Dr. Trigiano

I came to the University of Tennessee as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. In that capacity, I worked on non-zygotic embryogenesis of orchardgrass, a forage grass. At the time, most grass species could not be regenerated in tissue culture, but along with colleagues, we perfected the non-zygotic embryogenic system from leaves. I joined the Department of Ornamental Horticulture in 1987 and worked on dogwoods, redbuds, chrysanthemums, and other plant species as well as dogwood pathogens. I worked on these projects until I joined The Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology in 2001. Currently, I am a UTIA Institute Professor and a UTK Chancellor’s Professor working on genomics, population genetics, propagation of endangered plants, diseases of ornamentals, and molecular marker systems for various plants and pathogens. I am also the Associate Director of the Weed Diagnostic Center and the Editor-in-Chief of Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences.

Research Focus

Our research focuses on several projects including the following: Haplotyping Cornus species and Redbud (Cercis canadensis); Genetics of powdery mildew resistance/susceptibility in Cornus species; Genetics of color expression in Cornus florida and C. kousa; Development of propagation systems for endangered plants (Whorled sunflower and Ruth’s Golden Aster); Breeding and pollinator biology of various ornamental plants; Development of molecular markers to assess genetic diversity and populations of various plants and pathogens; and diseases of ornamental plants.

Robert N. Trigiano

Chancellor’s Professor
EPP main office (865) 974-7135
fax (865) 974-4744

374 Plant Biotechnology Building
2505 EJ Chapman Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996-4560

B.S., Biology and Chemistry (Program of Emphasis), Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA (1975)
M.S. Biology (Mycology), The Pennsylvania State University (1977)
Ph.D. Botany and Plant Pathology (Dual Majors), North Carolina State University (1983)

professional appointment
96% Research, 4% Teaching

Graduate program concentrations
Sustainable Disease and Integrated Pest Management Systems

Areas of expertise
Mycology including Oomycetes, Ornamental Biotechnology and Plant Pathology, Molecular Markers of Plants and Pathogens, Biotechnology of Plants

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Current lab members

  • Ms. Sarah L. Boggess MS: Research/Lab Coordinator
  • Dr. Marcin Nowicki: Research Assisstant Professor
  • Ms. Michelle Odoi MS: Ph.D. Student
  • Ms. Zaklina Pavlovic MS: Ph.D. Student

Selected Publications

Dominguez McLaughlin, H., C. Lawton, D Hadziabdic-Guerry, S. Boggess, M. Ony, and R. N. Trigiano.  A genetic analysis of grey squirrel (Sciturus carolinensis) populations in Ireland. Biol. Invasions (Accepted with revisions).

Moore, P.A., W. E. Klingeman, P.A. Wadl, R. N. Trigiano, and J. A. Skinner.  2021. Seed production and floral visitors to Pityopsis ruthii (Asteraceae: Asterales), an endangered aster native to the Southern Appalachians.  Kansas Ento. J. (Accepted with Revisions).

Ony, M., W. Klingeman, J. Zobel, R. Trigiano, M. Ginzel, M. Nowicki, S. Boggess, S. Everhart, and D. Hadziabdic. 2021. Patterns of genetic diversity in North America reveal an ancient 4 population bottleneck with spatial structure originating after the last glacial maximum. Sci. Rpts. (In Press).

Elmore, M.T., K.H. Diehl, R. Di, J.Chen, D. P. Tuck, S.L. Boggess, R.N. Trigiano, J.T. Brosnan, and S. McDonald. 2021. Identification of two goosegrass (Eleusine indica L.) biotypes of cool-season turfgrass resistant to dithiopyr. Pest Manage. Sci. http://doi.org/10.1002/ps.6654

Trigiano, R.N., S. L. Boggess, C.R. Wyman, D. Hadziabdic and S. B. Wilson. 2021.  Propagation methods for the conservation and preservation of the endangered whorled sunflower (Helianthus verticillatus). Plants 10, 1565. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10081565

LaForest, M., B. Soufiane, E. L. Patterson, J.J. Vargas, S. L. Boggess, L. C. Houston, R. N. Trigiano, and J. T.  Brosnan. 2021. Differential Expression of genes associated with non-target site resistance in Poa annua with target site resistance to acetolactate synthase inhibitors. Pest Manage. Sci. 77(11):4993-5000. https://doi.org/10.1002/ps.6541

**Nowicki, M., **D. Hadziabdic-Guerry, **R. N. Trigiano, S. L. Boggess, L. Kanetis, P. A. Wadl, P.S. Ojiambo, M. A. Cubeta, O. Spring, M. Thines, F. Runge and B.E. Scheffler. 2021.‘Jumping Jack’: Genomic microsatellites underscore the distinctiveness of closely related Psuedoperonospora cubensis and P. humuli and provide new insights into their evolutionary past. Front. Microbiol. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2021.686759

**Nowicki, M., **D. Hadziabdic-Guerry, **R. N. Trigiano,  F. Runge, M. Thines, S. L. Boggess, J. Ristaino, and O. Spring. 2021. Microsatellite markers from Peronospora tabacina, the cause of blue mold of tobacco, reveal species origin, population strucuture and high gene flow. Phytopathology https://doi.org/10.1094/PHYTO-03-21-0092-R

Sapkota S., S. L. Boggess, R.N. Trigiano, W. E. Klingeman, D. Hadziabdic, D.R. Coyle, B.A. Olukolu, R. D. Kuster, and M. Nowicki. 2021. Microsatellite loci reveal genetic diversity of Asian Callary pear (Pyrus calleryana) in the species native range and in the North American cultivars. Life. (Accepted).

Stackhouse, T., S. L. Boggess, D. Hadziabdic, R. N. Trigiano, M. Ginzel, and W. Klingeman. 2021. Conventional gel electrophoresis and TaqMan probes enable rapid confirmation of thousand cankers disease from diagnostic samples.  Plant Dis. (In Press). https://apsjournals.apsnet.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1094/PDIS-10-20-2258-RE

Wong W. C., H. J. Tung, M. N. Fadhilah, F. Midot, S. Y. L. Lau, L. Melling, S. Astari, Đ. Hadziabdic, R. N. Trigiano, K. J. Goh and Y. K. Goh. 2021. Genetic diversity and gene flow amongst admixed populations of Ganoderma boninense in Sarawak (Malaysia), Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra (Indonesia).  Mycologia https://doi.org/10.1080/00275514.2021.1884815

Hamm, T.P., M. Nowicki, S. L. Boggess, W. E. Klingeman, D. Hadziabdic, M. L. Huff, M. E. Staton, and R. N. Trigiano* 2021. Development and characterization of 15 novel genomic SSRs for Viburnum farreri.  Plants https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10030487.

Carroll, D.E., J. T. Brosnan, R. N. Trigiano, B.J. Horvath, A. Shekoofa, and T.C. Mueller. 2021. A continuum of perennation in Poa annua L. Crop Sci.  61:1527-1537. https://doi.org/10.1002/csc2.20441

For complete list of publications please visit my