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Jenks, Matthew

Adjunct Professor of Plant and Soil Sciences

Dr. Jenks is an adjunct professor for the Division of Plant and Soil Sciences. Previously serving as Director of the Division of Plant and Soils Sciences (2014-2018) and Co-Director of the School of Agriculture and Food (2015-2018) at West Virginia University; Research Leader and Supervisory Geneticists at the U.S. Arid Land Agricultural Research Center (ALARC) in Maricopa, Arizona with the USDA-ARS (2011-2014); Adjunct Professor in The School of Plant Sciences, University of Arizona (2012-2015); Associate Head of the Department of Horticulture at Purdue University (2010-2011); Assistant through Full Professor at Purdue University (1998-2010); Fulbright Senior Research Fellow, Agricultural University of Athens, Greece (2009-2010); Director of the Purdue Arboretum (2008-2011); Assistant Professor, College of Agriculture, Arkansas State University (1996-1998); Plant-Insect Interaction Group Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Plant Sciences, University of Arizona (1994-1996); and McKnight Graduate Fellow, Purdue University (1990-1993). Dr. Jenks received a Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1993, an M.S. from the University of Florida in 1990, and a B.S. from Michigan State University in 1988, all in horticultural science.

His research seeks to elucidate whole plant and cellular mechanisms underlying plant adaptability to both biotic and abiotic environmental stress. A main goal of this work is elucidation of molecular-genetic and physico-chemical determinants of the plant cuticle’s function as both a constitutive and inducible adaptation to stressful environments. Jenks’ research program seeks to solve problems related to plant stress as it affects the production and management of economically important crops, especially fruit, vegetable, grain, and bioenergy crops. Current work emphasizes the use of diverse genetic resources for the study and improvement of plant stress tolerance, including tolerance to the stresses of postharvest storage.

Dr. Jenks has published 109 scientific publications, including 88 peer-refereed papers, 7 notable non-refereed articles, 8 book chapters, and 6 books as editor. He has been cited over 5,200 times, with an h-index of 38, and i10-index of 63 (Google Scholar), and has presented over 100 scientific talks around the world.


  1. Yang X, Zhao H, Kosma DK, Tomasi P, Dyer JM, Li R, Liu X, Jenks MA, Lü S 2017. The acyl desaturase CER17 is involved in producing wax unsaturated primary alcohols and cutin monomers. Plant Physiology 173:1109-1124.
  2. Popovsky-Sarid S, Borovsky Y, Faigenboim A, Parsons EP, Lohrey GT, Alkalai-Tuvia S, Fallik E, Jenks MA, Paran I 2017. Genetic and biochemical analysis reveals linked QTLs determining natural variation for post-harvest water loss in pepper (Capsicum) fruit. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 130:445-459.
  3. Tomasi P John M. Dyer JM, Jenks MA, Abdel-Haleem H 2017. Characterization of leaf cuticular wax classes and constituents in a spring Camelina sativa diversity panel. Industrial Crops and Products 112:247–251.
  4. Mamrutha HM, Nataraja KN, Rama N, Kosma DK, Mogili T, Jhansi Lakshmi K, Udaya Kumar M, Jenks MA 2017. Leaf surface wax composition of genetically diverse mulberry (Morus sp.) genotypes and its close association with expression of genes involved in wax metabolism. Current Science 112:759-766.
  5. Thompson AL, Pauli D, Tomasi P, Yurchenko O, Jenks MA, Dyer JM, Gore MA 2017. Chemical variation for fiber cuticular wax levels in upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) evaluated under contrasting irrigation regimes. Industrial Crops and Products 100:153-162.
  6. Tomasi P, Wang H, Lohrey GT, Park S, Dyer JM, Jenks MA, Abdel-Haleem H 2017. Characterization of leaf cuticular waxes and cutin monomers of Camelina sativa and closely-related Camelina species. Industrial Crops and Products 98:130-138.
  7. Ilut DC, Sanchez PL, Coffelt TA, Dyer JM, Jenks MA, Gore MA 2017. A century of guayule: Comprehensive genetic characterization of the guayule (Parthenium argentatum A. Gray) USDA germplasm collection. Industrial Crops and Products 109:300-309.
  8. Pauli D, Ziegler G, Ren M, Jenks MA, Hunsaker DJ, Zhang M, Baxter I, Gore MA 2017. Multivariate analysis of the cotton seed ionome reveals integrated genetic signatures of abiotic stress response. G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics. Currently on bioRχiv doi:
  9. Qayyum A, Razzaq A, Bibi Y, Khan SU, Abbasi KS, Mehmood A, Ahmed W, Mahmood I, Manaf A, Jenks MA 2017. Water stress effects on biochemical traits and antioxidant activities of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) under in vitro conditions. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, 1-8. doi: 10.1080/09064710.2017.1395064.
  10. Qayyum A, Khan SU, Khan SA, Mehmood A, Bibi Y, Sher A, Kahn H, Jenks MA 2017. Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) hybrids evaluation for oil quality and yield attributes under spring planting conditions of Haripur, Pakistan. Planta Daninha, 35, doi: 10.1590/S0100-83582017350100003.