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Department of Plant Pathology

Dr. Eduard Akhunov

Dr. Eduard Akhunov

University Distinguished Professor


Kansas State University
4739 Throckmorton PSC
1712 Claflin Road
Manhattan, KS 66506

Ph: +1-785-532-1342
Fx: +1-785-532-5692


  • Ph.D. Plant Molecular Biology, Institute of Genetics - Russia, 1999
  • M.S. Biochemistry, Novosibirsk State University, 1992


Selected Publications (* - corresponding author)

  • Avni R, Nave M, Barad O, Baruch K, …., Mayer KFX, Stein N, Ronen G, Peleg Z, Pozniak CJ, Akhunov ED, Distelfeld A. Wild emmer genome architecture and diversity elucidate wheat evolution and domestication. Science. 2017 Jul 7;357(6346):93-97.
  • Rutter WB, Salcedo A, Akhunova A, He F, Wang S, Liang H, Bowden RL, Akhunov E*. Divergent and convergent modes of interaction between wheat and Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici isolates revealed by the comparative gene co-expression network and genome analyses. BMC Genomics. 2017 Apr 12;18(1):291
  • Cruz CD, Peterson GL, Bockus WW, Kankanala P, Dubcovsky J, Jordan KW, Akhunov E, Chumley F, Baldelomar FD, Valent B. The 2NS Translocation from Aegilops ventricosa Confers Resistance to the Triticum Pathotype of Magnaporthe oryzae. Crop Sci. 2016;56(3):990-1000.
  • Rawat N, Pumphrey MO, Liu S, Zhang X, Tiwari VK, Ando K, Trick HN, Bockus WW, Akhunov E, Anderson JA, Gill BS. Wheat Fhb1 encodes a chimeric lectin with agglutinin domains and a pore-forming toxin-like domain conferring resistance to Fusarium head blight. Nat Genet. 2016 Dec;48(12):1576-1580.
  • Jordan KW, Wang S, Lun Y, Gardiner L, MacLachlan R, Hucl P, Wiebe K, Wong D, Forrest KL, Sharpe AG, Sidebottom CHD, Hall N, Toomajian C, Close T, Dubcovsky J, Akhunova A, Talbert L, Bansal UK, Bariana HS, Hayden MJ, Pozniak C, Jeddeloh JA, Hall A, Akhunov E*. A haplotype map of allohexaploid wheat reveals distinct patterns of selection on homoeologous genomes. Genome Biology, 2015, 16:48.
  • Kippes N, Debernardi JM, Vasquez-Grossa HA, Akpinarb BA, Budak H, Kato K, Chao S, Akhunov E, Dubcovsky J. Identification of the VERNALIZATION 4 gene reveals the origin of spring growth habit in ancient wheats from South Asia. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 112(39):E5401-10.
  • International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC). A chromosome-based draft sequence of the hexaploid bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) genome. Science. 2014 Jul 18;345(6194):1251788.
  • Wang S, Wong D, Forrest K, Allen A, Chao S, Huang B, Maccaferri M, Salvi S, Milner S, Cattivelli L, Mastrangelo A, Whan A, Stephen S, Barker G, Wieseke R, Plieske J, (IWGSC) Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium, Lillemo M, Mather D, Appels R, Dolferus R, Brown-Guedira G, Korol A, Akhunova A, Feuillet C, SALSE J, Morgante M, Pozniak C, Luo MC, Dvorak J, Morell M, Dubcovsky J, Ganal M, Tuberosa R, Lawley C, Mikoulitch I, Cavanagh C, Edwards K, Hayden M, Akhunov E*. Characterization of polyploid wheat genomic diversity using a high-density 90,000 SNP array. Plant Biotechnology Journal. 2014 12(6):787-96.
  • Henry IM, Nagalakshmi U, Lieberman M. C., Ngo K. J, Krasileva KV, Vasquez-Gross H, Akhunova A, Akhunov E, Dubcovsky J, Tai H, Comai L. Efficient Genome-Wide Detection and Cataloging of EMS-Induced Mutations Using Exome Capture and Next-Generation Sequencing. Plant Cell, 2014, 26:1382-1397.
  • Saintenac C, Zhang W, Salcedo A, Rouse MN, Trick HN, Akhunov E*, Dubcovsky J. Identification of Wheat Gene Sr35 That Confers Resistance to Ug99 Stem Rust Race Group. Science. 341:783-786.
  • Cavanagh CR, Chao S, Wang S, Huang BE, Stephen S, Kiani S, Forrest K, Saintenac C, Brown-Guedira GL, Akhunova A, See D, Bai G, Pumphrey M, Tomar L, Wong D, Kong S, Reynolds M, da Silva ML, Bockelman H, Talbert L, Anderson JA, Dreisigacker S, Baenziger S, Carter A, Korzun V, Morrell PL, Dubcovsky J, Morell MK, Sorrells ME, Hayden MJ, Akhunov E.* Genome-wide comparative diversity uncovers multiple targets of selection for improvement in hexaploid wheat landraces and cultivars. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 110:8057-8062.
  • Krasileva KV, Buffalo V, Bailey P, Pearce S, Ayling S, Tabbita F, Soria M, Wang S, Consortium I, Akhunov E, Uauy C, Dubcovsky J. Separating homeologs by phasing in the tetraploid wheat transcriptome. Genome Biology 2013, 14:R66.
  • Saintenac C, Jiang D, Akhunov E*. Targeted analysis of nucleotide and copy number variation by exon capture in allotetraploid wheat genome. Genome Biology 2011, 12:R88.
  • Chao S, Dubcovsky J, Dvorak J, Luo MC, Baenziger SP, Matnyazov R, Clark DR, Talbert LE, Anderson JA, Dreisigacker S, Glover K, Chen J, Campbell K, Bruckner PL, Rudd JC, Haley S, Carver BF, Perry S, Sorrells ME, Akhunov E*. Population- and genome-specific patterns of linkage disequilibrium and SNP variation in spring and winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). BMC Genomics 2010, 11:727.
  • Akhunov E*, C Nicolet, J Dvorak. Single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping in polyploid wheat with Illumina GoldenGate assay. Theor Appl Genet 2009, 119:507-517.
  • Luo MC, Deal KR, Akhunov ED, Akhunova AR, Anderson OD, Anderson JA, Blake N, Clegg MT, Coleman-Derr D, Conley EJ, Crossman CC, Dubcovsky J, Gill BS, Gu YQ, Hadam J, Heo HY, Huo N, Lazo G, Ma Y, Matthews DE, McGuire PE, Morrell PL, Qualset CO, Renfro J, Tabanao D, Talbert LE, Tian C, Toleno DM, Warburton ML, You FM, Zhang W, Dvorak J. Genome Comparisons Reveal a Dominant Mechanism of Chromosome Number Reduction in Grasses and Accelerated Genome Evolution in Triticeae. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2009, 106:15780-15785.


  • Disease resistance genes and mechanisms of plant-pathogen interaction
  • Genetic and genomic tools and resources for wheat improvement
  • Genetic basis of wheat adaptation to local environment
  • Wheat genome diversity and evolution

Staff & Students

  • Moses Nyine, Fellow Post Doc
  • Wei Wang, Fellow Post Doc 
  • Dwight Davidson, Research Assistant
  • Zitong Yu, Fellow Post Doc
  • Jason Zurn, Fellow Post Doc
  • Alex Dominguez, Research Assistant
  • Ural Yunusbaev, Fellow Post Doc
  • Byron Evers, Research Associate
  • Jon Raupp, Senior Scientist
  • Duane Wilson, Associate Scientist
  • Shuangye Wu, Research Associate