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Research Profile - Dr. Robert Brueggeman

For every question we answer, as scientists, there are ten more questions that arise from the knowledge that we gained……it is what keeps science continually captivating.”

Name: Robert Brueggeman
Department: Plant Pathology
Campus Location: Walster 353

View full research profile in pdf

The Researcher

Bob Brueggeman grew up on a small farm in Eastern Washington.  He received his BS degree in genetics and cell biology from Washington State University (WSU) in 1997, and while an undergraduate, he began working in the barley genetics lab of Dr. Andris Kleinhofs.  He went on to get his MS and PhD degrees in crop science at WSU, working on barley disease resistance genes.  He met his wife when both were graduate students at WSU.  He started as the barley pathologist at NDSU in January 2010.  He and his wife enjoy raising their four boys on a small farm in rural Minnesota.

The Research

Brueggeman’s research goal is to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying barley-fungal pathogen interactions.  The molecular tools he develops are used in marker assisted and genomic selection strategies, tools that will aid the NDSU barley breeding program’s pursuit of genetic resistance to a range of diseases, including a new race (commonly called Ug99) of the stem rust pathogen of barley and of wheat, a major disease threat to world food security.   His lab is equipped with advanced DNA sequencing technology that allows large genomics screening projects in both barley and the fungal pathogens. 

Why it Matters

The discovery and deployment of durable and effective genetic resistance in barley against major fungal diseases will help ensure that barley remains a viable crop in the region, and the understandings of resistance mechanisms in barley can be applied to other major crops, especially wheat. The information and technologies developed in Brueggeman’s lab ultimately will give producers more options and production stability.

Research Honor

In 2013, Brueggeman received a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Grant to assist his research on the barley–UG99 stem rust pathosystem.  This NSF-CAREER award is the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious award in support of junior faculty in the US. 

Student Engagement

Brueggeman currently has three graduate students and three undergraduates working in his lab on a variety of projects, including allele analysis of genes required for certain types of stem rust resistance, and host resistance to spot form of net blotch barley leaf disease.  He also teaches a graduate level course in host-parasite genetics.  His interaction with students is important to him as he believes in “laying down the foundation for the next generation of scientists.”

Contact Information

Robert S. Brueggeman
Assistant Professor, Barley Pathologist
North Dakota State University
Department of Plant Pathology
Phone: 701-231-7078

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