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) 660-7338


  • 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

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

Di Mambro, Riccardo, Noemi Svolacchia, Raffaele Dello Ioio, Emanuela Pierdonati, Elena Salvi, Emanuela Pedrazzini, Alessandro Vitale, et al. “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

Pierre-Jerome, Edith, Colleen Drapek, and Philip N. Benfey. “Regulation of Division and Differentiation of Plant Stem Cells.Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology 34 (October 2018): 289–310. Full Text

Drapek, Colleen, Erin E. Sparks, Peter Marhavy, Isaiah Taylor, Tonni G. Andersen, Jessica H. Hennacy, Niko Geldner, and Philip N. Benfey. “Minimum requirements for changing and maintaining endodermis cell identity in the Arabidopsis root.Nature Plants 4, no. 8 (August 2018): 586–95. Full Text

Grondin, Alexandre, Shalabh Dixit, Rolando Torres, Challa Venkateshwarlu, Eric Rogers, Thomas Mitchell-Olds, Philip N. Benfey, Arvind Kumar, and Amelia Henry. “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. Full Text


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.

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

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.

Ogawa, M., A. Kuwahara, A. J. Paquette, P. N. Benfey, Y. Kamiya, and S. Yamaguchi. “Roles of the gibberellin-responsive SCL3 gene in Arabidopsis.” In Plant and Cell Physiology, 45:S213–S213. OXFORD UNIV PRESS, 2004.

Benfey, P. N., K. Gallagher, A. Paquette, K. Nakajima, and G. Sena. “Radial patterning in arabidopsis: A moving target.” In Developmental Biology, 259:523–523. ACADEMIC PRESS INC ELSEVIER SCIENCE, 2003.

Nawy, T., J. E. Malamy, and P. N. Benfey. “The MADS box gene AGL42 is expressed in the Arabidopsis root meristem and maintains its organization.” In Developmental Biology, 259:573–573. ACADEMIC PRESS INC ELSEVIER SCIENCE, 2003.

Roudier, F., A. Fernandez, and P. N. Benfey. “COBRA, a GPI-Anchored membrane protein, regulates anisotropic cell expansion during Arabidopsis development.” In Developmental Biology, 259:586–586. ACADEMIC PRESS INC ELSEVIER SCIENCE, 2003.


Selected Grants

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

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 a 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 2020

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 (Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2017