Dr. Rowland has been a Research Geneticist with the Genetic Improvement of Fruits and Vegetables Lab (formerly the Fruit Lab and the Vegetable Lab) since 1990. Currently, her work focuses on molecular genetics and genomics of blueberry, with special emphasis on (1) transcriptome sequencing and development of molecular markers such as SSRs and EST-PCRs from transcript sequences, (2) use of molecular markers in construction of genetic linkage maps and identification of markers linked to horticulturally important traits in cultivated highbush blueberry and in genetic diversity studies on wild lowbush blueberry, and (3) gene expression studies to identify genes involved in dormancy induction and release by chill unit accumulation, in development of cold hardiness, and in fruit quality determination. She is also involved in evaluating blueberry germplasm for mid-winter cold tolerance and spring frost tolerance for use in the breeding program.
Dr. Rowland got her undergraduate degree in Biology from Georgia State University. Her graduate work was performed at the University of Georgia, where she obtained a Ph.D. in Genetics. Dr. Rowland is currently the Project Director of an international, multi-institutional Specialty Crop Research Initiative grant entitled “Generating Genomic Tools for Blueberry Improvement.” She also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Maine. Dr. Rowland’s research achievements are well documented in over 80 research papers and book chapters.
Developing molecular markers for mapping and DNA fingerprinting in blueberry
Identifying quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with cold hardiness and chilling requirement in blueberry
Determining the genetic basis for mid-winter cold hardiness and genetic variability for spring frost tolerance in blueberry
Developing EST library for blueberry and using microarrays to identify cold-responsive genes