344.
- Stevens, M.T., M.G. Turner, G.A. Tuskan, W.H. Romme, L.E. Gunter, and D.M. Waller. 1999. Genetic variation in postfire aspen seedlings in Yellowstone National Park. Molecular Ecology 8:1769-1780.
- Gunter, Lee, Jerry Tuskan, and Stan Wullschleger. 1996. Switchgrass molecular markers research. Energy Crops Forum. Summer 1996.
- Gunter, L.E., G.A Tuskan, and S.D. Wullschleger. 1996. Diversity among populations of switchgrass on randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers. Crop Science 36:1017-1022.
- Gunter, L.E., G. Kochert, and D.E. Giannasi. 1994. Phylogenetic relationships of the Juglandaceae. Plant Systematics and Evolution 192:11-29.
- Feng, Y., L.E. Gunter, E.L. Organ, and D.R. Cavener. 1991. Translation initiation in Drosophila melanogaster is reduced upstream of the AUG initiator codon. Molecular and Cellular Biology 11(4):2149-2153.
Presentations and Proceedings
- Gunter, L.E., G.A. Tuskan, and S.D. Wullschleger. Assessment of genetic variation at the DNA level among 'Alamo' seed sources. 1999. Crop Science Society of America 1999 Annual Meeting Abstracts. Salt Lake City, UT, October 31-November 4, 1999. p. 155.
- Gunter, L.E., A.S. Black, S. Ratnayeke, G.A. Tuskan and S.D. Wullschleger. Assessment of genetic variation among 'Alamo' switchgrass seed sources using RAPD markers-an update. BFDP Contractor's Workshop, Alexandria, MN, October 12-15, 1999.
- Gunter, L.E. Marker based analysis of plant populations: Applications to biomass feedstock. ESD Advisory Committee, Oak Ridge, TN, June 14-17, 1999.
- Gunter, L.E., G.A. Tuskan and S.D. Wullschleger. Assessment of genetic variation at the DNA level among 'Alamo' seed sources. Office of Fuels Development Meeting, Oak Ridge, TN, December 8-9, 1998.
- Gunter, L.E., G.T. Roberts, K.-L. Lee, and G.A. Tuskan. 1998. RAPD and SCAR markers linked to femaleness in Salix viminalis L. Frontiers of Forest Biology: 1998 Joint Meeting of the North American Biology Workshop (NAFB) and Western Forest Genetics Association (WFGA) Program and Abstracts, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, June 21-26, 1998. Abstract ID: 51.
- Gunter, L.E., G.A. Tuskan and S.D. Wullschleger. Assessment of genetic variation at the DNA level among 'Alamo' seed sources. BFDP Herbaceous Energy Crops Workshop, Atlanta, GA, August 31, 1998.
- Gunter, L.E., G.T. Roberts, K.-L. Lee, F.W. Larimer and G.A. Tuskan. 1998. RAPD and SCAR markers linked to femaleness in Salix viminalis L. Plant and Animal Genome VI: Program and Abstracts, San Diego, CA, January 18-22, 1998. p. 170.
- Gunter, L.E., S.D. Wullschleger, G.A. Tuskan, C.M Taliaferro and A.A. Hopkins. 1996. Characterization of switchgrass accessions using RAPD markers and morphological descriptor data. Crop Science Society of America 1996 Annual Meeting Abstracts, Indianapolis, IN, November 3-8, 1996. p. 176.
- Gunter, L.E., R.J. Norby and G.A. Tuskan. 1996. Temperature adjustments in sugar maple: Genetic characterization of populations from 3 geographic seed sources. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 1996 Annual Meeting Abstracts, Part 2. Providence, RI, August 10-14, 1996. p. 175.
- Gunter, L.E., G.A. Tuskan and S.D. Wullschleger. 1995. Quantification of genetic variability in switchgrass populations using RAPD markers. Crop Science Society of America 1995 Annual Meeting Abstracts, St. Louis, MO, October 29-November 3, 1995. p. 183.
- Gunter, L.E., G. Kochert, and D.E. Giannasi. 1994. Phylogenetic Relationships of the Walnut Family. Forest biodiversity in a changing environment: North American Forest Biology Workshop Abstracts, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, June 14-16, 1994. p. 34.
- S.D. Wullschleger, L.E. Gunter, D.P. Biradar, and G.A. Tuskan. Genetic diversity among lowland and upland ecotypes of the herbaceous energy crop switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.). Biofuels Feedstock Development Program Workshop, State University of New York-Syracuse, Syracuse, NY, October 18-20, 1994.
Research Links [ Top ]
ESD Plant Genomics Group