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Jaswinder Singh

Associate Professor 

T: 514-398-7906  | jaswinder [dot] singh [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email) |  Raymond Building, R2-0  |  Jaswinder Singh CV (Jn2014 [.pdf]


BSc, MSc (Punjab Agricultural University)
PhD (U of Sydney)

Active Affiliations

Research interests

My long-term research goal is to integrate molecular and genomic tools with plant biology to develop enhanced crop plants. In particular, I am interested to incorporate novel genes to add value to crop production by bridging the gap between molecular biology and plant breeding. Conventional plant breeding has provided excellent resources for the development of new varieties and novel germplasm. Regardless of the value of the past contributions, classical breeding alone will not provide adequate breakthroughs to increase yield and quality, to solve the complex problems of biotic and abiotic stresses, and to develop/enhance bioeneregy capabilities of plant species. In the modern era, plant improvement seems vulnerable and inadequate without the contributions of the new tools of molecular biology and genomics. Genomics provides innovative, integrative approaches to study plant biochemistry, development and physiology irrespective of species reproduction barriers. My experience in conventional plant breeding, genomics, biotechnology and proteomics encouraged me to develop such research programs aimed at creating future generation of crop plants by coupling plant breeding, genomics epigenetics and molecular biology.

Current Research

For more information about our current research please see Leaving the past behind

See news articles on our work:

  1. http://www.mcgill.ca/channels/news/mcgill-discovery-should-save-wheat-farmers-millions-231037

  2. http://www.mcgill.ca/newsroom/channels/news/plants-display-molecular-amnesia-103077

The major objectives of my research program are:

  1. Development of new molecular breeding and genomics tools for enhancing value of cereals and grasses.

  2. Exploration of cultivated and wild germplasm for the identification of novel genes, suitable for the next generation of crop plants.

  3. Epigenetic regulation of transposable elements, stress responses and grain development.

Current research

  • Transposon-mediated gene exploration in barley and other cereals
  • Transposon-mediated Activation Tagging in Oat



AEBI 210 Organisms 1 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PLNT 435 Plant Breeding 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


Selected Publications

Singh, M., Singh, S., Randhawa, H., Singh, J. (2013) Polymorphic homoeolog of key gene of RdDM pathway, ARGONAUTE4_9 class is associated with Pre-harvest Sprouting in wheat  (Triticum aestivum L.). PLoS ONE 8(10): e77009.

Lamb-Palmer, N.D., Singh, M., Dalton, J. P., Singh, J. (2013) Prokaryotic Expression and Purification of Soluble Maize Ac Transposase. Molecular Biotechnology 54:685–691.

Nandha, P and Singh, J. (2014) Comparative assessment of genetic diversity between wild and cultivated barley using gSSR and EST-SSR markers. Plant Breeding  133, 28–35.

Kaur, R., Singh, K., Singh, J. (2013) A root specific wall-associated kinase gene, HvWAK1,  regulates root growth, and is highly divergent in barley and other cereals. Functional &  Integrative Genomics 13: 167-177.  

 Ahmad, S., Singh, M., Lamb-Palmer, N. D., Lefsrud, M., Singh, J. (2012) Assessment of   genetic diversity in Pisum spp through microsatellite markers. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 92:1075-1081.

Singh, M., Singh, J. (2012) Seed development related expression of ARGONAUTE 4_9 class of genes in barley: possible role in seed dormancy. Euphytica 188:123–129.

Singh, S., Tan, H-Q., Singh J. (2012) Mutagenesis of barley malting quality QTLs with Ds transposons. Functional & Integrative Genomics12:131-141.

Tan, H-Q., Singh J. (2011) High-efficiency thermal asymmetric interlaced (HE-TAIL) PCR for amplification of Ds transposon insertion sites in barley Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, 2 (1): 9-14

Sattler, S.E., Singh, J., Haas, E. J., Guo, L., Sarath, G., Pedersen, J. F., (2009) Two distinct waxy alleles impact the granule-bound starch synthase in sorghum. Molecular Breeding 24:349-359.

Randhawa, H.1, Singh, J. 1, Lemaux, P.G., Gill, K.S. (2009) Mapping barley Ds insertions using wheat deletion lines reveals high insertion frequencies in gene-rich regions with high to moderate recombination rates Genome, 52: 566–575. (1joint first authors).

Singh J., Freeling, M., Lisch D. (2008) A position effect on the heritability of epigenetic silencing. PLOS Genetics 4 (10): e1000216. PLoS Genetics. PLoS Genetics

Wong, J., Lau, C., Cai, N., Singh, J., Pedersen, J., Vensel, W. H., Hurkman, W., Lemaux, P., Buchanan, B. (2008) The Interaction between starch and protein affect digestibility in sorghum grain. J. Cereal Science doi:10.1016/j.jcs.2008.07.013.

Zhang, S., Gu, Y., Singh, J., Coleman-Derr, D., Brar, D. S., Jiang N., Lemaux, P. G (2007) New insights into Oryza genome evolution: High gene colinearity and differential reterotransposon amplification. Plant Molecular Biology 64 : 589-600.

Bregitzer, P., Cooper, L. D., Hayes, P. M. Lemaux, P. G., Singh, J., Sturbaum, A. (2007) Viability and bar expression are negatively correlated in Oregon Wolfe Barley Dominant Hybrids. Plant Biotechnology Journal 5 (3): 381-388.

Singh J., Zhang S., Chen, C., Cooper, L., Bregitzer, P., Sturbaum, A. K., Hayes, P. M., and Lemaux, P. G. (2006) High-frequency Ds remobilization over multiple generations in barley facilitates gene tagging in large genome cereals. Plant Molecular Biology 62 : 937-950.

Zhang, S., Chen, C., Li, L.,Meng, M., Singh, J., Jiang, N., Deng, X-H., He, Z-H., Lemaux, P. G. (2005)Evolutionary expansion, gene structure, and expression of the rice (Oryza sativa L.) wall-associated kinase (OsWAKs) gene family. Plant Physiology 139: 1107-1124.

Cooper, L. D*., Marquez-Cedillo*, L., Singh J*., Sturbaum, A. K., Zhang, S., Edwards, V., Johnson, K., Kleinhofs, A., Rangel, S., Carollo. V., Bregitzer, P., Lemaux, P. G., and Hayes, P. M. (2004) Mapping Ds insertions in barley using a sequence-based approach. Mol Genet Genomics 272 :181-193 (* joint first authors).

Singh, J., Blundell, M., Tanner, G and Skerritt, J. H. (2001) Albumin and globulin proteins of wheat: immunological and N-terminal sequence characterization. J. Cereal Science 34: 85-103.

Singh, J. and Skerritt, J. H. (2001) Chromosomal control of albumins and globulins in wheat grain using different fractionation procedures. J. Cereal Science 33 :63-181.