Fredy Altpeter

Fredy Altpeter. Associate Professor. Agronomy.Dr. Fredy Altpeter is Professor of Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology at the University of Florida-IFAS. His research program focuses on genetic improvement of crops using genome editing, intragenic and transgenic approaches and is currently funded by the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Energy and industry. He earned his Dipl. Ing. agr.  and Dr. sc. agr.  degrees from the University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany followed by postdoctoral research in plant molecular genetics at the University of Florida and a group leader position at the Plant Genome Resource Center of the IPK Gatersleben, Germany.  His recent awards include the distinguished service award of the Society for In Vitro Biology and the University of Florida Research Foundation Award for a distinguished research program.  He serves as associate editor of “Plant Breeding” and the “Journal of Plant Biotechnology”.

Contact Information

PO Box 110300
3085 McCarty Hall B
Gainesville, FL, 32611-0300
(352) 273-3418


My research program integrates biotechnology (genome editing, intragenic and transgenic technologies), translational genomics and traditional plant breeding to identify critical heredity units and develop genetically improved cereals, turf and biomass/bioenergy grasses. For example, the genetic mechanisms within sugarcane cells can be tweaked by metabolic engineering to direct them to produce value added substances for industrial applications, turning the whole plant into a biofactory. Improvement of environmental and biotic stress tolerance, as well as photosynthetic efficiency will enhance the productivity and persistence of commercially important cereals, turf or biomass grasses and will result in a more efficient use of natural resources. Risk assessment and development of risk management strategies are essential components of this research program.

Please click here to view my CV.

Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Research Associates

Graduate Students in Dr. Altpeter’s research program:


Dermawan_HugoHugo Dermawan

I'm from Indonesia, and I've been studying in the U.S. since 2007. I graduated from UC Berkeley in 2012 with a BS in Bioengineering. I then worked in a microbiome company for six months as an intern before coming to the University of Florida for my master’s degree in Dr. Altpeter's lab. My research focuses on intragenic biotechnology for genetic improvement of sugarcane.





Saroj Parajuli

I am from Chitwan, Nepal and graduated with a BS and MS degree in Plant Breeding from the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Sciences (IAAS), Chitwan. My master's research was focused on hybridization of Zea mays and evaluation of the hybrids for drought and low nitrogen stress tolerance. My PhD research with Dr. Altpeter is on metabolic engineering to produce lipids in vegetative tissues of sugarcane.





Dev Paudel

I grew up in Pokhara, Nepal and graduated from Tribhuvan University in 2009. I completed my master’s degree at the Texas Tech University with Dr. Eric Hequet working on evaluating fiber quality measurements for cotton breeding. Prior to joining UF, I worked at Texas A&M AgriLife Research in Pecos, Texas for two years conducting research on algae and their application for biofuels. My PhD research with Dr. Altpeter and Dr. Wang focuses on breeding, genetics, and genomics of elephant grass and its interspecific hybrids with pearl millet.




Tallyta Silva

I graduated from Federal University of Lavras, Brazil with a BS degree in Biological Sciences. My BS research was focused on obtaining doubled haploids in maize. My master’s degree was in Genetics and Plant Breeding at Sao Paulo State University, Brazil, with maize conventional breeding. My PhD research with Dr. Altpeter focuses on genetic improvement of sugarcane using an intragenic biotechnology approach.





Yang Zhao

I grew up in China and I graduated with BS degree in Biotechnology at Shandong Agricultural University in 2006. I received my MS degree in 2011 from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, where my research focused on molecular mechanism of stress tolerance using Arabidopsis, tobacco and rice as model systems. I am currently a Ph.D. student under supervision of Dr. Altpeter. My study now is focusing on site-specific integration of transgenes into the sugarcane genome to enhance the predictability of transgene performance.



Post-doctoral associates in Dr. Altpeter’s research program:


Je Hyeong Jung

I received my BS and MS degree in Crop Science and Life Science/Biotechnology from Korea University, Seoul. During my MS, I investigated the evolutionary fate of duplicated genes in hexaploid wheat. Before joining UF, I was involved in several Ginseng research programs at the KT&G Central Research Institute, Daejeon, Korea. I completed my PhD under the guidance of Dr. Altpeter in 2012 with research on the RNAi suppression of lignin biosynthesic genes in sugarcane. My postdoctoral research is focused on genetic improvement of sugarcane deploying precise genome editing technologies.




Baskaran Kannan

I received my bachelor’s and master’s degree in Plant Breeding and Genetics from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, India. My master’s degree research was focused on inheritance of disease resistance and grain yield improvement in pigeon pea. I completed my PhD in 2007 with Dr. Tom Hash with research on marker assisted population improvement (MAPI) in pearl millet at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), India. My current research focuses on genetic improvement of elephant grass for lignocellulosic bioenergy production and bahiagrass for turf quality.




Ratna Karan

I have been working in Dr. Altpeter’s research program since 2012, in a project to increase economic value of sugarcane as biofuel crop by metabolic engineering. Before joining UF, I was a postdoctoral fellow at Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge from 2010 to 2012, and involved in the characterization of several QTL related genes from rice for traits such as seed dormancy, seed shattering, and flowering. I received my PhD from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India in 2009 and became experienced in plant transformation and characterization of transgenic plants at molecular, physiological, and biochemical levels.




Tufan Oz

I obtained my PhD from METU Ankara, Turkey. During my graduate studies I worked on various aspects of plant molecular biology and biotechnology including gene cloning, expression profiling and genetic transformation. Before joining UF, I was a postdoctoral fellow at Palacky University Olomouc, Czech Republic, and a visiting scientist at ACPFG Adelaide, Australia. Since 2014, I have been working on barley transformation to dissect the dynamics of host-pathogen interactions during powdery mildew infection in barley in Dr. Altpeter’s research program at the UF Agronomy department.




Senior Biological Scientist in Dr. Altpeter’s research program:


Tina Strauss

Grown up in Germany, I graduated from Martin-Luther-University of Halle (Saale) with a Diploma in Biochemistry. Our lab was investigating the interaction between Xanthomonas TAL-effectors and their host plants. For my Diploma thesis I performed random mutagenesis of the pepper resistance gene Bs3. During my PhD thesis with Dr. Lahaye at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, I isolated the TAL-effector-induced resistance gene Bs4C from pepper using a RNA-seq-based transcriptional profiling approach. As a senior biological scientist in Dr. Altpeter’s research program my research focuses on genome editing of grasses.