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Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics & Genomics: People

Joseph E. Knoll

Research Geneticist

PlaceholderUSDA-ARS, Crop Genetics and Breeding Research Unit 115 Coastal Way
Tifton, GA  31793

Phone: 229-386-3189
Fax: 229-391-3701

Research area: Genetic improvement of corn and sorghum


Dr. Joseph Knoll is a Research Geneticist in the USDA-ARS Crop Genetics and Breeding Research Unit in Tifton, GA.  Originally from northwest Indiana, Dr. Knoll received a Ph.D. in plant breeding and genetics from Purdue University in 2007.  For his Ph.D. research he identified and validated molecular markers for introgression of early-season cold tolerance traits into grain sorghum.  He moved to Georgia to pursue postdoctoral research in peanut allergen mitigation at the University of Georgia-Tifton.  This was followed by two additional postdoctoral research assignments, one with ARS, to investigate production and utilization of perennial grasses and sweet sorghum for bioenergy.  He returned to ARS in January, 2013 in his current role.  His research assignment is split between two crops, corn and sorghum.  He is investigating genetic improvement of corn for resistance to aflatoxin accumulation caused by the fungus Aspergillus flavus, as well as resistance to abiotic stresses, to develop improved corn for the Southeast.  He is also studying the improvement of sweet sorghum as a bioenergy crop for the Southeast.  Development of hybrid sweet sorghum with resistance to various diseases will be the major focus of this research.  Dr. Knoll has been a member of both the Crop Science Society of America and the American Society of Agronomy since 2005, and was recently inducted into Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society.  Dr. Knoll is an avid gardener and also enjoys hiking, running, bicycling, and other outdoor activities.  He married his wife Julie in 2011; they live in Tifton with their two rescued dogs.


Degree Field Institution Date Obtained
M.S. Horticulture Purdue University 2002
Ph.D. Agronomy Purdue University 2007