Assistant Research Scientist, Turfgrass Breeding and Tissue Culture
Texas A&M AgriLife Research
Dr. Genovesi's research interests include plant tissue culture and the use of the biotechnology as a tool in turfgrass breeding and genetic modification through recombinant DNA. He is primarily focusing on three areas; first, using tissue culture as a tool in progeny population development by germinating the small, hard seeds of zoysiagrass and St. Augustinegrass on nutrient media to maximize population sizes. These progeny populations can be used as resource material in cultivar development or gene mapping studies. Secondly, Genovesi is using tissue culture systems to rescue embryos from sterile polyploid St. Augustinegrass females, such as 'Floratam', prior to seed abortion. This enables the recovery of viable plants for new variety development. Finally, Genovesi is initiating totipotent calli for a number of turfgrass species, most notably bentgrass and zoysiagrass, for use as target tissue for transformation with either the gene gun or Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Challenges facing the development of an efficient and reliable protocol for genetically engineering turfgrass species are being investigated and concerns hindering the commercialization of transgenic turfgrass are being addressed.