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Jenks, Matthew

Professor of Plant and Soil Sciences

Dr. Jenks currently serves as Director of the Division of Plant and Soils Sciences (2014-present) and Co-Director of the School of Agriculture and Food (2015-present) at West Virginia University, previously serving as 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 105 scientific publications, including 84 peer-refereed papers, 7 notable non-refereed articles, 8 book chapters, and 6 books as editor. He has been cited over 4,400 times, with an h-index of 34, and i10-index of 59 (Google Scholar), and has presented over 100 scientific talks around the world.

Select Publications

  1. Yang X, Zhao H, Kosma DK, Tomasi P, Dyer JM, Li R, Liu X, Jenks MA, Lü S (2017) Arabidopsis ACYL-COA DESATURASE-LIKE4 ( ADS4) involvement in the production of cuticular wax mono-unsaturated primary alcohols and cutin monomers. Plant Physiology (submitted).
  2. Xu X, Xiao L, Feng J, Chen N, Chen Y, Song B, Kun X, Shi S, Zhou Y, Jenks MA 2016. Cuticle lipids on heteromorphic leaves of Populus euphratica Oliv. growing in riparian habitats differing in available soil moisture. Physiologia Plantarum 3:318-330.
  3. Tassone EE, Lipka AE, Tomasi P, Lohrey GT, Qian W, Dyer JM, Gore MA, Jenks MA 2016. Chemical variation for leaf cuticular waxes and their levels revealed in a diverse panel of Brassica napus L. Industrial Crops and Products 79:77-83.
  4. Popovsky-Sarid S, Borovsky Y, Faigenboim A, Parsons EP, Lohrey GT, Alkalai-Tuvia S, Fallik E, Jenks MA , Paran I 2016. Genetic and biochemical analysis reveals linked QTLs determining natural variation for post-harvest water loss in pepper ( Capsicum) fruit. Theoretical and Applied Genetics DOI: 10.1007/s00122-016-2825-9.
  5. Xu X, Feng J, Lü S, An H, Zhou Y, Jenks MA 2014. Leaf cuticular lipids on the Shandong and Yukon ecotypes of saltwater cress, Eutrema salsugineum, and their response to water deficiency and impact on cuticle permeability. Physiologia Plantarum 151:446-458.