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Mark E. Sorrells, M.E. Sorrells

Mark E. Sorrells, M.E. Sorrells

Fellow Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future; Fellow Cornell Institute for Food Systems

413 Bradfield
(607) 255-1665

The Cornell Small Grains Project has a history of over 100 years of developing innovative approaches to crop improvement. Our research program utilizes appropriate technologies encompassing molecular genetics, physiology, pathology, and breeding to research strategies that contribute to the development of superior crop varieties for both conventional and organic cropping systems.

Research Focus

Our research program utilizes appropriate technologies encompassing molecular genetics, physiology, pathology, and breeding to research strategies that contribute to the development of superior crop varieties. We collaborate with plant breeders and geneticists around the world including international centers on projects that involve the use of molecular markers to assess genetic relationship, construct linkage maps, and clone genes. The focus of our basic work involves comparative genomics, association mapping, allele characterization and particularly genomic selection methods. Characterization of allelic diversity and allelic value in both wild and cultivated germplasm is fundamental to crop improvement and efficient strategies are a major focus. Current research projects include mapping, cloning and characterization of candidate genes underlying QTL for preharvest sprouting resistance, milling and baking quality, kernel size and shape, mapping novel stem rust resistance genes, and nutritional quality. We also recently completed a large project on evaluating ancient and specialty grains.

Outreach and Extension Focus

We deliver information on performance of small grains varieties to the public through field days, extension publications, workshops, and web sites.

Teaching Focus

Plant Breeding Laboratory

PLBR4060

Plant Breeding Methods and Strategies

PLBR7160 Perspectives in Plant Breeding Strategies

The objectives of my courses are to: i) stimulate original thought, ii) teach critical thinking and writing, iii) expose students to decisions and problems encountered in plant breeding research programs, and iv) bring together plant breeding methods and principles to form logical, innovative crop improvement programs.

Awards and Honors

  • Outstanding Research Award (2016) Crop Science Society of America
  • Elected Board Representative Board Representative, Crop Science Society of America C1 Crop Breeding and Genetics (2019) Crop Science Society of America
  • Board Representative of C7 Genomics, Molecular Genetics, and Biotechnology (2015) Crop Science Society of America
  • Outstanding Accomplishments in Applied Research (2013) Cornell College Of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Fellow American Society of Agronomy (2003) American Society of Agronomy

Selected Publications

Journal Publications

Presentations and Activities

  • Genomic Selection in Plants: Empirical Results and Implications for Plant Breeding. Chungbuk University. October 2012. Chungbuk University. Chungbuk, South Korea.
  • Genomic Selection in Plants: Empirical Results and Implications for Plant Breeding. RDA Suwon University. October 2012. Suwon University. Suwon, South Korea .
  • Genomic Selection in Plants: Empirical Results and Implications for Plant Breeding. International Plant Molecular Biology Congress. October 2012. International Plant Molecular Biology Congress. Jeju, South Korea.
  • Genomic Selection in Plants: Empirical Results and Implications for Plant Breeding. National Agriculture Research Organization Meeting. August 2012. National Agriculture Research Organization. Tsukuba, Japan.
  • Genomic Selection in Plants: Empirical Results and Implications for Plant Breeding. International Crop Science Congress. August 2012. International Crop Science Congress, . Bento Gonçalves, Brazil.
  • Genomic Selection in Plants: Empirical Results and Implications for Plant Breeding. National Alfalfa Conference. July 2012. National Alfalfa Conference. Ithaca, NY.
  • Genomic selection – a step change in plant breeding. IBERS Plant Breeding Symposium. July 2012. IBERS. Aberystwyth, Wales .
  • Genomic Selection in Plants: Empirical Results and Implications for Plant Breeding. UC Davis/Pioneer Symposium. April 2012. University of California - Davis, CA. University of California - Davis, CA.
  • Association Breeding Strategies: Empirical Results and Implications for Germplasm Development. IPK seminar. March 2012. Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research . Gatersleben, Germany.
  • Genomic Selection in Plants: Empirical Results and Implications for Wheat and Barley Breeding Programs. University of Guelph seminar. March 2012. University of Guelph. Guelph, Canada.