Thomas Mitchell-Olds

Newman Ivey White Professor of Biology in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences

Office: 
French Science Center 3311, Durham, NC 27708
Campus Box: 
Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338
Phone: 
(919) 668-1635
We study genetic variation in plant populations, focusing on genes that influence traits controlling plant performance in an environmental context – a central theme throughout our research in natural and agricultural populations. Much of our work is focused on the genes that affect ecological success and evolutionary fitness in natural environments. Similarly, the interaction of crop plants with their biotic and abiotic environments is controlled by complex trait variation which can be elucidated by interdisciplinary analyses incorporating functional genomics, physiological and chemical ecology, and population and quantitative genetics. We work at several levels: genetic variation within populations, local adaptation among populations, and the evolution of species differences. Our study systems are centered on the wild relatives of Arabidopsis, as well as complex trait variation of rice in Asia and Africa.

Education

  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin at Madison 1985

  • B.A., Earlham College 1978

Voigt, ML, Melzer, M, Rutten, T, Mitchell-Olds, T, and Sharbel, TF. "Gametogenesis in the apomictic Boechera holboellii complex: the male perspective." In Apomixis: Evolution, Mechanisms and Perspectives,edited by E Horandl, U Grossniklaus, P van Dijk, and TF Sharbel. International Association for Plant Taxonomy - Koeltz Scientific Books, 2007.

Mitchell-Olds, T, Al-Shehbaz, I, Koch, M, and Sharbel, T. "Crucifer Evolution in the Post-Genomic Era." In Diversity and Evolution of Plants - genotype and phenotype variation in higher plants,edited by R Henry, 119-137. CABI press, 2005.

Gurganus, M, and Mitchell-Olds, T. "Quantitative Trait Loci and Developmental Plasticity." In Plant Evolutionary Genetics and the Biology of Weeds,edited by BA Schaal, TY Chiang, and CH Chou, 77-100. Ch-Chi, Taiwan: Endemic Species Research Institute, 2004.

Kroymann, J, and Mitchell-Olds, T. "Function and evolution of an Arabidopsis insect resistance QTL." In Biology of Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions,edited by B Lugtenberg, I Tikhonovich, and N Provprov, 259-262. . International Society of Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions, APS Press, 2003.

Arisz, SA, Heo, J-Y, Koevoets, IT, Zhao, T, van Egmond, P, Meyer, AJ, Zeng, W, Niu, X, Wang, B, Mitchell-Olds, T, Schranz, ME, and Testerink, C. "DIACYLGLYCEROL ACYLTRANSFERASE1 Contributes to Freezing Tolerance." Plant Physiology 177, no. 4 (August 2018): 1410-1424. 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

Wagner, MR, and Mitchell-Olds, T. "Plasticity of plant defense and its evolutionary implications in wild populations of Boechera stricta." Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution 72, no. 5 (May 2018): 1034-1049. Full Text

Kliver, S, Rayko, M, Komissarov, A, Bakin, E, Zhernakova, D, Prasad, K, Rushworth, C, Baskar, R, Smetanin, D, Schmutz, J, Rokhsar, DS, Mitchell-Olds, T, Grossniklaus, U, and Brukhin, V. "Assembly of the Boechera retrofracta Genome and Evolutionary Analysis of Apomixis-Associated Genes." Genes 9, no. 4 (March 28, 2018). Full Text

Lee, C-R, Hsieh, J-W, Schranz, ME, and Mitchell-Olds, T. "The Functional Change and Deletion of FLC Homologs Contribute to the Evolution of Rapid Flowering in Boechera stricta." Frontiers in Plant Science 9 (January 2018): 1078-null. Full Text

Wang, B, and Mitchell-Olds, T. "Balancing selection and trans-specific polymorphisms." Genome Biology 18, no. 1 (December 12, 2017): 231-null. (Letter) Full Text

Lee, C-R, Wang, B, Mojica, JP, Mandáková, T, Prasad, KVSK, Luis Goicoechea, J, Perera, N, Hellsten, U, Hundley, HN, Johnson, J, Grimwood, J, Barry, K, Fairclough, S, Jenkins, JW, Yu, Y, Kudrna, D, Zhang, J, Talag, J, Golser, W, Ghattas, K, Schranz, ME, Wing, R, Lysak, MA, Schmutz, J, Rokhsar, DS, and Mitchell-Olds, T. "Publisher correction: Young inversion with multiple linked QTLs under selection in a hybrid zone." Nature ecology & evolution 1, no. 10 (October 2017): 1585-. Full Text

Lee, C-R, Wang, B, Mojica, JP, Mandáková, T, Prasad, KVSK, Goicoechea, JL, Perera, N, Hellsten, U, Hundley, HN, Johnson, J, Grimwood, J, Barry, K, Fairclough, S, Jenkins, JW, Yu, Y, Kudrna, D, Zhang, J, Talag, J, Golser, W, Ghattas, K, Schranz, ME, Wing, R, Lysak, MA, Schmutz, J, Rokhsar, DS, and Mitchell-Olds, T. "Erratum: Young inversion with multiple linked QTLs under selection in a hybrid zone." Nature Ecology & Evolution 1, no. 6 (April 24, 2017): 0166-0166. Full Text

Lee, C-R, Wang, B, Mojica, JP, Mandáková, T, Prasad, KVSK, Goicoechea, JL, Perera, N, Hellsten, U, Hundley, HN, Johnson, J, Grimwood, J, Barry, K, Fairclough, S, Jenkins, JW, Yu, Y, Kudrna, D, Zhang, J, Talag, J, Golser, W, Ghattas, K, Schranz, ME, Wing, R, Lysak, MA, Schmutz, J, Rokhsar, DS, and Mitchell-Olds, T. "Young inversion with multiple linked QTLs under selection in a hybrid zone." Nature Ecology & Evolution 1, no. 5 (April 3, 2017): 119-null. Full Text Open Access Copy

Keith, RA, and Mitchell-Olds, T. "Testing the optimal defense hypothesis in nature: Variation for glucosinolate profiles within plants." PloS one 12, no. 7 (January 2017): e0180971-. Full Text

Pages

Anderson, JT, Inouye, DW, McKinney, AM, Colautti, RI, and Mitchell-Olds, T. "Phenotypic plasticity and adaptive evolution contribute to advancing flowering phenology in response to climate change." September 2012. Full Text

Wittstock, U, Agerbirk, N, Stauber, EJ, Olsen, CE, Hippler, M, Mitchell-Olds, T, Gershenzon, J, and Vogel, H. "Successful herbivore attack due to metabolic diversion of a plant chemical defense." April 2004. Full Text

Kroymann, J, Donnerhacke, S, Schnabelrauch, D, and Mitchell-Olds, T. "Evolutionary dynamics of an Arabidopsis insect resistance quantitative trait locus." United States. November 25, 2003. Full Text

Ratzka, A, Vogel, H, Kliebenstein, DJ, Mitchell-Olds, T, and Kroymann, J. "Disarming the mustard oil bomb." August 2, 2002. Full Text

McKay, JK, Bishop, JG, Lin, JZ, Richards, JH, Sala, A, and Mitchell-Olds, T. "Local adaptation across a climatic gradient despite small effective population size in the rare sapphire rockcress." August 2001. Full Text

Stotz, H, Kroymann, J, Tobler, M, and Mitchell-Olds, T. "Systematic genetic and molecular analysis of insect resistance in Arabidopsis." 2000.

Mitchell-Olds, T. "Genetics and evolution of insect resistance in Arabidopsis." Novartis Symposium 223. London: Novartis Foundation, 1999.

Mitchell-Olds, T. "Quantitative genetic changes in small populations." Portland, OR: Dioscorides Press, 1991.

Selected Grants

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

Molecular Causes and Fitness Consequences of Complex Trait Variation awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2008 to 2019

DISSERTATION RESEARCH: The Genetic Architecture of Covarying Traits awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2017

DISSERTATION RESEARCH: The Genetic Architecture and Evolution of Phenotypic Plasticity for Chemical Defenses in a Wild P awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2013 to 2016

DISSERTATION RESEARCH: Evolutionary Genetics of Asexual Reproduction in a Wild Plant Species awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2013 to 2016

DISSERTATION RESEARCH: Genetic Architecture and Genomic Divergence During Ecological Speciation in Boechera stricta, a W awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2011 to 2014

DISSERTATION RESEARCH: Evolution of a novel phenotype: The role promiscuous enzyme function in adaptation awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2010 to 2013

Ecological Genomics of Local Adaptation and Trait Variation in an Arabidopsis Relative awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2007 to 2011