Joseph Coombs

Joseph Coombs

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Research Assistant II/S, Assistant Breeder
Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences



Joseph Coombs

Research Assistant II/S

Assistant Breeder

Genotyping and Fingerprinting Analysis

USDA/APHIS Regulatory Compliance

Certified Seed NFT Minituber Production Facility

2010 College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Outstanding Staff Award Recipient

Since 1996, I have assisted with ongoing research in the MSU Potato Breeding and Genetics Program, including laboratory, greenhouse, and field research and contribute broadly as an assistant breeder. Primary responsibilities include assisting in potato variety research and development, involving most aspects of the potato breeding program. Specific research responsibilities include experimental design, statistical analysis, written and oral reporting, and professional/extension/grower talks; in addition to research/project management and supervising student and technicians. Increasingly involved with computational research including SNP marker analysis, RNASeq analysis, diploid and tetraploid mapping and marker trait association. Facilitate genetic engineering research and handling of regulated material, including reporting to USDA APHIS Biotechnology Regulatory Services and USDA compliance. Represent the breeding program and communicate with all sectors of potato industry partners including growers, processors, academic colleagues, and international collaborators. Integrally involved with the Potato DNA (SSR and SNP) fingerprinting service including communication to determine the investigation, data analysis, and result reporting. Primary contact and coordinator for seed certification aspects of the breeding program for handling and testing of tissue culture plantlets, greenhouse minituber production and storage of certified seed potatoes in the greenhouse hydroponic nutrient film technology (NFT) facility.