Matthew Blair

Matthew Blair

Research Associate Professor
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
College of Agriculture

Contact Information
Office Location: 204 Farrell-Westbrook
Telephone: 615-963-7467
FAX: 615-963-1557

Program Areas
Plant Breeder, Molecular Geneticist

Link to NPT Volunteer Gardener Show featuring Dr. Blair.


      Introduction to Plant Breeding – undergraduate level course (spring 2014)
      Advanced Plant Breeding – graduate level course (expected, spring 2015)


Blair MW* (2013) Breeding approaches to increasing nutrient use efficiency: Examples from Common Beans. In Z. Rengel (ed.) Improving Water- and Nutrient-Use Efficiency in Food Production Systems. John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, Chp. 11.

Blair MW* , Cortés A, Penmetsa RV, Carrasquilla-Garcia N, Farmer A, Cook D (2013) Development of high throughput SNP markers for parental polymorphism screening and diversity analysis in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Theoretical Applied Genetics (in press)

Blair MW*, Díaz LM, Acosta Gallegos JA (2013) Diversity of the Mexican Core Collection of Common Bean Landraces. Crop Science (in press)

Blair MW*, Hurtado N, (2013) EST-SSR markers from five sequenced cDNA libraries in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) comparing three bioinformatic algorithms.   Molecular Ecology Resources 13: 688–695

Cortés AJ, Monserrate FA, Ramírez-Villegas J, Madriñán S, Blair MW* (2013) Drought Tolerance in Wild Plant Populations: The Case of Common Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). PLoS ONE 8(4): e62898

Garzón LN, Oliveros OO, Rosen B, Ligarreto GA, Cook DR, Blair MW* (2013) Isolation and characterization of NBS resistance gene homologues in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Phytopathology 103(2):156-68

Ramaekers L, Galeano CH, Garzón N, Vanderleyden J, Blair MW* (2013) Identifying quantitative trait loci for symbiotic nitrogen fixation capacity and related traits in common bean. Molecular Breeding 31:163–180

Sharma PN, Díaz LM, Blair MW (2013) Genetic diversity of Indian common beans elucidated with two germplasm collections and by morphological and microsatellite markers. Plant Genetic Resources 1–10

Asfaw AA, Almekinders C, Blair MW, Struick PC (2012) Participatory approach in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) breeding for drought tolerance for Southern Ethiopia. Plant Breeding 131:125-134

Asfaw A, Blair MW* (2012) Quantitative trait loci for rooting pattern traits of common beans grown under drought stress versus non-stress conditions. Molecular Breeding 30 (2): 681-695

Asfaw A, Blair MW*, Struick P (2012) Multi-environment quantitative trait locus analyses for photosynthate acquisition, accumulation and remobilization traits in a common bean. G3: Genetics, Genomics and Genomes 2:579-595

Avila T, Blair MW*, Reyes X, Bertin P (2012) Genetic diversity of bean (Phaseolus) landraces and wild relatives from the primary centre of origin of the Southern Andes. Plant Genetic Resources: Characterization and Utilization 10:83-92

Blair MW*, Galeano CH, Tovar E, Muñoz-Torres MC, Velasco A, Beebe SE, Rao IM (2012) Development of a Mesoamerican intra-genepool genetic map for QTL detection in a drought tolerant x susceptible common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) cross. Molecular Breeding 29:71–88

Blair MW*, Herrera AL, Sandoval TA, Caldas GV, Fileppi M, Sparvoli F (2012) Inheritance of seed phytate and phosphorus levels in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and association with newly-mapped candidate genes for the phytic acid pathway. Molecular Breeding 30: 1265-1277.

Blair MW*, Hurtado N, Sharma P (2012) Analysis and mapping of gene-derived simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers for common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Molecular Ecology Resources 12(4):661-668.

Blair MW*, Izquierdo P (2012) Use of the advanced backcross-QTL method to transfer seed mineral accumulation nutrition traits from wild to Andean cultivated common beans. Theoretical Applied Genetics

Blair MW*, Pantoja W, Muñoz LC (2012) First use of microsatellite markers in a large collection of cultivated and wild accessions of tepary bean (Phaseolus acutifolius A. Gray). Theoretical Applied Genetics 125 (6):1137-1147

Blair MW*, Soler A, Cortés AJ (2012) Diversification and Population Structure in Common Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). PLOS One 7 (11) e49488.

Briñez B, Blair MW. Killian A, Chiorrato A, Carbonel S, Benchimol L (2012) Development of a DART platform for the evaluation of genetic diversity in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) Molecular Breeding 30: 181-193

Checa OE, Blair MW* (2012) Inheritance of yield related traits in climbing beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L). Crop Science 52:1–16

Cortés AJ*, Chavarro M, Madriñan S, This D, Blair MW* (2012)Molecular ecology and selection of drought related Asr gene polymorphisms in wild and cultivated common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). BMC Genetics 13:58

Cortés AJ, This D, Chavarro MC, Madriñan S, Blair MW* (2012)Nucleotide diversity patterns at the drought related DREB encoding genes in wild and cultivated common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Theoretical Applied Genetics 125 (5): 1069-1085

Dwivedi SL, Sahrawat KL, Rai KN, Blair MW, Andersson M, Pfieffer W(2012) Nutritionally enhanced staple food crops. Plant Breeding Reviews 34: 169-262

Galeano CH*, Cortés AJ, Fernández AC, Soler A, Franco-Herrera N, Makunde G, Vanderleyden J*, Blair MW* (2012) Gene-based single nucleotide polymorphism markers for genetic and association mapping in common bean. BMC Genetics 13:

Blair MW*, Astudillo C, Rengifo J, Beebe SE, Graham R (2011) QTL for seed iron and zinc concentrations in a recombinant inbred line population of Andean common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Theoretical Applied Genetics 122:511-523

Blair MW*, Díaz LM, Gil-Langarica H, Mayek Perez N, Acosta JA (2011) Genetic relatedness of Mexican common bean varieties revealed by microsatellite markers. Crop Science 51:2655–2667

Blair MW*, Fernandez AC, Ishitani M, Moreta D, Seki M, Ayling S, Shinosaki S (2011) Construction and EST sequencing of a full-length, drought stress cDNA library for the Andean common bean genotype G19833. BMC Plant Biology 11:171

Blair MW*, Fernandez AC, Pedraza F, Muñoz-Torres MC, Kapu Sella N, K Brown, Lynch JP   (2011) Parallel sequencing of ESTs from two cDNA libraries for high and low phosphorus adaptation in common beans. The Plant Genome 4(3):1-14

Blair MW*, Hurtado N, Chavarro MC, Muñoz Torres MC, Tomkins J, Wing R (2011) Gene-based SSR markers for common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) derived from root and leaf tissue ESTs: an integration of the BMc series. BMC Plant Biology 11:50

Cortés A, Chavarro C, Blair MW* (2011) SNP marker diversity in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Theoretical Applied Genetics 123: 827-845

Díaz LM, Buendía HF, Duque MC, Blair MW* (2011) Genetic diversity of Colombian landraces of common bean as detected through the use of silver-stained and fluorescently labeled microsatellites. Plant Genetic Resources: Characterization and Utilization 9(1); 86–96

Galeano CH*, Fernandez AC, Franco-Herrera N, Cichy KA, McClean PE, Vanderleyden J, Blair MW* (2011) Saturation of a unified intra- and inter-genepool common bean consensus linkage map in common bean for fine-mapping and synteny analysis. PLOSOne 6(12): e28135

Miklas PN, Fourie D, Trapp J, Larsen RC, Chavarro C, Blair MW, Gepts P (2011) Genetic Characterization and Molecular Mapping Pse-2 Gene for Resistance to Halo Blight in Common Bean. Crop Science 51:2439–2448

Soule M, Porter G, Medina J, Santana G, Blair MW, Miklas PN (2011) Comparative QTL Map for White Mold Resistance in Common Bean, and Characterization of Partial Resistance in Dry Bean Lines VA19 and I9365-31 Crop Science 51:123-139

Tako E, Blair MW, Glahn RP (2011) Biofortified red mottled beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) in a maize and bean diet provide more bioavailable iron than standard red mottled beans: Studies in poultry (Gallus gallus) and an in vitro digestion/Caco-2 model. Nutrition Journal 10:113

Awards and Honors

Erasmus Fund (European Union) Fellowship for Visiting Scholars. France and Sweden 2012

CIAT’s list of most productive scientists for refereed publications: 1st place 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Bean Improvement Cooperative - Distinguished Achievement Award, 2007

Invited Speaker at Conferences: Bean Improvement Cooperative (USA) - BIC 2005, 2007; Congresso Nacional de Feijão (Brazil) - CONAFE 2008; Crop Science Society of America (USA) - CSSA, 2009; International Crop Legume Genetics and Genomics - ICLGG 2003, 2008, 2010; International Life Sciences Institute – ILSI (Colombia and USA) 2005,2006,2007, 2012; Plant and Animal Genome (USA) - PAG 2002, 2007

Invited Lectures; Cargill Series at Colorado State Univ. (Fort Collins, USA) 2009; Chinese Academy of Agri. Science (Beijing, China) 2008, 2009; Cornell Plant Breeding Seminar Series (Ithaca, USA) 2006; 2008; Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agrícola, Centro de Arroz e Feijão (EMBRAPA-CNPAF) (Goiânia, Brazil) 2004 and 2006.

Students - Where are they now?
       PhD Students
       MS Students
       BSc Honor Students      
       Fellowship Students


PhD in Plant Breeding, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
MS in Agronomy, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, PR
BS in Agriculture, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Date joined staff:  June, 2013

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