Philip N. Benfey

Paul Kramer Distinguished Professor of Biology

130 Science Drive, Room 137, Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708
Campus Box: 
Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708
(919) 357-1743


  • Ph.D., Harvard University 1986

  • B.S., University of Paris (France) 1981

Sparks, E. E., and P. N. Benfey. “The contribution of root systems to plant nutrient acquisition.” In Plant Macronutrient Use Efficiency: Molecular and Genomic Perspectives in Crop Plants, 83–92, 2017. Full Text

To, J. P. C., P. N. Benfey, and T. D. Elich. “Root-associated stress response networks.” In Plant Abiotic Stress, Second Edition, 69–107, 2014. Full Text

Sparks, E. E., A. Imai, M. Hasebe, and P. N. Benfey. “Developmental regulation and de novo formation of stem cells in plants.” In Stem Cells: From Basic Research to Therapy, Volume 1: Basic Stem Cell Biology, Tissue Formation during Development, and Model Organisms, 403–32, 2014. Full Text

Benfey, P. N. “Plant Development, Genetics of.” In Brenner’s Encyclopedia of Genetics: Second Edition, 340–42, 2013. Full Text

Van Norman, J. M., L. M. Liberman, and P. N. Benfey. “Arabidopsis root: A model organ in plant genomics.” In Plant Roots: The Hidden Half, Fourth Edition, 17–34, 2013.

Tromas, A., N. Braun, P. Muller, T. Khodus, I. A. Paponov, K. Palme, K. Ljung, et al. “Auxin binding protein 1 for root growth.” In Plant Physiology, 214–29, 2011.

Dinneny, J. R., and P. N. Benfey. “Studying Root Development Using a Genomic Approach.” In Root Development, 37:325–51, 2009. Full Text

Perianez-Rodriguez, J., M. Rodriguez, M. Marconi, E. Bustillo-Avendaño, G. Wachsman, A. Sanchez-Corrionero, H. de Gernier, et al. “An auxin-regulable oscillatory circuit drives the root clock in arabidopsis.” Science Advances 7, no. 1 (January 1, 2021). Full Text

Wachsman, Guy, Jingyuan Zhang, Miguel A. Moreno-Risueno, Charles T. Anderson, and Philip N. Benfey. “Cell wall remodeling and vesicle trafficking mediate the root clock in Arabidopsis.Science (New York, N.Y.) 370, no. 6518 (November 2020): 819–23. Full Text

Henkhaus, Natalie, Madelaine Bartlett, David Gang, Rebecca Grumet, Ingrid Jordon-Thaden, Argelia Lorence, Eric Lyons, et al. “Plant science decadal vision 2020-2030: Reimagining the potential of plants for a healthy and sustainable future.Plant Direct 4, no. 8 (August 2020): e00252. Full Text

Wachsman, Guy, and Philip N. Benfey. “Lateral Root Initiation: The Emergence of New Primordia Following Cell Death.Current Biology : Cb 30, no. 3 (February 2020): R121–22. Full Text

Yamada, Masashi, Xinwei Han, and Philip N. Benfey. “RGF1 controls root meristem size through ROS signalling.Nature 577, no. 7788 (January 2020): 85–88. Full Text

Shahan, Rachel, and Philip N. Benfey. “A Co-opted Regulator of Lateral Root Development Controls Nodule Organogenesis in Lotus.Developmental Cell 52, no. 1 (January 2020): 6–7. Full Text

Zhang, Yueying, Minglei Yang, Susan Duncan, Xiaofei Yang, Mahmoud A. S. Abdelhamid, Lin Huang, Huakun Zhang, Philip N. Benfey, Zoë A. E. Waller, and Yiliang Ding. “G-quadruplex structures trigger RNA phase separation.Nucleic Acids Research 47, no. 22 (December 2019): 11746–54. Full Text

Jia, Kun-Peng, Alexandra J. Dickinson, Jianing Mi, Guoxin Cui, Ting Ting Xiao, Najeh M. Kharbatia, Xiujie Guo, et al. “Anchorene is a carotenoid-derived regulatory metabolite required for anchor root formation in Arabidopsis.Science Advances 5, no. 11 (November 27, 2019): eaaw6787. Full Text

Dickinson, Alexandra J., Kevin Lehner, Jianing Mi, Kun-Peng Jia, Medhavinee Mijar, José Dinneny, Salim Al-Babili, and Philip N. Benfey. “β-Cyclocitral is a conserved root growth regulator.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 116, no. 21 (May 8, 2019): 10563–67. Full Text

Chen, Wen-Qian, Colleen Drapek, Dong-Xu Li, Zhi-Hong Xu, Philip N. Benfey, and Shu-Nong Bai. “Histone Deacetylase HDA19 Affects Root Cortical Cell Fate by Interacting with SCARECROW.Plant Physiology 180, no. 1 (May 2019): 276–88. Full Text


Mccaskey, E. N., K. Lehner, I. Taylor, P. N. Benfey, and D. I. Goldman. “Rice Root Tip Circumnutation Facilitates Exploratory Behavior.” In Integrative and Comparative Biology, 60:E156–E156, 2020.

Mccaskey, E. N., K. Lehner, M. Murray-Cooper, Y. Ozkan-Aydin, E. W. Hawkes, P. N. Benfey, and D. Goldman. “Circumnutation Facilitates Effective Root-Surface Exploration of Rice Roots.” In Integrative and Comparative Biology, 59:E151–E151. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2019.

Benfey, Philip N. “Underground Signaling Networks.” In Mechanisms of Development, 145:S12–S12. Elsevier BV, 2017. Full Text

Benfey, Philip N. “Underground Signaling Networks.” In In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology Animal, 53:S22–S22. SPRINGER, 2017.

Tsukagoshi, Hironaka, Kaho Mabuchi, Takamasa Suzuki, Mika Nomoto, Wolfgang Busch, Yasuomi Tada, Tetsuya Higashiyama, and Philip N. Benfey. “The regulation mechanism of root development by ROS.” In Genes & Genetic Systems, 89:295–295. GENETICS SOC JAPAN, 2014.

Cederholm, Heidi, and Philip Benfey. “Transcriptional Networks of Phosphate Acquisition.” In In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology Animal, 46:S103–S103, 2010.

Benfey, Philip N., Ji-Young Lee, Juliette Colinas, Hongchang Cui, Richard Twigg, Terri Long, and I. Dinneny. “A systems biology approach to root development.” In Developmental Biology, 295:345–345. Elsevier BV, 2006. Full Text

Lee, J., J. Colinas, J. Wang, S. Brady, D. Mace, U. Ohler, and P. Benfey. “Genome to network: An integrative approach to understanding gene regulatory networks in Arabidopsis roots.” In Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology a Molecular & Integrative Physiology, 143:S138–S138. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, 2006.

Galbraith, D. W., K. D. Birnbaum, P. Benfey, G. M. Lambert, D. E. Shasha, J. Wang, and J. Jung. “A high resolution gene expression map of the arabidopsis root.” In Cytometry Part A, 59A:90–90. WILEY-LISS, 2004.

Benfey, P. N., K. Birnbaum, and D. Shasha. “Transcriptional networks in root development.” In In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology Animal, 40:20A-20A. SPRINGER, 2004.


Taylor, Isaiah, Mason Murray-Cooper, Niba Nirmal, Erin McCaskey, Philip N. Benfey, Yasemin Ozkan-Aydin, Elliot W. Hawkes, et al. “Data and scripts from: Mechanism and function of root circumnutation,” December 16, 2020. Full Text

Selected Grants

Genetic and Genomics Training Grant awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 2020 to 2025

A Molecular Genetic Analysis of Root Morphogenesis awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2024

Collaborative Research: Root Dynamics and Control in Heterogeneous Soft Substrates awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2022

IRES Track 1 IRTG Engaged in Dissecting and Reengineering the Regulatory Genome awarded by National Science Foundation (Mentor). 2019 to 2022

Training Program in Developmental and Stem Cell Biology awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 2001 to 2022

Architecture and Dynamics of the Gene Regulatory Network Controlling Cell Fate awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2020 to 2022

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Training Program awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 2005 to 2021

Genetics Training Grant awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 1979 to 2020

Organization and Function of Cellular Structure awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 1975 to 2020

Molecular Genetic Analysis of Root Morphogenesis awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2002 to 2018