Rod A. Wing, Ph.D.


Professor of Plant Science | Director of CDA

Research Interests

Professor Wing's lab focuses on the discovery and utilization of natural variation in the genus Oryza to help solve the 10-billion people question: i.e. "How we feed our world without destroying our world by 2050". At present, the Wing lab is focusing on the generation of Platinum Standard Reference Genomes for cultivated rice and its wild relatives to create a pan-Oryza genome that will serve as a template to create a digital genebank (DGB) for rice. This DGB will be interrogated to discover and analyze essentially all SNP and structural variation that exists across the genus. Such data will be linked with high-throughput phenotyping data derived from a global rice array composed of ~3000 diverse rice accessions planted in multiple locations around the world, over multiple seasons. Such data can then be used to accelerate the breeding of "Green Super Rice" varieties that are adapted to different environmental conditions, including the desert environments of the Middle East. 

Selected Publications

  •  Liao, Yi, X. Zhang, B. Li, T. Liu, J. Chen, Z. Bai, M. Wang, J. Shi, J.G. Walling, R.A. Wing, J. Jiang, M. Chen. Comparative genomic analyses of Oryza sativa and Oryza brachyantha provide new insights into centromere evolution. 2018. The Plant Cell 30:1729-1744.
  • Wing, R.A, M.D. Purugganan & Q. Zhang. The rice genome revolution: from an ancient grain to Green Super Rice. 2018. Nature Reviews Genetics [Article & Cover] 19:505-517.
  •  Lv, Shuwei, W. Wu, M. Wang, R.S. Meyer, M.N. Ndjiondjop, L. Tan, H. Zhou, J. Zhang, Y. Fu, H. Cai, C. Sun, R.A. Wing, Z. Zhu. Genetic control of seed shattering during African rice domestication. 2018. Nature Plants, 4:331–337.
  • Scheben, A., C.-K.K. Chan, L. Mansueto, R. Mauleon, P. Larmande, N. Alexandrov, R.A. Wing, K.L. McNally, H. Quesneville, D. Edwards. Progress in single-access information systems for wheat and rice crop improvement. 2018. Briefings in Bioinformatics,1-7,
  • Bhatia, D., R.A. Wing, Y. Yu, K. Chougle, D. Kudrna, S. Lee, A. Rang, K. Singh. Genotyping by sequencing of rice interspecific backcross inbred lines identifies QTL for grain weight and grain length. 2018. Euphyutica 214: 41,
  •  Kim, N.H., M. Jayakodi , J.K. Lee , B.-S. Choi , W. Jang, J. Lee , H.H. Kim , N.E. Waminal , M. Lakshmanan , B. Nguyen , Y.S. Lee , H.-S. Park , H.J. Koo, J.Y. Park , S. Perumal, H.J. Joh, H. Lee , J. Kim, I.S. Kim, K. Kim, L. Koduru, K.B. Kang, S.H. Sung, Y. Yu, D. Park, D. Choi , E. S., S. Kim, Y.-C. Kim, D.Y. Hyun, Y.-I. Park, C. Kim, T.-H. Lee, H.U. Kim , M.S. Soh , Y. Lee , J.G. In, H.-S. Kim , Y.-M. Kim, D.-C. M. P, R.A. Wing, D.-Y. Lee, A. Paterson, T.J. Yang. Genome and evolution of the shade-requiring medicinal herb Panax ginseng. 2018. Plant Biotechnology [Article & Cover] 16:1904–1917. 
  • Wang, W., R. Mauleon, Z. Hu, D. Chebotarov, S. Tai, Z. Wu, M. Li, T. Zheng, R.R. Fuentes, F. Zhang, L. Mansueto, D. Copetti, M. Sanciangco, K.C. Palis, J. Xu, C. Sun, H. Zhang, B. Fu, Yongming Gao1,5, Xiuqin Zhao1, Fei Shen9, Xiao Cui3, Hong Yu10, Zichao Li9, M. Chen, J. Detras, Y. Zhou, X. Zhang, Y. Zhao, D. Kudrna, C. Wang, R. Li, B. Jia, J. Lu, X. He, Z. Dong, J. Xu, Y. Li, M. Wang, J. Shi, J. Li, D. Zhang, S. Lee, W. Hu, A. Poliakov, I. Dubchak, V.J. Ulat, F.N. Borja, J.R. Mendoza, J. Ali, J. Li, M. Yang, Y. Niu, Z. Yue4, M.E.B. Naredo, J. Talag, X. Wang, J. Li, X. Fang, Y. Yin, J.C. Glaszmann, J. Zhang, J. Li, R.S. Hamilton, R.A. Wing*, C. Wei*, J. Ruan*, G. Zhang*, K.L. McNally*, N. Alexandrov*, Z. Li*, H. Leung (*Co-corresponding authors). 2018. Harnessing natural variation across 3,000 rice genomes: SNP discovery, population structure and genome diversity. 2018. Nature [Article] 557:43-49.
  • J.C. Stein, Y. Yu, D. Copetti, D.J. Zwick, L. Zhang, C. Zhang, K. Chougule, D. Gao, A. Iwata, J.L. Goicoechea, S. Wei, J. Wang, Y. Liao, M. Wang, J. Jacquemin, C. Becker, D. Kudrna, J. Zhang, C.E.M. Londono, X. Song, S. Lee, P. Sanchez, A. Zuccolo, J.S.S. Amiraju, J. Talag, A. Danowitz, L.F. Rivera, A.R. Gschwend, C. Noutsos, C. Wu, S. Kao, J. Zeng, F. Wei, Q. Zhao, Q. Feng, M. Elbaidouri, M.C. Carpentier, E. Lasserre, R. Cooke, D.R. Farias, L.C. Maia, R.S. Santos, K.G. Nyberg, C. Fan, D. Weigel, K.K. Jena, T. Wicker, M. Chen, B. Han, R. Henry, Y.C. Hsing, N. Kurata, A.C. Oliveira, O. Panaud, S.A. Jackson, C.A. Machado, M.J. Sanderson, M. Long, D. Ware & R.A. Wing. 2018. Genomes of 13 domesticated and wild rice relatives reveal genetic conservation, turnover and innovation across the genus Oryza. 2018. Nature Genetics [Article & Cover] 50:285-296.
  •  Harkess, A., J. Zhou, C. Xu, J.E. Bowers, R.V. Hulst, S. Ayyampalayam, F Mercati, P. Riccardi, M.R. McKain, A. Kakrana, H. Tang, J. Ray, J. Groenendijk, T. Arikit, S. Mathioni, M. Nakano, H. Shan, A. Telgmann-Rauber, A. Kanno, Z. Yue, H Chen, W. Li, Y. Chen, X. Xu, Y. Zhang, S Luo, H. Chen, J. Gao, Z Mao, J.C. Pires, M. Luo, D. Kudrna, R.A. Wing, B.C. Meyers, K. Yi, H. Kong, P. Lavrijsen, F. Sunseri, A. Falavigna, Y. Ye, J. Leebens-Mack, G. Chen. The asparagus genome sheds light on the origin and evolution of a young Y chromosome. 2017 Nature Communications 1279, doi:10.1038/s41467-017-01064-8.
  • R.S. dos Santos, D.R Farias, C. Pegoraro, C.V. Rombaldi, T. Fukao, R.A. Wing, A.C. de Oliveira. Evolutionary analysis of the SUB1 locus across the Oryza genomes. 2017. Rice 10:4.
  • Eizenga, G.C., P.L. Sanchez, A.K. Jackson, J.D. Edwards, B.L. Hurwitz, R.A. Wing, & D. Kudrna. Genetic variation for domestication-related traits revealed in a cultivated rice, Nipponbare (Oryza sativa ssp. japonica) × ancestral rice, O. nivara, mapping population. 2017. Mol. Breeding 37:135.


  • 1980 B.A. Biochemistry, University of California, Berkeley
  • 1987 Ph.D. Genetics, University of California, Davis

Professional Profile

  • 1987-1988 Postdoctoral Research Associate, Plant Gene Expression Center, U.C. Berkeley-USDA/ARS
  • 1988-1990 USDA/ARS Terry Kinney Postdoctoral Fellow, Plant Gene Expression Center, U.C. Berkeley-USDA/ARS
  • 1990-1991 Research Associate, Cornell University, NSF Plant Science Center, Ithaca, NY

KAUST Affiliations

  • Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)
  • Center for Desert Agriculture (CDA)
  • Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division (BESE)