Tim Setter is Professor in the Soil and Crop Science Section, with joint membership in the Plant Breeding and Genetics Section; both sections are in the School of Integrative Plant Science. He currently collaborates with researchers at national institutes in Nigeria (NRCRI), Uganda (NaCRRI) and Tanzania (TARI), and at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) on the NEXTGEN cassava project, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He is a member of the Cornell Graduate Faculties in the Field of Crop and Soil Sciences and in Plant Biology.
My research seeks better understanding of the underlying biology of drought stress response in cassava, maize and other grain crops, the regulatory systems for flowering in cassava, and better methods to screen breeding germplasm for improved responses to environmental stresses. In cassava we are elucidating responses to environmental factors such as photoperiod and temperature, and to plant growth regulators, on flower initiation and seed/fruit development. In maize, we focus on reproductive and kernel development and associated yield-determining processes. These studies seek to identify traits that could serve as targets for selection in breeding programs and QTL/marker assisted selection strategies. We use transcript profiling to quantify gene expression, collaborate with quantitative geneticists and breeders on mapping genetic loci, and seek ways to improve crop cultivars so farmers in drought-prone areas of the world can achieve food security.
I teach courses at the undergraduate and graduate level on crop science and crop physiology. Field Crop Systems (PLSCS 2110/4050) is an introduction to the principles of field-crop production of food, feed, fiber and bioenergy, emphasizing the most important crop species and their morphological and growth characteristics essential to environmental adaptation and response to management. Physiology And Ecology Of Crop Yield (PLSCS 4130) examines the biological processes involved in the conversion of solar energy into harvested plant products and the environmental constraints on crop productivity. Acclimation responses and genetic adaptation are examined for key environmental factors. Students gain an understanding of the underlying basis of crop performance in diverse environments and identify processes which are in need of improvement through improved genetics and management.
Awards and Honors
- Fellow, Crop Science Society of America (2015) Crop Science Society of America
- Adeyemo, O. S., Chavarriaga, P., Tohme, J., Fregene, M., Davis, S. J., & Setter, T. L. (2017). Overexpression of Arabidopsis FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) gene improves floral development in cassava (Manihot esculenta, Crantz). PLOS One. 12:e0181460.
- Bredeson, J. B., Lyons, J. B., Prochnik, S. E., Wu, G. A., Ha, C. M., Edsinger-Gonzales, E., Grimwood, J., Schmutz, J., Rabbi, I. Y., Egesi, C., Nauluvula, P., Lebot, V., Ndunguru, J., Mkamilo, G., Bart, R. S., Setter, T. L., Gleadow, R. M., Kulakow, P., Ferguson, M. E., Rounsley, S., & Rokhsar, D. S. (2016). Genetic diversity of cassava is shaped by interspecific hybridization. Nature Biotechnology. 32:562-570.
- Zhang, X., Warburton, M. L., Setter, T., Liu, H., Xue, Y., Yang, N., Yan, J., & Xiao, Y. (2016). Genome‑wide association studies of drought‑related metabolic changes in maize using an enlarged SNP panel. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. 129:1449-1463.
- Yu, L., & Setter, T. L. (2016). Comparative transcriptomes between viviparous1 and wildtype maize developing endosperms in response to water deficit. Environmental and Experimental Botany. 123:116-124.
- Duque, L. O., & Setter, T. L. (2013). Cassava response to water deficit in deep pots: root and shoot growth, ABA, and carbohydrate reserves in stems, leaves and storage roots. Tropical Plant Biology. 6:199-209.
- Boyer, J. S., Byrne, P., Cassman, K. G., Cooper, M., Delmer, D., Greene, T., Gruis, F., Habben, J., Hausmann, N., Kenny, N., Lafitte, R., Paszkiewicz, S., Porter, D., Schlegel, A., Schussler, J., Setter, T. L., Shanahan, J., Sharp, R. E., Vyn, T. J., Warner, D., & Gaffney, J. (2013). The U.S.drought of 2012 in perspective: A call to action. Global Food Security. 2:139-143.
- Okogbenin, E., Setter, T. L., Ferguson, M., Mutegi, R., Ceballos, H., Olasanmi, B., & Fregene, M. (2013). Phenotypic approaches to drought in cassava: Review. Frontiers in Plant Physiology. 4:93.
- Setter, T. L. (2012). Analysis of constituents for phenotyping drought tolerance in crop improvement. Frontiers in Physiology. 3:1269-1281.
- Chen, C., & Setter, T. L. (2012). Response of potato dry matter assimilation and partitioning to elevated CO2 at various stages of tuber initiation and growth. Environmental and Experimental Botany. 80:27Ð34.
- Setter, T. L., Yan, J., Warburton, M., Ribaut, J. M., Xu, Y., Sawkins, M., Buckler, E. S., Zhang, Z., & Gore, M. (2011). Genetic association mapping identifies single nucleotide polymorphisms in genes that affect abscisic acid levels in maize floral tissues during drought. JXB: Journal of Experimental Botany. 62:701-716.