Rebecca Grumet

Rebecca Grumet

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Department of Horticulture




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Joined Department

July 1987


84% Research
16% Teaching


Postdoctoral Fellowship, Duke University, 1985-1987 
Ph.D., Michigan State University, 1985 
M.S., Michigan State University, 1980 
B.S., Cornell University, 1978

Research Interests

Current research in the Grumet lab focuses on fruit development and disease resistance in Cucumis (cucumber and melon) crops using a combination of molecular genetic, genomic and transgenic approaches.  We are especially interested in early stages of fruit growth and factors influencing fruit size, shape, cuticle and surface properties and resistance to infection by the oomycete pathogen, Phytophthora capsici

R. Grumet is also the lead PI for the USDA-SCRI CucCAP project:  CucCAP: Leveraging applied genomics to increase disease resistance in cucurbit crops (   The primary objectives of the CucCAP project are to develop genomic and bioinformatic breeding tool kits for accelerated crop improvement across the Cucurbitaceae; use these tools to facilitate introgression of disease resistance into commercially valuable cucurbit cultivars; and provide readily accessible information to facilitate disease control. 


A second long term are of interest is biotechnology biosafety.  Activities in this area include research, teaching, and international development work, including participation in MSU, USDAID, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation- based projects.

Selected Publications

  • Zhang C, Mansfeld BN, Lin YC, Grumet R. 2021. Quantitative high-throughput, real-time bioassay for plant pathogen growth in vivo. Frontiers Plant Sci. 12:637190.
  • Wang X, Ando K, Wu S, Reddy UK, Tamang P, Bao K, Hammar SA, Grumet R, McCreight JD, Fei Z. 2021. Genetic characterization of melon accessions in the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System and construction of a melon core collection. Mol. Hortic. DOI: 10.1186/s43897-021-00014-9
  • Grumet R, McCreight JD, McGregor C, Weng Y, Mazourek M, Reitsma K, Labate J, Davis A, Fei Z. 2021. Genetic resources and vulnerabilities of major cucurbit crops. Genes:1222.
  • Wang Y, Bo K, Gu Y, Pan J, Li Y, Chen J, Wen C, Ren Z, Ren H, Chen X, Grumet R, Weng Y. 2020. Molecularly tagged genes and quantitative trait loci in cucumber with recommendations for QTL nomenclature. Horticulture Res.
  • Mansfeld BN, Colle M, Zhang C, Lin YC, Grumet R. 2020. Developmentally regulated defense rapidlyinhibits Phytophthora capsici infection of cucumber fruit. BMC Genomics 21:628.
  • Grumet R, Fei Z, Levi A, Mazourek M, McCreight JD, Schultheis J, Weng Y, Hausbeck M, Kousik S, Ling KS, Linares-Ramirez A, McGregor C, Quesada-Ocampo L, Reddy U, Smart C, Wechter P, Wehner T, Wessel-Beaver L, Wintermantel WM. 2020. The CucCAP project: leveraging applied genomics to improve disease resistance in cucurbit crops. Acta Hortic. 1294, 91-104 DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1294.12
  • Sutay Kocabas D, Grumet R. 2019. Evolving regulatory policies regarding food enzymes produced by recombinant microorganisms. GM Crops and Food. DOI 10.1080/21645698.2019.1649531
  • Rett-Cadman S, Colle M, Mansfeld B, Barry CS, Wang Y, Weng Y, Gao L, Fei Z, Grumet R. 2019. QTL and transcriptomic analyses implicate cuticle transcription factor SHINE as a source of natural variation for epidermal traits in cucumber fruit. Front. Plant Sci.

  • Wu S, Wang X, Reddy U, Sun H, Bao K, Gao L, Mao L, Patel T, Ortiz C, Abburi VL, Nimmakayala P, Branham S, Wechter P, Massey L, Ling K-S, Kousik C, Hammar SA, Tadmor Y, Portnoy V, Gur A, Katzir N, Guner N, Davis A, Hernandez AG, Wright CL, McGregor C, Jarret R, Zhnag X, Xu Y, Wehner TC, Grumet R, Levi A, Fei Z. 2019. Genome of ‘Charleston Gray’, the principal American watermelon cultivar, and genetic characterization of 1,365 accessions in the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System watermelon collection.  Plant Biotechnology Journal.
  • Zheng Y, Wu S, Bai Y, Sun H, Jioa C, Blanca J, Zhang Z, Huang S, Xu Y, Weng Y, Mazourek M, Reddy U, Ando K, McCreight J, Tadmor Y, Katzir N, Giavannoni J, Ling K-S, Wechter WP, Levi A, Garcia-Mas J, Grumet R, Fei Z. 2019. Cucurbit genomics database (CuGenDB): a central portal for comparative and functional genomics of cucurbit crops. Nucleic Acids Res. DOI 10.1093/nar/gky944
  • Wang X, Bao K, Reddy UK, Bai Y, Hammar SA, Jio C, Wehner TC, Madera AR, Weng X, Grumet R, Fei Z. 2018. The USDA cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) collection: genetic diversity, population structure, genome-wide association studies and core collection development. Horticulture Research. 5:64. DOI 10.1038/s41438-018-0080-8

  • Mansfeld BN, Grumet R. 2018. QTLseqr: An R package for bulk segregant analysis with next generation sequencing. The Plant Genome. doi:10.3835/plantgenome2018. 01.0006

  • Bigelow PJ, Loescher W, Hancock JF, Grumet R. 2018. Influence of inter-genotypic competition on multi-generational persistence of abiotic stress resistance transgenes in populations of Arabidopsis thaliana. Evolutionary Applications DOI: 10.1111/eva.12610

  • Colle M, Weng Y, Kang Y, Ophi R, Sherman A, Grumet R. 2017. Variation in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) fruit size and shape results from multiple components acting pre-anthesis and post-pollination. Planta. DOI 10.1007/s00425-017-2721-9

  • Mansfeld BN, Colle M, Kang Y, Jones AD, Grumet R 2017. Transcriptomic and metabolomic analyses of cucumber fruit peels reveal a developmental increase in terpenoid glycosides associated with age-related resistance to Phytophthora capsici.  Horticulture Research. 4:17022

  • Grumet R, Colle M. 2017. Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) breeding line with young fruit resistance to infection by Phytophthora capsici.  HortScience. 52:922-924.

  • Grumet R, Colle M. 2016. Genomic analysis of cucurbit fruit growth. In: Grumet R, Katzir N, Garcia-Mas J (eds). Genetics and Genomics of Cucurbitaceae.  Springer Publishing. P. 321-344. DOI 10.1007/7397_2016_4.

  • Ando K, Carr KM, Colle M, Mansfeld BN, Grumet R. 2015. Exocarp properties and transcriptomic analysis of cucumber (Cucumis sativus) fruit expressing age-related resistance to Phytophthora capsici. PloS One 10: e0142133, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0142133.

  • Rubinstein M, Katzenellenbogen M, Eshed R, Rozen A; Katzir N, Colle M, Yang L, Grumet R, Weng Y, Sherman A, Ophir R. 2015. Ultra high-density linkage map for cultivated cucumber using a single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping array. PLoS One 10:e0124101.

  • Weng Y, Colle M, Wang YH, Yang LM, Rubinstein M, Sherman A, Ophir R, Grumet R. 2015. QTL mapping in multiple populations and development stages reveals dynamic quantitative trait loci for fruit size in cucumbers of different market classes. Theor Applied Genetics 128:1747-1763. 

  • Switzenberg JA, Little HA, Hammar SA, Grumet R. 2014. Floral primordia-targeted ACS (1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate synthase) expression in transgenic Cucumis melo implicates fine tuning of ethylene production mediated unisexual flower development. Planta. DOI 10.1007/s00425-014-2118-y.

  • Switzenberg JA, Beaudry RM, Grumet R. 2014. Effect of CRC::etr11-1 transgene expression on ethylene production, sex expression, fruit set and fruit ripening in transgenic melon (Cucumis melo L.). Transgenic Research. DOI 10.1007/s11248-014-9853-5.

  • Zawedde BM, Harris C, Alajo A, Hancock JF,Grumet R2014. Factors influencing diversity of farmers' varieties of sweet potato in Uganda; implications for conservation. Economic Botany. 68:337-349, DOI 10.1007/s12231-014-9278-3.

  • Zawedde MB, Chislain M, Magembe E, Amaro GB,Grumet RHancock JF. 2014. Characterization of the genetic diversity of Uganda's sweet potato germplasm using microsatellites. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. DOI 10.1007/s10722-014-0175-5.

  • Colle M, Straley EN, Makela SB, Hammar SA, Grumet R. 2014.  Screening the cucumber plant introduction collection for young fruit resistance to Phytopthora capsici. HortScience. 49:244-249.

  • Chan Z, Loescher W, Grumet R. 2013. Transcriptional variation in response to salt stress in commonly usedArabidopsis thaliana accessions. Plant Physiol Biochem. 73:189-201.

  • Wang Y, Hu Y, Yang L, Zheng Z, Grumet R, Loescher W, Zhu JK, Chan Z. 2013. Transcriptional and physiological variations of three Arabidopsis thaliana ecotypes in response to salt stress. PLoS ONE 10.1371.0069036.

  • Grumet R, Colle M, Ando K, Xie DS, Havenga L, Switzenberg JA. 2013. Modified plant architecture to enhance crop disease control via reduced contact with soil borne pathogens: possible value of upright fruit position in cucumber. Eur J Plant Pathol. 135:545-560.

  • Ando K, Carr KM, Grumet R. 2012. Transcriptome analysis of early cucumber fruit growth identifies distinct gene modules associated with phases of develpment. BMC Genomics. 13:518.

  • Chan Z, Bigelow PJ, Loescher W, Grumet R. 2012. Comparison of salt stress resistance genes in transgenicArabidopsis thaliana indicates that extent of transcriptomic changes may not predict secondary phenotypic or fitness effects. Plant Biotechnol J. 10:284-300.

  • Switzenberg J, Fernando L, Hammar S, Grumet R. 2012. Effect of carpel primordia-targeted inhibition of ethylene perception on sex expression, fruit set, and fruit ripening in melon (Cucumis melo L.). Cucurbitaceae 2012. p 116-125.

  • Colle M, Hodges-King C., Grumet R. 2012. Factors influencing fruit size and shape differences in cucumber. Cucurbitaceae 2012. p 585-589.

  • Zawadde BM, Sooriyapathirana SS, Bigelow P, Hancock JF, Grumet R. 2012. Assessing quality, content, and accessibility of web information about plant biotechnology. International Journal of Biotechnology. 12:198-223.

  • Call AD, Criswell AD, Wehner TC, Ando K, Grumet R. 2012. Resistance of current cucumber cultivars to a new strain of cucurbit downy mildew. HortScience 47:171-178.

  • Chan Z, Grumet R, Loescher W. 2011. Global gene expression analysis of transgenic, mannitol-producing and salt tolerant Arabidopsis thaliana indicates widespread changes in expression of abiotic-and biotic-stress related genes. J Exp Bot. 62:4787-4803.

  • Loescher W, Chan Z, Grumet R. 2011. Options for developing salt tolerant crops. HortScience. 46:1085-1092.

  • Grumet R.2011. Production of genetically engineered crops, relationship to conventional plant breeding and implications for safety assessment. In: Environmental safety of genetically engineered crops. Grumet R, Hancock J, Maredia K, Weebadde C (eds). Michigan State Univ. Press, East Lansing, p. 3-13.

  • Grumet R, Wolfenbarger L, Ferenczi A.2011. Future possible genetically engineered crops and traits and potential environmental concerns. In: Environmental safety of genetically engineered crops. Grumet R, Hancock J, Maredia K, Weebadde C (eds). Michigan State Univ. Press, East Lansing, p. 47-57.

  • Grumet R, Taft J.2011. Sex expression in cucurbits. In: Genetics, Genomics and Breeding in Crop Plants. Cucurbits. Wang YH, Behera T (eds). Science Publishers Inc. Enfield NH. CRC Press, Boca Raton Fl., p. 253-375.

  • Ando K, Grumet R.2010. Transcriptional profiling of rapidly growing cucumber fruit by 454-pyrosequencing analysis. J Amer Soc Hort Sci 135:291-302.

  • Ando K, Hammar S, Grumet R. 2009. Age-related resistance of diverse cucurbit fruits to infection byPhytophthora capsici. J Amer Soc Hort Sci 134:176-182.

  • Sengooba T, Grumet R, Hancock J, Zawadde B, et al. 2009. Development and delivery of biosafety education relevant to genetically engineered crops for academic and non-academic stakeholders in East Africa.  Electronic J Biotechnol.

  • Little HA, Grumet R, Hancock JF. 2009. Modified ethylene signaling as an example of engineering for complex traits: secondary effects and implications for risk assessment. HortScience 44:94-101.

  • Nunez-Palenius HG, Gomez-Liu M, Ochoa-Alijo N, Grumet R, Lester G, Cantliffe DJ. 2008. Melon fruits: Genetic diversity, physiology and biotechnology features. Critical Reviews in Biotechnology. 28:13-55.

  • Little HA, Papadopoulou E, Hammar SA, Grumet R. 2007. The influence of ethylene perception on sex expression as assessed by the mutant ethylene receptor, At-etr1-1, under control of constitutive and floral targeted promoters. Sexual Plant Reproduction 20:123-136.

  • Grumet R, Katzir NL, Little HA, Portnoy V, Burger Y. 2007. New insights into reproductive development in melon (Cucumis melo L.) International Journal of Plant Developmental Biology. 2007. 1:253-264.

  • Ando K, Grumet R, Terpstra K, Kelly JD. 2007. Manipulation of plant architecture to enhance crop disease control. CAB Review. Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, and Nutrition. 2:No.026

  • Ando K, Grumet R. 2006. Factors influencing cucumber fruit susceptibility to infection by Phytophthora capsici. Cucurbitacea 06. 387-394.

  • Ando K, Grumet R. 2006. Evaluation of altered cucumber plant architecture as a means to reducePhytophthora capsici disease incidence on cucumber fruit. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 131:491-498.

  • Gevens AJ, Ando K, Lamour KH, Grumet R, Hausbeck MK. 2006. Development of a detached cucumber fruit assay to screen for resistance and effect of fruit age on susceptibility to infection by Phytophthora capsici. Plant Disease 90:1276-1282.

  • Papadopoulou E, Little HA, Hammar SA, Grumet R. 2005. Effect of modified endogenous ethylene production on hermaphrodite flower development and fruit set in melon (Cucumis meloL) Sexual Plant Reproduction 18:131-142.

  • Papadopoulou E, Grumet R. 2005. Brassinosteroid-induced femaleness in cucumber and relationship to ethylene production. HortScience 40:1763-1767

  • Wang XF, Grumet R. 2004. Identification and characterization of proteins that interact with the carboxy terminus of poly(A) binding protein and inhibit translation in vitro. Plant Molecular Biology. Plant Molecular Biology 54:85-98.

  • Ullah Z, Chai BL, Hammar S, Raccah B, Gal-On A, Grumet R. 2003. Effect of substitution of the amino terminus of coat proteins of distinct potyvirus species on viral infectivity and host specificity. Phys. Molec. Plant Pathol. 63:129-139.

  • Ullah Z, Grumet R. 2002. Localization of zucchini yellow mosaic virus to the veinal regions and role of viral coat protein in veinal chlorosis conditioned by the zym potyvirus resistance locus in cucumber. Phys. Mol. Plant Pathol. 60:79-89.

  • Wang X, Ullah Z., Grumet R. 2000. Interaction between zucchini yellow mosaic potyvirus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and host poly-(A)- binding protein. Virology 275:433-443.

  • Grumet R., Kabelka E., McQueen S., Wai, T., Humphrey, R. 2000. Characterization of sources of resistance to the watermelon strain of papaya ringspot virus in cucumber: allelism and co-segregation with other potyvirus resistances. Theor. Appl. Genet. 101:463-472.

  • Kabelka E, Ullah Z, Grumet R. 1997. Multiple alleles for zucchini yellow mosaic virus resistance at the zymlocus in cucumber. Theor. Appl. Genet. 95:997-1004.

  • Hokanson S.C., Hancock J.F., Grumet R. 1997. Direct comparison of pollen mediated movement of native and engineered genes. Euphytica. 96:397-403.

  • Everard, J.D., C. Cantini, R. Grumet, J. Plummer, W.H. Loescher.1997. Molecular cloning of mannose-6-phosphate reductase and its developmental expression in celery. Plant Physiology. 113:1427-1435.

  • Hokanson, S.C., R. Grumet, J.F. Hancock. 1997. Effect of border rows and trap/donor ratios on pollen-mediated gene movement. Ecological Applications. 7:1705-1081.

  • Program Areas
  • Plant Breeding and Genetics
  • Our research is directed primarily toward virus-host interactions. Our work includes genetic and physiological characterization of naturally occurring potyvirus resistances in cucumber including expression of resistance alleles, interaction with viral protein domains, viral and host determinants of systemic infection, viral host range, and identification of host factors that directly interact with viral proteins.
  • Other research efforts include study of the molecular basis of sex expression in Cucumis and Phytopthora infection of cucumber. We have developed transformation systems for cucumber and melon and have introduced several genes for virus resistance, sex expression, and abiotic stress resistance. We also are involved in examination of risks associated with transgenic crops.