Professor, School of Integrative Plant Science Soil and Crop Sciences Section Plant Breeding and Genetics Section
Tim Setter is Professor in the Soil and Crop Science Section, with joint membership in the Plant Breeding and Genetics Section; both sections are in the School of Integrative Plant Science. He currently collaborates with researchers at national institutes in Nigeria (NRCRI), Uganda (NaCRRI) and Tanzania (TARI), and at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) on the NEXTGEN cassava project, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He is a member of the Cornell Graduate Faculties in the Field of Crop and Soil Sciences and in Plant Biology.
Maize, wheat and cassava breeding and genomics
Drought and environmental stress physiology
My research seeks better understanding of the underlying biology of drought stress response in cassava, maize and other grain crops, the regulatory systems for flowering in cassava, and better methods to screen breeding germplasm for improved responses to environmental stresses. In cassava we are elucidating responses to environmental factors such as photoperiod and temperature, and to plant growth regulators, on flower initiation and seed/fruit development. In maize, we focus on reproductive and kernel development and associated yield-determining processes. These studies seek to identify traits that could serve as targets for selection in breeding programs and QTL/marker assisted selection strategies. We use transcript profiling to quantify gene expression, collaborate with quantitative geneticists and breeders on mapping genetic loci, and seek ways to improve crop cultivars so farmers in drought-prone areas of the world can achieve food security.
- Li, Y., Zou, J., Zhu, H., He, J., Setter, T.L., Wang, Y., Meng, Y., Chen, B., Zhao, W., Wang, S., Hu, W., and Zhou, Z. (2022). Drought deteriorated the nutritional quality of cottonseed by altering fatty acids and amino acids compositions in cultivars with contrasting drought sensitivity. Environmental and Experimental Botany 194, 104747. doi: 10.1016/j.envexpbot.2021.104747.
- Oluwasanya, D., Esan, O., Hyde, P.T., Kulakow, P., and Setter, T.L. (2021). Flower Development in Cassava Is Feminized by Cytokinin, While Proliferation Is Stimulated by Anti-Ethylene and Pruning: Transcriptome Responses. Frontiers in Plant Science 12(975). doi: 10.3389/fpls.2021.666266.
- Oluwasanya, D.N., Gisel, A., Stavolone, L., and Setter, T.L. (2021). Environmental responsiveness of flowering time in cassava genotypes and associated transcriptome changes. PLOS ONE 16(7), e0253555. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0253555.
- Chen, C.-T., and Setter, T.L. (2021). Role of Tuber Developmental Processes in Response of Potato to High Temperature and Elevated CO2. Plants 10(5), 871. doi: 10.3390/plants10050871.
- Pineda, M., Morante, N., Salazar, S., Cuásquer, J., Hyde, P.T., Setter, T.L., and Ceballos, H. (2020). Induction of Earlier Flowering in Cassava through Extended Photoperiod. Agronomy 10(9), 1273. doi: org/10.3390/agronomy10091273.
- Pineda, M., Yu, B., Tian, Y., Morante, N., Salazar, S., Hyde, P., Setter, T. L., & Ceballos, H. (2020). Effect of Pruning Young Branches on Fruit and Seed Set in Cassava. Frontiers in Plant Science. 11:1107.
- Hyde, P. T., Guan, X., Abreu, V., & Setter, T. L. (2019). The anti-ethylene growth regulator silver thiosulfate (STS) increases flower production and longevity in cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz). Plant Growth Regulation. 90:441-453.
- Adeyemo, O. S., Hyde, P. T., & Setter, T. L. (2018). Identification of FT family genes that respond to photoperiod, temperature and genotype in relation to flowering in cassava (Manihot esculenta, Crantz). Plant Reproduction. 32:181-191.
- Adeyemo, O. S., Chavarriaga, P., Tohme, J., Fregene, M., Davis, S. J., & Setter, T. L. (2017). Overexpression of Arabidopsis FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) gene improves floral development in cassava (Manihot esculenta, Crantz). PLOS One. 12:e0181460.
- Zhang, X., Warburton, M. L., Setter, T., Liu, H., Xue, Y., Yang, N., Yan, J., & Xiao, Y. (2016). Genome‑wide association studies of drought‑related metabolic changes in maize using an enlarged SNP panel. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. 129:1449-1463.
- Yu, L., & Setter, T. L. (2016). Comparative transcriptomes between viviparous1 and wildtype maize developing endosperms in response to water deficit. Environmental and Experimental Botany. 123:116-124.
- Duque, L. O., & Setter, T. L. (2013). Cassava response to water deficit in deep pots: root and shoot growth, ABA, and carbohydrate reserves in stems, leaves and storage roots. Tropical Plant Biology. 6:199-209.
- Boyer, J. S., Byrne, P., Cassman, K. G., Cooper, M., Delmer, D., Greene, T., Gruis, F., Habben, J., Hausmann, N., Kenny, N., Lafitte, R., Paszkiewicz, S., Porter, D., Schlegel, A., Schussler, J., Setter, T. L., Shanahan, J., Sharp, R. E., Vyn, T. J., Warner, D., & Gaffney, J. (2013). The U.S.drought of 2012 in perspective: A call to action. Global Food Security. 2:139-143.
- Chen, C., & Setter, T. L. (2012). Response of potato dry matter assimilation and partitioning to elevated CO2 at various stages of tuber initiation and growth. Environmental and Experimental Botany. 80:27Ð34.
- Setter, T. L., Yan, J., Warburton, M., Ribaut, J. M., Xu, Y., Sawkins, M., Buckler, E. S., Zhang, Z., & Gore, M. (2011). Genetic association mapping identifies single nucleotide polymorphisms in genes that affect abscisic acid levels in maize floral tissues during drought. JXB: Journal of Experimental Botany. 62:701-716.
Awards & Honors
Fellow, Crop Science Society of America (2015) Crop Science Society of America
I teach courses at the undergraduate and graduate level on crop science and crop physiology. Field Crop Systems (PLSCS 2110/4050) is an introduction to the principles of field-crop production of food, feed, fiber and bioenergy, emphasizing the most important crop species and their morphological and growth characteristics essential to environmental adaptation and response to management. Physiology And Ecology Of Crop Yield (PLSCS 4130) examines the biological processes involved in the conversion of solar energy into harvested plant products and the environmental constraints on crop productivity. Acclimation responses and genetic adaptation are examined for key environmental factors. Students gain an understanding of the underlying basis of crop performance in diverse environments and identify processes which are in need of improvement through improved genetics and management.
- PLSCS 2110/4050: Field Crop Systems
- PLSCI 4980: Undergraduate Teaching Experience in Plant Sciences
- PLSCS 8900: Master's Level Thesis Research
- PLSCS 9900: Doctoral-Level Dissertation Research
521 Bradfield Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
tls1 [at] cornell.edu
School & Section
University of Minnesota
- Master of Science
University of Wisconsin -- Madison
- Bachelor of Science
University of Wisconsin -- Madison
Tim in the news
A tropical root-crop that is a daily staple food to hundreds of millions of people in Africa and increasingly being used by small-holder farmers in commercial production, cassava has historically been difficult for plant breeders to improve in...
- Department of Global Development
- School of Integrative Plant Science
- Plant Breeding and Genetics Section
From navigating social distancing requirements to sending creative, do-it-yourself toolkits to their remote students, the CALS community has continued to persevere in the face of unprecedented challenges. Below, hear from several CALS faculty...
- School of Integrative Plant Science
- Plant Biology Section
- Soil and Crop Sciences Section