Philip N. Benfey

Paul Kramer Professor of Biology in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences

130 Science Drive, Room 137, Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708
Campus Box: 
Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708
(919) 660-7338


  • Ph.D., Harvard University 1986

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

Sparks, EE, and Benfey, PN. "The contribution of root systems to plant nutrient acquisition." In Plant Macronutrient Use Efficiency: Molecular and Genomic Perspectives in Crop Plants, 83-92. January 1, 2017. Full Text

To, JPC, Benfey, PN, and Elich, TD. "Root-associated stress response networks." In Plant Abiotic Stress, Second Edition, 69-107. January 28, 2014. Full Text

Sparks, EE, Imai, A, Hasebe, M, and Benfey, PN. "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, 403-432. January 1, 2014. Full Text

Benfey, PN. "Plant Development, Genetics of." In Brenner's Encyclopedia of Genetics: Second Edition, 340-342. February 27, 2013. Full Text

Van Norman, JM, Liberman, LM, and Benfey, PN. "Arabidopsis root: A model organ in plant genomics." In Plant Roots: The Hidden Half, Fourth Edition, 17-34. January 1, 2013.

Tromas, A, Braun, N, Muller, P, Khodus, T, Paponov, IA, Palme, K, Ljung, K, Lee, JY, Benfey, P, Murray, JAH, Scheres, B, and Perrot-Rechenmann, C. "Auxin binding protein 1 for root growth." In Plant Physiology, 214-229. January 1, 2011.

Dinneny, JR, and Benfey, PN. "Studying Root Development Using a Genomic Approach." In Root Development, 325-351. October 7, 2009. Full Text

Di Mambro, R, Svolacchia, N, Dello Ioio, R, Pierdonati, E, Salvi, E, Pedrazzini, E, Vitale, A, Perilli, S, Sozzani, R, Benfey, PN, Busch, W, Costantino, P, and Sabatini, S. "The Lateral Root Cap Acts as an Auxin Sink that Controls Meristem Size." Current Biology : Cb 29, no. 7 (April 2019): 1199-1205.e4. Full Text

Chen, W-Q, Drapek, C, Li, D-X, Xu, Z-H, Benfey, PN, and Bai, S-N. "Histone deacetylase HDA19 affects root cortical cell fate by interacting with SCARECROW." Plant Physiology (February 8, 2019). Full Text

Pierre-Jerome, E, Drapek, C, and Benfey, PN. "Regulation of Division and Differentiation of Plant Stem Cells." Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology 34 (October 2018): 289-310. Full Text

Drapek, C, Sparks, EE, Marhavy, P, Taylor, I, Andersen, TG, Hennacy, JH, Geldner, N, and Benfey, PN. "Minimum requirements for changing and maintaining endodermis cell identity in the Arabidopsis root." Nature Plants 4, no. 8 (August 2018): 586-595. Full Text

Grondin, A, Dixit, S, Torres, R, Venkateshwarlu, C, Rogers, E, Mitchell-Olds, T, Benfey, PN, Kumar, A, and Henry, A. "Physiological mechanisms contributing to the QTL qDTY3.2 effects on improved performance of rice Moroberekan x Swarna BC2F3:4 lines under drought." Rice (New York, N.Y.) 11, no. 1 (July 31, 2018): 43-null. Full Text

Shibata, M, Breuer, C, Kawamura, A, Clark, NM, Rymen, B, Braidwood, L, Morohashi, K, Busch, W, Benfey, PN, Sozzani, R, and Sugimoto, K. "GTL1 and DF1 regulate root hair growth through transcriptional repression of ROOT HAIR DEFECTIVE 6-LIKE 4 in Arabidopsis." Development (Cambridge, England) 145, no. 3 (February 8, 2018). Full Text

Wendrich, JR, Möller, BK, Li, S, Saiga, S, Sozzani, R, Benfey, PN, De Rybel, B, and Weijers, D. "Framework for gradual progression of cell ontogeny in the Arabidopsis root meristem." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 114, no. 42 (October 2, 2017): E8922-E8929. Full Text

Di Mambro, R, De Ruvo, M, Pacifici, E, Salvi, E, Sozzani, R, Benfey, PN, Busch, W, Novak, O, Ljung, K, Di Paola, L, Marée, AFM, Costantino, P, Grieneisen, VA, and Sabatini, S. "Auxin minimum triggers the developmental switch from cell division to cell differentiation in the Arabidopsis root." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 114, no. 36 (September 2017): E7641-E7649. Full Text

Drapek, C, Sparks, EE, and Benfey, PN. "Uncovering Gene Regulatory Networks Controlling Plant Cell Differentiation." Trends in Genetics : Tig 33, no. 8 (August 2017): 529-539. (Review) Full Text

Hsu, PY, and Benfey, PN. "Small but Mighty: Functional Peptides Encoded by Small ORFs in Plants." Proteomics (July 31, 2017). (Review) Full Text


Mccaskey, EN, Lehner, K, Murray-Cooper, M, Ozkan-Aydin, Y, Hawkes, EW, Benfey, PN, and Goldman, D. "Circumnutation Facilitates Effective Root-Surface Exploration of Rice Roots." Annual Meeting of the Society-for-Integrative-and-Comparative-Biology (SICB). Tampa, FL. January 3, 2019 - January 7, 2019.: OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, March 1, 2019.

Benfey, PN. "Underground Signaling Networks." June 2017.

Tsukagoshi, H, Mabuchi, K, Suzuki, T, Nomoto, M, Busch, W, Tada, Y, Higashiyama, T, and Benfey, PN. "The regulation mechanism of root development by ROS." December 2014.

Benfey, PN, Lee, J-Y, Colinas, J, Cui, H, Twigg, R, Long, T, and Dinneny, I. "A systems biology approach to root development.": Elsevier BV, July 2006. Full Text

Ogawa, M, Kuwahara, A, Paquette, AJ, Benfey, PN, Kamiya, Y, and Yamaguchi, S. "Roles of the gibberellin-responsive SCL3 gene in Arabidopsis." 2004.

Benfey, PN, Birnbaum, K, and Shasha, D. "Transcriptional networks in root development." 2004.

Benfey, PN, Gallagher, K, Paquette, A, Nakajima, K, and Sena, G. "Radial patterning in arabidopsis: A moving target." July 15, 2003.


Selected Grants

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

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

Identifying Novel Peptide Hormones In Tomato Root Development awarded by Department of Agriculture (Principal Investigator). 2016 to 2017

Monsanto's Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program awarded by Texas A&M AgriLife Research (Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2017

Characterizing gene regulatory network dynamics controlling asymmetric cell division awarded by Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2017

Determining Interaction Parameters of Roots in Soil awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2017