Welcome to Ashrafi’s Lab


Photo of lab members

Our group is a multidisciplinary research group interested in genetics, genomics and breeding of blueberry. We integrate principles of traditional plant breeding, modern plant breeding, comparative genomics, quantitative genetics and apply genomics and bioinformatics science to identify molecular bases underlying complex traits in cultivated and wild blueberries. We are using the latest sequencing technologies to sequence genome and transcriptome sequences of various Vaccinium species.

Our traditional breeding is continuation of an old program that initiated around 70 years ago at NCSU. The main breeding efforts are being done at our research station in Castle Hayne, NC and in Ideal Tract farm a few miles to HCRS-CH. Controlled crosses are being done in greenhouses of HCRS-CH and Marye Anne Fox Science Teaching Laboratory Greenhouse. The progenies are being grown in the flats until they are big enough to be transplanted into small pots and eventually into the field. Our molecular breeding laboratory is located at Kilgore Hall, in north campus, Raleigh NC where our marker assisted selection and sequence analyses take place.
The research topics range from plant microbe interaction, insect and virus resistance, fruit development / ripening processes, and factors involved in fruit firmness which facilitate mechanical harvest. We utilize a combination of map-based and candidate gene strategies to identify and possibly clone the genes for the above traits.

Please visit our blog posts to see the latest events in the field and in the laboratory.

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Interested in joining our group? We are interested in highly motivated new colleagues to expand our research group. Students and researchers at any level in their career (postdoc, PhD, MSc, BSc) and with outstanding training in plant molecular biology, genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, computer science, or statistics are invited to contact us hamidashrafi@ncsu.edu to discuss possible projects.

Teaching Courses

  • HS422: Small fruit production (Every other even year / Spring) 3 credits.
  • Breeding with genomics (Every other odd year) 2 credits.