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Research Project: Enhancing Resistance to Diseases and Abiotic Stresses in Alfalfa

Location: Plant Germplasm Introduction and Testing Research

Title: Mark E. Sorrells: Plant breeder, geneticist, innovator, mentor

Author
item GUL, ALVINA - Cornell University - New York
item DIEPENBOCK, CHRISTINE - Cornell University - New York
item MUNKVOLD, JESSE - Dow Agro Sciences
item PATERSON, ANDREW - University Of Georgia
item Kucek, Lisa
item SOUZE, EDWARD - Bayer Crop Sciences, Germany
item LA ROTA, MAURICIO - Dupont Nutrition & Health
item Yu, Long-Xi

Submitted to: Plant Breeding Reviews
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/22/2018
Publication Date: 1/3/2019
Citation: Gul, A., Diepenbock, C., Munkvold, J., Paterson, A., Kucek, L.K., Souze, E., La Rota, M., Yu, L. 2019. Mark E. Sorrells: Plant breeder, geneticist, innovator, mentor. In: Goldman, I., editor. Plant Breeding Reviews, Volume 42. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 1-38. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119521358.ch1.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119521358.ch1

Interpretive Summary: Dr. Sorrells served as Chair of the Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics from 2006 to 2014. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (since 1998), the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) (1993), the American Society of Agronomy (2003), and the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future (2014). Additionally, he was named Outstanding Alumnus by the SIU College of Agriculture in 1997 and recognized by the Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences for Outstanding Accomplishments in Applied Research in 2012. In 2015, he received the State University of New York Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service. He won the CSSA Outstanding Research Award in 2016. Recently, he was identified by Thomson Reuters as one of the world's most influential scientific minds, based on literature citations over the past 11'years. He has had the honor of serving in various capacities for numerous college, national, and international organizations, including the editorial boards of Crop Science, Theoretical and Applied Genetics, Genome, the Australian Journal of Agricultural Science, and The Plant Genome. As of 2017, Dr. Sorrells has published more than 270 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals and given 254 presentations at national and international venues. As an example of the breadth of his invited talks, during 2015 alone, he gave 13 presentations in the U.S., India, Thailand, France, Poland, Germany, and Australia.

Technical Abstract: Mark E. Sorrells is a plant breeder, geneticist, mentor, and professor who has dedicated more than 40'years to the field. Mark's major contributions have been in the development of breeding methodologies for wheat improvement, including the use of a dominant male-sterile gene, marker development, genomic selection theory, and application in small grains and variety development. He has also been very engaged in graduate student education. The success of his students in both academia and industry reflects his ability as an instructor and mentor, which is perhaps his biggest contribution to plant breeding. Mark always provides outstanding scientific training, and continually emphasizes the value of excellence in the research process, the value of hard work, and the importance of an open mind to new technologies. One of the most remarkable of his skills is the ability to combine plant breeding theory and practice. His work has focused mainly on wheat, but he has also published on maize, rice, oat, barley, tef, and sugarcane, which has given him a wide perspective. These assets have contributed to a career marked by more than 270 scientific papers, many national and international collaborations and conferences, and outstanding student training and mentoring. As his colleagues and former students, we dedicate this chapter to Mark's outstanding career in plant breeding and genetics, his leadership, and his positive influence on students and colleagues over the years.