Profile – Steve Moose

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Steve Moose

Job Title:



Phone Number:

(217) 244-6308


I was raised on a small farm in Ohio where one of my regular chores was cleaning barns and spreading manure, so I have had a long-standing interesting in reducing nitrogen inputs to agriculture. I earned my B.S. degree in Biology from Case Western Reserve University and Ph.D. in Genetics and Crop Science at North Carolina State University. My dissertation research focused on regulatory genes controlling vegetative phase change in maize. Following a postdoc at the University of California-San Diego on transcription factors controlling seed storage proteins in maize, I spent two-plus years at Dekalb Genetics then Monsanto company leading a group in the genetic improvement of amino acid balance in maize grain. I joined the faculty at the University of Illinois in 1999, and have established a functional genomics program aimed at understanding regulatory variation controlling traits important to productivity of maize and related bioenergy grasses. A major focus is nitrogen utilization, where my group has discovered a number of important genetic variants that influence this trait.

Research Areas:

  • Regulatory variation
  • Genetic improvement

Current N-related Projects:

  • Maize NitroGenes discovery program


Ramachandran, D., Moose, S.P., Low, K., Arp, J., Parsons, C.M., Singh, V. (2017) Ethanol yields and elevated amino acids in distillers dried grains with solubles from maize grain with higher concentrations of essential amino acids. Industrial Crops and Products 103: 244-250. .

Ayodeji, A., Adetimirin, V.O., Menkir, A., Moose, S.P., and Olaniyan, A.B. (2013) Performance of tropical maize hybrids under conditions of low and optimum levels of nitrogen fertilizer application – grain yield, biomass production, and nitrogen accumulation. Maydica 58: 141-150.

Ayodeji, A., Menkir, A., Moose, S.P., Adetimirin, V., Olaniyan, A. (2013) Genetic variation for nitrogen use efficiency among a selection of tropical maize hybrids differing in grain yield. Journal of Crop Improvement 27: 31-52

Lucas, C.J., Zhao, H., Schneerman, M. and Moose, S.P. (2012) Genomic changes in response to 110 cycles of selection for seed protein and oil concentration in maize. Book chapter in Seed Genomics. P. Becraft ed., Wiley.

Barber, W.T., Zhang, W., Win, H., Varala, K.K., Dorweiler, J.E., Hudson, M.E. and Moose, S.P. (2012) Repeat associated small RNAs vary among parents and following hybridization in maize. Proceedings National Academy of Sciences (USA) 109: 10444-10449.

Moose, S.P. and Mumm, R.H. (2008) Molecular breeding as the foundation for 21st century plant improvement. Plant Physiology 147: 969-977.

Moose, S.P. and F. E. Below (2008) Biotechnology approaches to improving maize nitrogen use efficiency, book chapter in Molecular Genetic Approaches to Maize Improvement, A.L. Kriz and B. A. Larkins (eds.) Springer-Verlag

Uribelarrea, M., Moose, S.P., and Below, F.E. (2007) Divergent selection for grain protein affects nitrogen use efficiency in maize hybrids. Field Crops Res. 100: 82-90.

Seebauer, J., Moose, S.P., Fabbri, B., Crossland, L. and Below, F.E. (2004) Amino acid metabolism in young maize earshoots: implications for assimilate movement and nitrogen signaling. Plant Physiol. 136: 4326-4334

Vicente-Carbajosa, J., Moose, S. P., Parson, R.L., and R. J. Schmidt (1997). A maize zinc-finger protein binds the prolamin box in zein gene promoters and interacts with the basic leucine zipper transcriptional activator Opaque2. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 94: 7685-7690.