Horticultural Sciences Department

You are here

Dr. Karen E. Koch

Office:2147 Fifield Hall

Koch Website

Koch Lab Website

Koch Lab Website

Areas of Research

Physiology and genetics of sugar metabolism, sensing, and partitioning

Teaching Responsibilities

HOS 6345: Environmental Physiology of Plants (4cr grad)

BCH-BOT 6925: Plant Biochemistry - Central Metabolism (4cr grad)

Mentoring: Highschool Interns (~1), Undergraduate Interns (~5), PhD students (~2), Postdoctoral Associates (~1), and Associate Research Professors (~1).
Each has their own mentees and helps train new lab members.

Program Personnel 

Jonathan "Jono" Saunders, Biological Scientist

Jiahn-Chou Guan, Associate Research Professor

Fanfgang Ma, Postdoctoral Research Associate

Maria Angélica Sanclemente, PhD Student

Peng Liu, PhD Student

Mark Wissel, Undergraduate Intern

Catherine Cropsey, Undergraduate Intern

Scott Fleishman, Undergraduate Intern

MacCarthy Baker, Highschool Intern

Selected Publications

  • Tan BC, Guan JC, Ding S, Wu S, Saunders JW, Koch KE, McCarty, DR. 2017. Structure and origin of the White Cap locus and its role in evolution of grain color in maize. Genetics 206: 135-150. (Highlighted in accompanying commentary by T. Peterson).
  • Liu P, McCarty DR, and Koch KE. 2016. Transposon mutagenesis and analysis of mutants in UniformMu maize (Zea mays). Curr. Protoc. Plant Biol. 1:451-465.
  • Guan J-C, and Koch KE. 2015. A time and a place for sugar in your ears: Targeting trehalose metabolism improves maize yield under a range of water-deficit conditions. Nature Biotechnology 33: 827-828.
  • Sosso D, Luo D, Li Q-B, Sasse J, Gendrot G, Suzuki M, Koch KE, McCarty DM, Chourey PS, Rogowsky PM, Ross-Ibarra J, Yang B, and Frommer WB. 2015. Seed filling in domesticated maize and rice depends on SWEET-mediated hexose transport. Nature Genetics 47:1489–93. doi:10.1038/ng.3422.
  • Andorf CM, Kopylov M, Dobbs D, Koch KE, Stroupe ME, Lawrence CJ, and Bass HW. 2014. G-Quadruplex (G4) Motifs in the maize (Zea mays L.) genome are enriched at specific locations in thousands of genes coupled to energy status, hypoxia, low sugar, and nutrient deprivation. J Genet Genomics 41: 627-647.
  • Bihmidine S, Hunter CT, Johns CE, Koch KE, and Braun D. 2013. Regulation of assimilate import into sink organs: Update on molecular drivers of sink strength. Frontiers in Plant Science. 4:1-15.