Assistant Member and Principal Investigator
Christopher Topp is an Assistant Investigator at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (since 2013), a non-profit plant science research institute. For more than fifteen years, Dr. Topp has studied fundamental processes, both small and large, that drive the growth and productivity of crop plants. Originally trained as a centromere biologist at the University of Georgia (PhD; 2003-2009), he studied the biochemistry and evolution of cell division machinery in maize and oats. As a USDA-NIFA postdoctoral scholar (2011-2013) at Duke University (2009-2013), he led a team of engineers, computer scientists, and biologists in the development of a 3D root imaging and analysis pipeline, which was used to map regions of the rice genome controlling root growth. His current research focuses on subterranean phenotyping in multiple crop species, as well as identifying the environmental and genetic factors that condition their growth. By integrating these efforts with natural variation and modern genomics, he aims to contribute to the development of new crop varieties with root systems capable of drought tolerance and efficient nutrient uptake. His team at the Danforth Center continues to develop technologies and infrastructure that enable the analysis of the ‘hidden half’ of plants.
Current N-related Projects:
- An integrated phenomics approach to identifying the genetic basis for maize root structure and control of plant nutrient relations | National Science Foundation Award number: (PGRP) IOS-1638507
See Google Scholar link above.