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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Daniel Z. Skinner
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1 - Curriculum Vitae
2 - Publications
Curriculum Vitae

Research Specialty and Interests




•Wheat gene expression dynamics in Response to cold temperature

•Physiological Response of Wheat During the Freezing Process

•Inheritance of Freezing Stress Tolerance

•Developing Winter Hardy Wheat Germplasm


Each year, about 10% of the fields planted to winter wheat in the US are not harvested because the plants fail to survive the winter. We investigate the response of wheat plants to all phases of the freezing process, from cold-acclimation at low, above-freezing temperatures, to tolerance of deep freezing. We have found that plants adjust to each part of the freezing process; a one-degree difference may make the difference between life and death. We identify genes involved in this freezing tolerance, and then find plants that express these genes very well, resulting in wheat germplasm with improved freezing tolerance.


Ph.D., Kansas State University, Plant Pathology, 1987

M.S., Kansas State University, Plant Pathology, 1984

B.A., Biology-Botany, St. Cloud State University, 1978


Professional Experience:

2001 to present: Agricultural Research Service (ARS) – Research Geneticist and Research Leader, Wheat Genetics: Quality Physiology and Disease Research Unit, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington

1990-2001: Research Geneticist, USDA-ARS and Agronomy Department, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

1987-1990: Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Plant Pathology


Current Research Assignment:

Genetic Improvement of Freezing Tolerance in Winter Wheat



Freidrich Competitive Scholarship, St. Cloud State University, 1977

Member Phi Kappa Phi -1976

Member Gamma Sigma Delta - 1990

Outstanding Paper Award, Crop Science Society of America, 1999.

Best Research Paper of the year, Weed Science Society of America, 2005.

USDA-ARS Award for outstanding service to the agency, 2007


Grants received:

·         Development of novel crop varieties to battle wind and water erosion in the Palouse. S. Hulbert, D. Skinner, K. McPhee, H. Kok, R.C. Johnson, K.Garland-Campbell. Washington State University Ag. Research Center. 2007. $19,000 total (6 mos.).

·         Characterization of a potential bi-directional promoter region between a stress-responsive gene and a signal transduction gene in wheat. 2006. D. Z. Skinner. USDA Postdoctoral Research Associate Program. $100,000 total (2 years).

·         Enhancing Beta-carotene production in the red rice fungus. 2001. D. Z. Skinner. USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. $45,000 total (3 years).

·         Pigweed (Amaranthus spp.) identification, hybridization and introgression. M. J. Horak, D. Z. Skinner and P. Kulakow. 1997.  National Research Initiatives, US Dept. Agriculture. $120,000 total (2 years).

·         Development of an alfalfa genome database.  D. Z. Skinner. 1994. Plant Genome Project-USDA. $30,000 total (3 years).

·         Cytogenetic approaches to food animal gene mapping.  D. L. Troyer and D. Z. Skinner. 1992. National Research Initiatives. $219,000 total (2 years).

·         Risk of transgenic alfalfa dissemination during seed production. D. Z. Skinner. 1993. $48,000 total (1 year) USDA Postdoctoral Research Associate Program.

·         Risk of transgenic alfalfa dissemination during seed production.  D. Z. Skinner and R. N. Peaden. 1994. $72,000 total (2 year).  USDA and CSREES Biotechnology Risk Assessment Program.

·         Biolistic gametophyte transformation of alfalfa. D. Z. Skinner and G. H. Liang.  1993.  National Research Initiatives, US Dept. Agriculture.  $50,000 total (1 year).

·         Alfalfa Research In Kansas.  J. O. Fritz, D. Z. Skinner and R. C. Cochrane.  1992.  $480,000 total (4 years).  USDA Special Grants Program.

·         Genetic distances in the alfalfa core collection. D. Z. Skinner.  Alfalfa Crop Germplasm Committee. 1997. $10,000.


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Last Modified: 4/8/2013
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