Roger Chetelat

image of Roger Chetelat

Director, C.M. Rick Tomato Genetics Resource Center


Plant Sciences

Offices and Labs

104 Asmundson Hall
(530) 752-6726
151 Asmundson Hall
(530) 754-8647

Profile Introduction

Molecular and classical genetics of tomato; wide hybridization and interspecific incompatibility; use of molecular markers in breeding; germplasm conservation.


1994 PhD Genetics University of California, Davis
1983 MS Plant Physiology University of California, Davis
1979 BS Biology Santa Clara University

Research Contribution

Our research on reproductive barriers is revealing how plants control pollination to avoid both inbreeding and excessive outcrossing. Using this information, we are developing new types of prebred germplasm sources that broaden the genetic base of cultivated tomato. These research projects are synergistic with the C.M. Rick Tomato Genetics Resource Center, a national and international genebank of tomato wild species and genetic stocks. The Rick Center distributes seed samples to interested researchers, breeders and educators around the world.

Research Interests

Genetic Resources

We are transferring the genome of Solanum sitiens, a species native to the Atacama Desert of Chile, into the genetic background of cultivated tomato by marker assisted selection. The goal is to synthesize a complete library of introgression lines, each containing single recombinant chromosome segments that together represent the entire donor genome. These are expected to be useful for studies of drought and salinity tolerance, fruit ripening, and other traits.

Homeologous Recombination

We study meiotic recombination in wide crosses and the role of genes in the DNA mismatch repair system. Cultivated tomato and its wild relatives provide an excellent system in which to study recombination between related genomes and potential applications for plant breeding.

Interspecific Reproductive Barriers

We study prezygotic interspecific reproductive barriers using cultivated tomato and related Solanum species as a model. Our focus is on the pollen factors that regulate unilateral interspecific incompatibility and their role in self-incompatibility. One of these genes, ui6.1, encodes a Cullin1 protein that interacts with a protein encoded by the S-locus. Our goal is to understand how these and other pollen factors function in inter- and intraspecific pollen rejection.

Department and Center Affiliations

Department of Plant Sciences


American Association for the Advancement of Science

CBS Grad Group Affiliations

Integrated Genetics and Genomics

Specialties / Focus

Integrated Genetics and Genomics
  • Plant Breeding

Graduate Groups not Housed in CBS

Horticulture and Agronomy


151 Asmundson Hall
  • Wentao Li, Mira Markova, Diane Burkart-Waco, Scott Peacock
C.M. Rick Tomato Genetics Resource Center/ Annex 9, Asmundson Hall website
  • Scott Peacock, Tom Starbuck

Field Sites

Vegetable Crops Fieldhouse / greenhouse facilities

Teaching Interests

GGG291 History of Genetics
ENH150 Plant Conservation Genetics


12/13/2013 10:09:36 AM
  • Li, W and RT Chetelat (2014) The role of a pollen-expressed Cullin1 protein in gametophytic self-incompatibility in Solanum. Genetics 196:439-442.

  • Powell, ALT, C Nguyen, et al. (2012) Uniform ripening encodes a Golden 2-like transcription factor regulating tomato fruit chloroplast development. Science 336: 1711-1715.
  • Li, W, and RT Chetelat (2010) A pollen factor linking Inter- and Intraspecific Pollen Rejection in Tomato. Science 330: 1827-1830.
  • Tam, SM, JB Hays, and RT Chetelat (2011) Effects of suppressing the DNA mismtach repair system on homeologous recombination in tomato. Theor. Appl. Genetics 123: 1445-1458.
  • Li, W, S Royer, and RT Chetelat (2010) Fine mapping of ui6.1, a gametophytic factor controlling pollen-side unilateral incompatibility in interspecific Solanum hybrids. Genetics 185: 1069-1080.
  • Bedinger, PA, R Chetelat, B McClure, LC Moyle, JKC Rose, S Stack, E van der Knaap, Y Baek, G Lopez Casado, PA Covey, A Kumar, W Li, R Nunez, F Cruz-Garcia, and S Royer (2010) Interspecific reproductive barriers in the tomato clade: opportunities to decipher mechanisms of reproductive isolation. Sex. Plant Reprod. (online DOI 10.1007/s00497-010-0155-7).
  • Albrecht, E, M Escobar, and RT Chetelat (2010) Genetic diversity and population structure in the tomato-like nightshades Solanum lycopersicoides and Solanum sitiens. Ann. Bot. 105: 535-554.
  • Tam, SM, S Samipak, A Britt, and RT Chetelat (2009) Characterization and comparative sequence analysis of the DNA mismatch repair MSH2 and MSH7 genes from tomato. Genetica 137: 341-354.
  • Chetelat, RT, RA Pertuze, L Faundez, EB Graham, and CM Jones (2009) Distribution, ecology and reproductive biology of wild tomatoes and related nightshades from the Atacama Desert region of northern Chile. Euphytica 167: 77-93.
  • Albrecht, E, and RT Chetelat (2009) Comparative genetic linkage map of Solanum sect. Juglandifolia: evidence of chromosomal rearrangements and overall synteny with the tomatoes and related nightshades. Theor. Appl. Genet. 118: 831-847.
  • Jones, CM, CM Rick, D Adams, J Jernstedt, and RT Chetelat (2007) Genealogy and fine mapping of obscuravenosa, a gene affecting the distribution of chloroplasts in leaf veins, and evidence of selection during breeding of tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum; Solanaceae). Amer. J. Bot. 94: 935-947.
  • Canady, MA, Y Ji, and RT Chetelat (2006) Homeologous recombination in Solanum lycopersicodes introgression lines of cultivated tomato. Genetics 174: 1775-1778.
  • Canady, MA, V Meglic, RT Chetelat (2005) A library of Solanum lycopersicoides introgression lines in cultivated tomato. Genome 48: 685-697.
  • Pertuze, RA, Y Ji, and RT Chetelat (2003) Transmission and recombination of homeologous S. sitiens chromosomes in tomato. Theor. Appl. Genet. 107: 1391-1401.