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Carl A. Griffey

Carl A. Griffey
334A Smyth Hall
185 Ag Quad Lane
Blacksburg, VA 24061


As W.G. Wysor Professor in the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, I advise, train and/or mentor undergraduate and graduate students, post doctorate and research associates, and research scientists, and work collaboratively with colleagues and stakeholders. I conduct and publish research, and develop and release traditional and high-value specialty barley and wheat varieties.  My research focus on identifying, mapping, and the introgression of durable resistance to diseases, improved end-use quality and nitrogen use efficiency of small grains.


  • Community and Regional Food Systems
  • Farm-to-Table Connections
  • Soil Health
  • Community Development


  • Ph.D. in Agronomy, University of Nebraska, December 1987
  • M.S. in Agronomy, Washington State University, 1984
  • B.S. in Plant and Soil Science, University of Tennessee, 1981

A key focus of my research and breeding programs is to identify, genetically characterize and map genes and quantitative trait loci (QTL) conferring durable resistance to diseases, and to develop and deploy diagnostic high-throughput DNA markers to incorporate, select and pyramid multiple complementary resistance genes into varieties using marker assisted selection and doubled haploid techniques.  My program has identified and mapped such genes for resistance to net blotch in barley, leaf rust and Fusarium Head Blight in wheat and barley, stripe rust and powdery mildew in wheat.

Another objective of my program is to improve end use quality of both traditional and specialty crops including soft red, hard red, and durum winter wheat, and hulled, hulless and malt winter barley.  Currently, QTL associated with quality traits in wheat and barley are being mapped in my program to facilitate marker assisted selection and breeding for improved end-use quality.

A recent objective of my program is to identify QTL associated grain yield and nitrogen use efficiency, both of which are key factors associated with economic and sustainable small grains production and environmental protection.  New plant breeding tools including genomic selection and gene editing likely will be implemented in the program in the near future.

HORT-CSES 5304: Advance Plant Genetics and Breeding 

CSES 4144: Plant Breeding and Genetics

Graduate Students Advised: 14 Ph.D., 10 M.S.

Graduate Students Mentored: 14 Ph.D., 10 M.S.

W.G. Wysor Professor | 2011 - Present
Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 

Professor | 2002 - 2011
Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences 
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Associate Professor | 1995 - 2002
Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Assistant Professor | 1989 - 1995
Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

  • American Society of Agronomy
  • Crop Science Society of America
  • American Phytopathological Society
  • Crop Science Society of America, Fellow, 2012
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Honor Award of Excellence in the category of Helping Americans   promote sustainable agricultural production and biotechnology exports as America works to increase food security, presented to cooperators in the Barley and Wheat Coordinated Agricultural Projects, 2011
  • Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer-Mid-Atlantic Region, Federal Laboratory Consortium, 2010
  • North Atlantic Area ARS Technology Transfer Award, Team member, 2010
  • Governor’s Career Achievement Award Nominee, 2010
  • American Society of Agronomy, Fellow, 2009
  • Virginia Agribusiness Council’s Special Recognition Award, 2009
  • Andy Swiger Land Grant Award, Virginia Tech College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, 2006
  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Excellence in Applied Research Award, 2005
  • Virginia Small Grains Association Friend of the Industry Award, August, 2001
  1. Gaire, Rupesh, Mao Huang, Clay Sneller, Carl Griffey, Gina Brown-Guedira, and Mohsen Mohammadi.  2019. Association Analysis of Baking and Milling Quality Traits in an Elite Soft Red Winter Wheat Population.  Crop Sci. 59:1–10. doi: 10.2135/cropsci2018.12.0751.
  2. Liu, L., M. D. Barnett, C. A. Griffey, S. Malla, W. S. Brooks, J. E. Seago et al. 2019. Registration of ‘LCS Compass’ Wheat. Journal of Plant Registration. Vol 13(1):50-57.
  3. Sarinelli, J.M., J.P. Murphy, P. Tyagi, J.B. Holland, J.W. Johnson, M. Mergoum, R.E. Mason, A. Babar, S. Harrison, R. Sutton, C.A. Griffey, and G. Brown-Guedira.  2019. Training population selection and use of fixed effects to optimize genomic predictions in a historical USA winter wheat panel. Theoretical and Applied Genetics.
  4. Ward, B., G. Brown-Guedira, F. Kolb, D. Van Sanford, P. Tyagi, C. Sneller, and C. Griffey. 2019.  Genome-wide association studies for yield-related traits in soft red winter wheat grown in Virginia.  PLOS ONE 14(2): e0208217.
  5. Ward, B.P., G. Brown-Guedira, P. Tyagi, F.L. Kolb, D.A. Van Sanford, C.H. Sneller, and C.A. Griffey.  2019. Multi-environment and multi-trait genomic selection models in unbalanced early generation wheat yield trials.  Crop Science Crop Sci. 59:1–17 (2019). doi: 10.2135/cropsci2018.03.0189.
  6. Brasier, K.G., B.G. Tamang, N.R. Carpenter, T. Fukao, M.S. Reiter, R.M. Pitman, C.H. Sneller, W.E. Thomason, and C.A. Griffey.  2018. Photoperiod response gene Ppd-D1 affects nitrogen use efficiency in Soft Red Winter Wheat.  Crop Sci. 58:1-14.
  7. Carpenter, N.R., C. Griffey, S. Malla, Shiaoman Chao, and Gina Brown-Guedira.  2018. Mapping Lr18: A leaf rust resistance gene widely deployed in Soft Red Winter Wheat. J. Plant Dis. Biomarkers: Volume 1 Issue 1: 4-10.  
  8. Huang, Mao, Brian Ward, Carl Griffey, David Van Sanford, Anne McKendry, Gina Brown-Guedira, Priyanka Tyagi, and Clay Sneller.  2018. The accuracy of genomic prediction between environments and populations for soft wheat traits. Crop Science 58:1-15.
  9. Yang, Y., G. Ferreira, C. L. Teets, B. A. Corl, W. E. Thomason, and C. A. Griffey.  2018. Effects of feeding hulled and hull-less barley with low- and high-forage diets on lactation performance, nutrient digestibility, and milk fatty acid composition of lactating dairy cows.  J. Dairy Sci. 101:3036–3043.
  10. Balota, M. A.J. Green, C.A. Griffey, R. Pitman, and W. Thomason.  2017. Genetic gains for physiological traits associated with yield in soft red winter wheat in the Eastern United States from 1919 to 2009.  European Journal of Agronomy. 84:76-83. doi: 10.1016/j.eja.2016.11.008A. 
  11. Carpenter, N., C. Griffey, S. Malla, M. Barnett, D. Marshall, M. Fountain, J.P. Murphy, E. Milus, J. Johnson, J. Buck, S. Chao, G. Brown-Guedira, and E. Wright. 2017. Identification of Quantitative Resistance to Puccinia striiformis and Puccina triticinia in the Soft Red Winter Wheat Cultivar ‘Jamestown’. Crop Sci. 57:1–11 (2017). doi: 10.2135/cropsci2017.03.0143.
  12. Nghiem, Nhuan P., Wynse S. Brooks**, and Carl A. Griffey.  2017. Production of ethanol from newly developed and improved winter barley cultivars.  Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 182 (1): 400–410.
  13. Tamang, B., K. Brasier, W. Thomason, C. Griffey, T. Fukao. 2017. Differential responses of grain yield, grain protein, and their associated traits to nitrogen supply in soft red winter wheat. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science. DOI: 10.1002/jpln.201600312.
  14. Brooks**, W. S., M. E. Vaughn**, G. L. Berger*, C. A. Griffey, W. E. Thomason, R. M. Pitman, S. Malla**, J. E. Seago**, D. W. Dunaway, E. G. Rucker, H. D. Behl, B. R. Beahm, P. W. Browning, Jr., D. G. Schmale III, N. McMaster, T. Hardiman, J. T. Custis, D. E. Starner, S. A. Gulick, S. R. Ashburn, E. H. Jones Jr., D. S. Marshall, M. O. Fountain, T. D. Tuong, M. J. Kurantz, R. A. Moreau, and K. B. Hicks.  2016. Registration of ‘Secretariat’ Winter Barley. J. of Plant Registrations 10:217-222. doi:10.3198/jpr2016.03.0017crc. 
  15. Huang, M., A. Cabrera, A. Hoffstetter, C. A. Griffey, D. Van Sanford, J. Costa, A. McKendry, S. Chao, and Clay Sneller.  2016. Genomic selection for wheat traits and trait stability. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 129(9): 1697-1710.
  16. L. Liu, M.D. Barnett, C.A. Griffey, S. Malla, W.S. Brooks, J.E. Seago, H. Butler, W.E. Thomason, E.G. Rucker, H.D. Behl, R.M. Pitman, D.W. Dunaway, M.E. Vaughn, J.T. Custis, B. Seabourn, R. Chen, M. Fountain, D. Marshall, R.A. Graybosch, L.A. Divis, L.E. Hansen, C. Cowger, S. Cambron, Y. Jin, B.R. Beahm, T.H. Hardiman, C.J. Lin, D.F. Mennel, and D.L. Mennel.  2016. Registration of ‘LCS Wizard’ wheat. J. of Plant Registration doi:10.3198/jpr2015.06.0034crc.
  17. Ballesteros, D. C., R. E. Mason, C. K. Addison, M. A. Acuna, M. N. Arguello, N. Subramanian, R. G. Miller, H. Sater, E. E. Gbur, D. Miller, C. A. Griffey, M. D. Barnett, and D. Tucker.  2015. Tolerance of wheat to vegetative stage soil waterlogging is conditioned by both constitutive and adaptive QTL. Euphytica 201(3): 329-343. doi: 10.1007/s10681-014-1184-3.
  18. Liu, L., M. D. Barnett, C. A. Griffey, S. Malla, W. S. Brooks, J. E. Seago, W. E. Thomason, E. Rucher, H. D. Behl, R. M. Pitman, D. W. Dunaway, M. E. Vaughn, J. T. Custis, B. Seabourn, R. Chen, M. Fountain, D. Marshall, C. Cowger, S. Cambron, Y. Jin, B. R. Beahm, T. H. Hardiman, C. J. Lin, D. F. Mennel, and D. L. Mennel. 2015. Registration of ‘Vision 45’ wheat. J. of Plant Registration 9:338-344. doi:10.3198/jpr2015.03.0019crc.
  19. Green*, A. J., G. Berger*, C. A. Griffey, R. Pitman, W. Thomason, and M. Balota.  2014. Genetic resistance to and effect of leaf rust and powdery mildew on yield and its components in 50 soft red winter wheat cultivars.  Crop Protection. 64:177-186.
  20. Khatibi*, P.A., G. Berger*, J. Wilson, W. S. Brooks**, N. McMaster, C. A. Griffey, K. B. Hicks, N. P. Nghiem, and D. G. Schmale, III.  2014. A comparison of two milling strategies to reduce the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol in barley. J. Agri. and Food Chem.
  21. O’Boyle*, P. D., W. S. Brooks**, M. D. Barnett, G. L. Berger*, B. J. Steffenson, E. L. Stromberg, M. A. Saghai Maroof, S. Y. Liu, and C. A. Griffey.  2014. Mapping net blotch resistance in ‘Nomini’ and CIho 2291 barley. Crop Sci. 54:2596-2602. doi: 10.2135/cropsci2013.08.0514. 
  22. Pavuluri, K., B.K. Chim, C.A. Griffey, M.S. Reiter, M. Balota, and W.E. Thomason. 2014. Canopy spectral reflectance can predict grain nitrogen use efficiency in SRW wheat. Precis. Agric. 16(4): 405–424. 

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