Margaret Fleming, Ph.D.

Margaret Fleming

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Assistant Professor
Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences



My overarching interest is in uncovering the modes and consequences of cryptobiotic changes occurring in seeds, outside the context of germination. These changes can support later germination, as with dormancy release, or can cause germination to fail, and the mechanisms seeds employ to encourage the former and avoid the latter are a critical research area for crop cultivation, weed management, and genebank storage, with potential applications for space travel, human longevity, and resilience in the face of a changing climate. My research to date has used holistic analyses of seed transcriptomes to characterize responses to controlled environments. 

In my program we will look at transcriptomic and other responses to both controlled and naturally varying environmental conditions, with a high priority placed on identifying and validating genetic and physiological factors contributing to seed longevity in the soil seed bank.


  • Fall 2022: CSS 492 Professional Development Seminar II 
  • Fall 2023: CSS 222 New Horizons in Biotechnology


  • Ph.D. Botany, 2015. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.
    Dissertation: “The influence of extensin cross-linking on biomass recalcitrance”
  • B.A. Liberal Arts, 2004. St. John’s College, Annapolis, MD. Thesis: “The End of an Odyssey”


  • Project GREEEN Basic Biology Proposal, 7/22-6/23, Bringing the Beal seed experiment to the modern era: $39,000. Role: Lead PI.
  • NSF BII Water Life Interface Institute Proposal, selected for reverse site visit 4/1/22, submitted 1/12/22. Life without water: protecting macromolecules, cells, and organisms during desiccation and rehydration across kingdoms of life. $12,500,000. Roles: Senior Personnel, Project Lead, Outreach Committee.
  • MSU Office of Research and Innovation, AgBioResearch, and College of Natural Science and Department of Plant Biology. 1/26/22, Bringing the Beal seed experiment into the modern era: $90,000. Role: Lead PI


Other Publications


Related Work

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