Professor, School of Integrative Plant Science Horticulture Section Plant Breeding and Genetics Section
Associate Director, Cornell AgriTech
Larry is a plant geneticist and breeder whose lab uses genomic tools better understand hybrid vigor, sex determination and pest and disease resistance in shrub willow bioenergy crops. More recently, he has been leading Cornell’s hemp research and extension team and has initiated a long-term breeding and genomics program to develop new hemp cultivars for New York State. He received his B.S. in Biology at Cornell University, Ph.D. in Genetics at Michigan State University, and was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at UC-Davis.
Breeding and genomics
Willow bioenergy crops
- Willow breeding and genomics
- Hemp breeding and genomics
My long-term research goals include maintaining and strengthening the willow breeding program, so that it can invigorate and sustain a dramatically expanded commercial willow bioenergy enterprise that will have significant impact on stimulating agricultural productivity, improving the environment, and strengthening local economies. I also aim to develop this system as one that can build upon our basic understanding of perennial woody plant physiology, the genetic basis of biomass production, and the domestication of perennial bioenergy crops. Included among the goals I hope to achieve over the course of my research career are:
- To produce and commercialize new cultivars of willow bioenergy crops that display improved and consistent yield across a wide variety of sites with resistance to pests and diseases;
- To develop and utilize genetic and genomic resources and approaches for the study of Salix that will improve our understanding of perennial bioenergy crop domestication, comparative genomic organization in the Salicaceae, and networks of gene regulation that control key traits in woody biomass crops;
- To explore the diversity of willows assembled from natural collections and produced through controlled hybridization and to identify and exploit species and individual genotypes that display traits well-suited for environmental engineering and horticultural applications;
- To gain an understanding of the genotypic variation and environmental regulation of variations in woody biomass composition, especially as it relates to the efficiency of conversion to biofuels and to heat and power.
More recently, I have been leading Cornell’s hemp research and extension team and have initiated a long-term breeding program to develop new hemp cultivars for New York State.
- Yang, W., Wang, W., Li, Y., Zhang, Z., Tong, S., Li, M., Zhang, X., Zhang, L., Ren, L., Ma, X., Zhou, R., Sanderson, B.J., Keefover-Ring, K., Yin, T., Smart, L.B., Liu, J., DiFazio, S.P., Olson, M.S., Ma, T. (2020) A general model for repeated turnovers of sex system in Salicaceae. Molec. Biol. Evol. DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msaa261.
- Barnett, S.E., Cala, A.R., Hansen, J.L., Crawford, J., Viands, D.R., Smart, L.B., Smart, C.D., and Buckley, D.H. (2020) Evaluating the microbiome of hemp. Phytobiomes DOI: 10.1094/PBIOMES-06-20-0046-R.
- Crowell, C.R., Bekauri, M.M., Cala, A.R., McMullen, P., Smart, L.B., and Smart, C.D. (2020) Differential susceptibility of diverse Salix spp. to Melampsora americana and Melampsora paradoxa. Plant Dis. DOI: 10.1094/PDIS-04-20-0718-RE.
- Wang, W., Carlson, C.H., Smart, L.B., and Carlson, J.E. (2020) Transcriptome analysis of contrasting resistance to herbivory by Empoasca fabae in two shrub willow species and their hybrid progeny. PLoS One DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0236586.
- Muklada, H., Davidovich-Rikanati, R., Wilkerson, D.G., Klein, J., Deutch-Traubman, T., Zou, J., Awabdeh, S., Sweidan, R., Landau, S.Y., Schwartz, A., Lewinsohn, E., Smart, L.B. (2020) Genotypic diversity in willow (Salix spp.) is associated with chemical and morphological polymorphism, suggesting human-assisted dissemination in the Eastern Mediterranean. Biochem. System. Ecol. 91:104081 DOI: 10.1016/j.bse.2020.104081.
- Fabio, E.S. and Smart, L.B. (2020) Genetic and environmental influences on first-rotation shrub willow (Salix spp.) bark and wood elemental composition. BioEnergy Res. 13: 797 – 809. DOI: 10.1007/s12155-020-10122-x.
- Zhou, R., Macaya-Sanz, D., Carlson, C.H., Schmutz, J. Jenkins, J.W., Kudrna, D., Sharma, A., Sandor, L., Shu, S., Barry, K., Tuskan, G.A., Ma, T., Liu, J., Olson, M., Smart, L.B., DiFazio, S.P. (2020) A willow sex chromosome reveals convergent evolution of complex palindromic repeats. Genome Biol. 21:38. DOI: 10.1186/s13059-020-1952-4.
- Toth J., Stack G., Cala A., Carlson C.H., Wilk R., Crawford J., Viands D., Philippe G., Smart C.D., Rose J.K.C., Smart L.B. (2020) Development and validation of genetic markers for sex and cannabinoid chemotype in Cannabis sativa L. GCB Bioenergy 12:213-222. DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12667.
- Feng, G., Sanderson, B.J., Liu, J., Ma, T., Smart, L.B., DiFazio, S.P., Olson, M.S. (2020) Pathways to sex determination in plants: How many roads lead to Rome? Curr. Opin. Plant Biol. 54:61-68 DOI: 10.1016/j.pbi.2020.01.004.
- Weldon, W.A., Ullrich, M.R., Smart, L.B., Smart, C.D., and Gadoury, D.M. (2020) Cross infectivity of powdery mildew isolates originating from hemp (Cannabis sativa) and Japanese Hop (Humulus japonicus) in New York. Plant Health Prog. 21:47-53, DOI: 10.1094/PHP-09-19-0067-RS.
- Nelson, N., Berguson, W.E., McMahon, B.G., Meilan, R., Smart, L.B., Gouker, F.E., Bloese, P., Miller, R., Volk, T.A., Cai, M., and Buchman, D. (2019) Discovery of geographically-robust hybrid poplar clones. Silvae Genet. 68: 101 – 110.
- Wang, M., Zhang, L., Zhang, Z., Li, M., Wang, D., Zhang, X., Xi, Z., Keefover-Ring, K., Smart, L.B., DiFazio, S.P., Olson, M.S., Yin, T., Liu, J., Ma, T. (2019) Extensive gene flow and abundant trans-specific polymorphism across the non-bifurcating diversification of the tree model genus Populus. New Phytol. 225: 1370–1382 DOI: 10.1111/nph.16215.
- Gouker, F.E., DiFazio, S.P., Bubner, B., Zander, M., and Smart, L.B. (2019) Genetic diversity and population structure of native, naturalized, and cultivated Salix purpurea. Tree Genet. Genomes DOI: 10.1007/s11295-019-1359-0.
- Fabio, E.S., Leary, C.J., and Smart, L.B. (2019) Tolerance of novel inter-specific shrub willow hybrids to water stress. Trees DOI: 10.1007/s00468-019-01835-4.
- Carlson, C.H., Gouker, F.E., Crowell, C.R., Evans, L., DiFazio, S.P., Smart, C.D., and Smart, L.B. (2019) Joint linkage and association mapping of complex traits in shrub willow (Salix purpurea L.). Ann. Bot. DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcz047.
- Clifton-Brown J., Harfouche A., Casler M., Jones H. D., Macalpine W. J., Murphy-Bokern D., Smart L. B., et al. (2019) Breeding progress and preparedness for mass upscaling of perennial lignocellulosic biomass crops switchgrass, miscanthus, willow and poplar. GCB Bioenergy DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12566.
- Tuskan, G.A., Groover, A.T., Schmutz, J., DiFazio, S.P., Myburg, A., Grattapaglia, D., Smart, L., Yin, T., Aury, J.-M., Kremer, A., Leroy. T., Le Provost, G., Plomion, C., Carlson, J.E., Randall, J., Westbrook, J., Grimwood, J., Muchero, W., Jacobson, D., Michener, J.K. (2018) Hardwood tree genomics: Unlocking woody plant biology. Front. Plant Sci., 17 December 2018; DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2018.01799.
- Zhou, R., Macaya-Sanz, D., Rodgers-Melnick, E., Carlson, C.H., Gouker, F.E., Evens, L.M., Schmutz, J., Jenkins, J.W., Yan, J., Tuskan, G.A., Smart, L.B., and DiFazio, S.P. (2018) Characterization of a large sex determination region in Salix purpurea L. (Salicaceae). Molec. Gen. Genomics DOI: 10.1007/s00438-018-1473-y.
- Fabio, E.S. and Smart, L.B. (2018) Differential growth response to fertilization treatments of ten elite shrub willow (Salix spp.) bioenergy cultivars. Trees. DOI: 10.1007/s00468-018-1695-y.
- Fabio, E.S. and Smart, L.B. (2018) Effects of nitrogen fertilization in shrub willow short rotation coppice production-A quantitative review. GCB Bioenergy. 10:8 DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12507.
- T.A. Volk, B. Berguson, C. Daly, M. Halbleib, R. Miller, T. Rials, L.P. Abrahamson, D. Buchman, M. Cunningham, M. Eisenbies, E.S. Fabio, K. Hallen, J. Heavey, G. Johnson, Y. Kuzovkina, B. Liu, B. McMahon, R. Rousseau, S. Shi, R. Shuren, L.B. Smart, G. Stanosz, B. Stanton, B. Stokes, and J. Wright. (2018) Poplar and shrub willow energy crops in the United States: Field trial results from the multiyear Regional Feedstock Partnership and yield potential maps based on the PRISM-ELM model. GCB Bioenergy. DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12498.
- Carlson, C.H., Choi, Y., Chan, A., Serapiglia, M.J., Town, C.D., and Smart, L.B. (2017) Dominance and sexual dimorphism pervade the Salix purpurea L. transcriptome. Genome Biol. Evol. 9:2377-2394, DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evx174.
- Fabio, E.S., Volk, T.A., Miller, R.O., Serapiglia, M.J., Kemanian, A.R., Montes, F., Kuzovkina, Y.A., Kling, G.J. and Smart, L.B. (2017) Contributions of environment and genotype to variation in shrub willow biomass composition. Indus. Crops Prod. 108:149-161. DOI: 10.1016/j.indcrop.2017.06.030.
- Fabio, E. S., Kemanian, A. R., Montes, F., Miller, R. O., Smart, L. B. (2017) A mixed model approach for evaluating yield improvements in interspecific hybrids of shrub willow, a dedicated bioenergy crop. Indus. Crops Prod. 96:57-70. DOI: 10.1016/j.indcrop.2016.11.019.
- Fabio, E.S., Volk, T.A., Montes, F., Miller, R., Johnson, G.A., Amichev, B.Y., Van Rees, K., Hangs, R.D., Labrecque, M., Kuzovkina, Y.A., Ewy, R.G., Kling, G.J., and Smart, L.B. (2017) Genotype x environment interactions analysis of North American shrub willow yield trials confirm superior performance of triploid hybrids. GCB Bioenergy. 9: 445-459. DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12344.
- Carlson, C.H. and Smart, L.B. (2016) Electrical capacitance as a predictor of root dry weight in shrub willow (Salix; Salicaceae) parents and progeny. Appl. Plant Sci. 4: DOI: 10.3732/apps.1600031.
View all of Smart's publications:
- PLBRG 9900: Doctoral-Level Dissertation Research
- PLBRG 7900: Graduate-Level Dissertation
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Lawrence in the news
- Cornell AgriTech
- School of Integrative Plant Science
- Horticulture Section
- Center of Excellence in Food and Agriculture
- Cornell AgriTech
- School of Integrative Plant Science