WCR welcomes molecular genetics and genomics leader

Patricia Klein joins WCR

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World Coffee Research is pleased to announce the appointment of Patricia Klein, Ph.D., to the position of molecular biologist in coffee genetic diversity and genomic selection. Dr. Klein is an Associate Professor and the Associate Head for Graduate Programs in the Department of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M University.

"We are extremely proud to welcome Dr. Trish Klein to our coffee breeding team as molecular geneticist," says World Coffee Research executive director Tim Schilling. "With her skill set and experience, WCR is uniquely positioned to make greater and more rapid progress at developing the next-generation of high-quality, rust-resistant coffee varieties for producers."

Dr. Klein’s research focuses on developing the genomic tools and resources in crops to enable map base cloning of economically important genes, to understand the underlying mechanisms that plants use to withstand stress (both biotic and abiotic) and quality. For World Coffee Research, Dr. Klein will supervise an innovative program in genetic diversity, molecular breeding, and genomic selection for coffee. She will lead the development of WCR's molecular genetics and genomics program, which will allow us to connect the molecular traits of green coffee with genetic precursors. This will substantially aid our efforts to breed improved coffee varieties that will meet the needs of the 21st century. She will work collaboratively with the WCR breeding team to develop genomic selection modelling related to growth, productivity, rust resistance and quality.

In 2012, Dr. Klein was awarded the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean’s Outstanding Achievement Award for excellence as a member of the Sorghum Bioenergy Breeding and Genomics Interdisciplinary Research Team. She received her B.S. in Horticulture from Texas A&M University in 1982. She received an M.S. in Crop Science from Texas Tech University in 1985 and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Texas A&M University in 1989. She joined the faculty of the Department of Horticultural Sciences in 2002. Dr. Klein is also a member of the Interdepartmental Molecular and Environmental Plant Sciences program, a member of the Plant Breeding program and a member of the Institute for Plant Genomics and Biotechnology.