Dr Ryan Patrick McQuinn

PhD. in Plant Biology
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
College of Science

Areas of expertise

  • Plant Cell And Molecular Biology 060702
  • Plant Developmental And Reproductive Biology 060703
  • Plant Physiology 060705
  • Genetics 0604

Research interests

Carotenoid biosynthesis and regulation

Fruit development and ripening

Carotenoid catabolism and apocarotenoid signaling

Plant volatile signaling and plant-plant communication

Abiotic stress tolerance

Reproductive development


B.S. in Biology and Chemistry, Keuka College, Keuka Park, NY, USA

PhD. in Plant Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA Topic: Carotenoid biosynthesis and regulation during fruit ripening.

Researcher's projects

Investigating the potential behind putative signaling compounds derived from carotenoid catabolism  (i.e. apocarotenoids) to improve abiotic stress (e.g. drought and high light) tolerance and regulate aspects of plant development (e.g. leaf, root and flower)

Discovering novel tissue specific volatile organic compounds (VOCs) within the whole pant volatome and investigating their potential as unique volatile signals ensuring plant survival and reproductive success. 


Current student projects

Julie Leroux – Biochemical characterization of the zeta-carotene derived apocarotenoid signal(s) driving developmental alterations in the Arabidopsis choroplast biogenesis 5 mutant.

Past student projects

Jacinta Watkins PhD. (2019) – Carotenoid/Xanthophyll esterification in cereals (Watkins et al. (2019) The Plant Cell 31, 3092-3112).

John Rivers PhD. (2018) – Volatile apocarotenoid discovery and quantification (Rivers et al. (2019) Metabolomics DOI: 10.1007/s11306-019-1529).

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Updated:  24 June 2021 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers