Aureliano Bombarely appointed assistant professor of horticulture
Bombarely is one of 19 new faculty in the college. New positions were identified to bring new talent to its focus areas, including food and health, infectious disease, biodesign and processing, and agricultural profitability and environmental sustainability. The new faculty members are distributed across teaching, research, and Extension.
Bombarely earned his degrees from the University of Malaga in Spain and received his Ph.D.and master's degree in molecular biology, and an bachelor's degree in chemistry. He was previously a research associate in the Department of Plant Biology at Cornell University, as well as a postdoctoral research associate at the Boyce Thompson Institute.
Bombarely's laboratory at Virginia Tech is involved in the genome sequencing, annotation, and analysis of the model species Nicotiana benthamiana — a plant that pertains to the Solanaceae family of flowering plants which include common agricultural crops such as tomato, potato, pepper, and eggplant. His lab focuses on plant pathogen interaction studies and several floriculture crops such as petunia (Petunia axillaris and P. inflata) and gloxinia (Sinningia speciosa). The drafts of these genomes will lead to the development of new tools to facilitate breeding these crops while illuminating genomic modifications accompanying domestication.
Other areas of the research in the Bombarely laboratory are the study of the origin and genome evolution of polyploid species and the impact of the domestication process of these species.
Bombarely has participated in numerous presentations and workshops surrounding the scholarship of plant genome analysis including the 10th Solanaceae Genome Workshop in Beijing, China.
Written by Amy Loeffler.