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Andrew Leakey's Laboratory

Avinash Karn


Postdoctoral Research Associate




Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics
The University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA May, 2017

Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.), Agricultural Science and Biology May, 2012
Truman State University, Kirksville, Mo, USA


Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois, UC

Position: Postdoctoral research associate (May 2017 – present)
Supervisor: Dr. Andrew Leakey

Project: An integrated phenomics approach to identifying the genetics basis for maize root structure and control of plant nutrient relations.

The University of Missouri, Div. of Plant Sciences, Columbia, MO

Position: Graduate Research Assistant (Jun 2012 – May 2017)
Supervisor: Dr. Sherry A. Flint-Garcia

Dissertation project: Evaluation of Teosinte Genetic Diversity for various Agronomic and Domestication Traits in Maize.

Truman State University, Dept. of Agricultural Science, Kirksville, MO

Position: Undergraduate Research Assistant (Jan 2009 – May 2012)
Supervisor: Dr. Mark R. Campbell

Responsibility: Conducted molecular genetic analysis to exploit the biodiversity of exotic inbred lines from Central and South America to develop high amylose corn

USDA-ARS, Germplasm Enhancement of Maize program, Kirksville, MO

Position: Research Co-operator (Jun 2009 - May 2012)
Supervisor: Dr. Mark R. Campbell

Responsibility: Assisted in preparing summer maize nursery with a tractor plowing, planting, cross pollinating, and harvesting

Truman Maize Annotation Team (TMAT), Kirksville, MO

Position: Research Student (Aug 2011 – Jan 2012)
Supervisor: Dr. Brent Buckner

Project: Studied chromosome 6 of maize and the syntenic regions to investigate copy number and presence/absence variations utilizing statistical and bioinformatics tools

TruScholars (NSF) Undergraduate Research Program, Kirksville, MO

Position: Research Student (Summer 2009)
Supervisor: Dr. Mark R. Campbell

Project: Designed gene specific marker for a novel allele involved in high amylose starch in maize and discovered a splicing mutation site within the exon-intron boundary of SBE-1a allele from GEMS-0067 maize inbred line


Karn Avinash, Gillman, J. D., & Flint-Garcia, S. A. (2017). Genetic Analysis of Teosinte Alleles for Kernel Composition Traits in Maize. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics, 7(4), 1157-1164.

Karn Avinash, Heim, C., Flint-Garcia, S., Bilyeu, K., & Gillman, J. (2016). Development of Rigorous Fatty Acid Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Quantitation Methods in Support of Soybean Oil Improvement. Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society, 1-8.

Karn Avinash, Brent Buckner, Diane Janick-Buckner, Mark Campbell, Michael Blanco, Marvin Scott, and Adrienne Moran Lauter.
"Breeding Specialty Starch Maize Using Exotic Genetic Resources for Gene Discovery of Novel Alleles and Modifiers with Materials Generated from the USDA-ARS GEM Project." Maize Genetics Conference Abstracts, p. P204 (2011).

Karn Avinash, Alex Lipka, Kathryn Guill, Christopher Bottoms, Justine Gerke, and Sherry A. Flint-Garcia
“Epistasis Analysis of Plant Development and Ear Morphology Traits in Teosinte Synthetic Population”
– In preparation

Karn Avinash and Sherry A. Flint-Garcia
“Genome Wide Association and Epistasis Analysis for Kernel Composition Traits in the Teosinte Synthetic population”
– In preparation