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Dr. Stacy Bonos


Dr. Stacy Bonos is a member of the Department of Plant Biology, with responsibilities in research, teaching and extension. She currently serves on the Executive Committee for the department where she represents the Plant Breeding and Genetics Focus Area. She teaches Plant Breeding, Advanced Plant Genetics, Core Seminar in Plant Breeding and Genomics and Plants for Bioenergy. She teaches in both the Undergraduate and Graduate Programs in Plant Biology. Dr. Bonos' main research interests fall within the discipline of Plant Breeding of perennial grasses. Major research interests in the laboratory focus on developing improved disease resistant and stress tolerant turfgrass for amenity and resource conservation use and switchgrass for bioenergy.

  • Turfgrass: My main turfgrass research objectives include developing improved, pest resistant and stress tolerant turfgrasses that can be utilized for resource conservation and environmental enhancement in the Northeast and throughout the world where cool-season turfgrasses are grown. The development of improved, genetically stress tolerant turfgrasses is important to the advancement of golf course, athletic field, and landscape management, and will greatly benefit the environment and the public at large. My research program focuses on integrating classical genetics and genomics-based marker assisted breeding into a historically conventional field-based turfgrass breeding program. We have specific research projects on breeding for disease resistance, salt tolerance and low maintenance in numerous turfgrass species. We are currently working with 11 different cool-season turfgrass species.
  • Switchgrass: In addition to the turfgrass breeding program we are also breeding switchgrass for improved biomass yield and ornamental characteristics. Switchgrass, a native C4 prairie grass, has been identified as a potential bioenergy crop by the U.S. Department of Energy. We are developing high yielding, better performing cultivars of switchgrass adapted to the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic US that can be utilized for biofuel production on marginal land and also exhibit drought tolerance, lodging tolerance, disease resistance and increased seed yield. We also have research projects incorporating molecular techniques into the switchgrass breeding program to increase breeding efficiency and speed the development of new cultivars with the above mentioned traits. These high biomass grasses could be utilized as a renewable energy source for the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic US to help reduce reliance on fossil fuels and reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

Title and Address:
Department of Plant Biology
School of Environmental and Biological Sciences
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Primary Focus Area: Plant Breeding and Genetics