Philip W. Becraft


Genetics, Development & Cell Biology Dept,

Agronomy Dept.

Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 1992

Fields of Interest: Molecular genetics and genomics of plant developmental biology, cell fate acquisition regulation of endosperm development.

One of the major questions in developmental biology is how cell fate is determined. From a single fertilized zygote, numerous specialized cell types develop, all arranged in characteristic patterns that allow the higher order functioning of tissues that make up complex organisms. We want to understand how each cell perceives its developmental context and makes the appropriate cell fate decision. The maize endosperm is an attractive experimental system for studying this problem because of its simplicity and amenability to genetic analysis. Furthermore, the developmental processes under investigation have direct impacts on grain quality and composition suggesting that knowledge in this area could have nutritional and economic ramifications.

To answer fundamental questions about endosperm development and cell fate determination, my lab uses an integrated approach, employing tools of genetics, genomics, molecular biology and biochemistry. To learn more about the activities of my lab, follow the links below.


Click on the links to learn more about the research in my lab.

Endosperm Development

How are the processes that lead to endosperm formation regulated?



(update in progress)




Training Environment and Opportunities

Contact Information

Philip Becraft
2116 Molecular Biology Bldg.
Genetics, Development & Cell Biology Dept. / Agronomy Dept.
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011
phone  1-515-294-2903