Imtiyaz Khanday, PhD

Imtiyaz Khanday

Position Title
Assistant Professor
Assistant Agronomist

Plant Reproductive Biology

Our research interests lie in investigating seed development and utilizing the understanding of this basic biological process to develop strategies for creating high vigor, clonal, and climate resilient seeds for crop propagation. Our research program uses multiple approaches – gene editing, genetics, transcriptomics, and physiology to explore:

1) Seed development:  Seed development starts with gametic fusion during double fertilization and is a crucial step in the plant life cycle. The specific questions that this project aims to answer are: What triggers zygote development after fertilization, how does parental gene expression influence it, and how does embryogenesis proceeds thereafter in plants? How are cell fate determination and organogenesis regulated in monocot embryos?  

2) Dormancy and seed vigor: The balance between dormancy and germination in seeds is mediated by complex crosstalk between abscisic acid and gibberellins. This project aims to understand how abscisic acid biosynthesis during seed development influences dormancy and how it can be modulated to create high vigor and climate-resilient seeds.

3) Clonal propagation of crops: Apomixis, a form of asexual seed formation that results in clonal progeny has the potential to revolutionize agriculture by allowing fixation of vigor in hybrid crops. It can also enable the propagation of vegetatively propagated crops like potatoes through seeds. This project aims to develop better apomixis systems for hybrid crop propagation and extend this clonal seed technology to vegetatively propagated crops.

Education and Degree(s)
  • Ph.D., Indian Institute of Science, Plant Development and Genetics
  • M.Sc., University of Kashmir, Biotechnology
  • PLS 171: Plant Propagation (Spring quarter)
  • PBI 200B: Cell/Developmental Biology (PBGG core course, Winter quarter)
Membership and Service
  • American Society of Plant Biologists
  • International Society for Seed Science