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Meg Staton

Associate Professor



I am developing genetic and genomic tools for a variety of important North American hardwood tree species.  These resources enable elucidation of the molecular basis of tree response to stresses including heat, drought, ozone, and introduced pests and pathogens.  Specifically I am interested in American chestnut, black walnut and oak species, all of which have critical diseases with major economic and ecological implications. 
I am also interested in the public dissemination of research data through online knowledge databases, particularly in increasing communication from scientists to the general public.  I developed and host a public website that provides open access for scientific researchers for hardwood tree data, such as genome sequences, differential gene expression profiles, DNA markers, QTL maps and physical maps (  Through the integration of outreach activities and newsletters, the site also provides a critical information source for the public about ongoing tree threats and publicly funded initiatives to understand and combat these threats.


  • PhD. Clemson University, Major: Environmental Science with Minor in Genetics
  • B.S. Clemson University Major: Computer Science


Staton M*, Best T, Khodewkar S, Owusu S, Xu T, Yu Y, Jennings T, Cronn R, Arumuganathan AK, Coggeshall M, Gailing O, Liang H, Romero-Severson J, Schlarbaum S, Carlson JE. “Genomic characterization of ten hardwood tree species from multiplexed low coverage whole genome sequencing” PLOS One 10(12):e0145031. 

Staton M*, Zhebentyayeva T, Olukolu B, Fang GC, Nelson D, Carlson JE, Abbott A. (2015) Substantial genome synteny preservation among woody angiosperm species: comparative genomics of Chinese chestnut (Castanea mollissima) and plant reference genomes. BMC Genomics 16:744. 

* corresponding author

Rambani A, Rice JH, Liu J, Lane T, Ranjan P, Mazarei M, Pantalone V, Stewart CN, Staton M, Hewezi T. (2015) The Methylome of Soybean Roots during the Compatible Interaction with the Soybean Cyst Nematode. Plant Physiology. 168(4):1364-1377.

Zhang X, Carlson A, Tian Z, Staton M, Schlarbaum SE, Carlson JE, Liang H (2015) Genetic characterization of Liriodendron seed orchards with EST-SSR markers.  Journal of Plant Science & Molecular Breeding. 4 (1), doi:  10.7243/2050-2389-4-1

Hadziabdic D*, Wadl PA*, Staton ME, Klingeman WE, Moulton JK, Pscheidt JW, Wiggins GJ, Grant JF, Lambdin PL, Windham MT, Faccoli M, Merten PR, Trigiano RN. (2015) Development of microsatellite loci in Pityophthorus juglandis, a vector of thousand cankers disease in Juglans spp. Conserv. Genet. Resour. 7 (2): 431-433. DOI: 10.1007/s12686-014-0388-0. * Equal author contributors.

Liang H, Staton M, Xu Y, Xu T, Leboldus J. 2014. Comparative expression analysis of resistant and susceptible Populus clones inoculated with Septoria musiva. Plant Sci. 223:69-78.

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