Melvin Oliver

Research Leader USDA-ARS-MWA-PGRU, Missouri

For the Dimensions project, Mel and his post-doc, Anderson Silva are responsible for generating the DNA and RNA sequence data sets for this project including isolation of DNA for genome assembly, genome analysis, transcriptomes, diversity datasets through RAD sequencing, and the generation of sequence capture datasets for phylogenetic analyses. Mel will also be coordinating much of the data management portions of the combined project, and will interact with CyVerse for data storage, genome analysis and access.


Anderson Silva



B.Sc. 1974. Joint Honors in Applied Biology: Plant Physiology and Biochemistry. North East London Polytechnic.

M.Sc. 1977. Biochemical Genetics. University of Calgary, Alberta

Title of Masters Dissertation: Genetic and Biochemical Aspects of Trehalase and Sucrase of Drosophila melanogaster

Ph.D. 1983. Plant Biochemistry. University of Calgary, Alberta

Title of Doctorate Dissertation: The role of Desiccation in the Control of Transcription and Translation in the Moss Tortula (Syntrichia) ruralis


2013    Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

2009    Fellow of American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB


Professional Affiliations:

Research Leader USDA-ARS: Plant Genetics Research Unit, Columbia, MO

Adjunct Full Professor, Division of Plant Sciences. University of Missouri.

Adjunct Full Professor, Department of Biology. University of Missouri, St Louis

Graduate Faculty member, University of South Dakota.

American Society of Plant Physiologists.

American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Select Publications (Grant Related last 5 yrs)

Yobi, A, Wone, BWM, Xu, W, Alexander, DC, Guo, L, Ryals, JA, Oliver, MJ, and Cushman, JC. (2012) Comparative metabolic profiling between desiccation sensitive and desiccation tolerant species of Selaginella reveals novel insights into the resurrection trait. The Plant J.72: 983-999.

Yobi A, Schlauch KA, Perryman B, Oliver MJ, Cushman JC. (2013) Biomass production, nutritional, and mineral content of desiccation-sensitive and desiccation-tolerant species of Sporobolus under multiple irrigation regimes. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science 199: 309-320

Yobi A, Wone BWM, Guo L, Alexander DC, Ryals JA, Oliver MJ, Cushman JC. (2013). Metabolomic profiling in Selaginella lepidophylla provides new insights in the mechanistic basis of desiccation tolerance. Molecular Plant 6, 369-385.

Gasulla F, Jain R, Barreno E, Guéra A, Balbuena TS, Thelen JJ, and Oliver MJ. (2013) The response of Asterochloris erici (Ahmadjian) Skaloud et Peksa to desiccation: a proteomic approach. Plant Cell and Environ. 36: 1363-1378

Gaff, D.F., and Oliver M.J. (2013) The evolution of desiccation tolerance in angiosperm plants: a rare yet common phenomenon. Functional Plant Biology 40: 315-328.

Stark LR, Greenwood JL, Brinda JC, and Oliver, MJ. (2013) The desert moss Pterygoneurum lamellatum (Pottiaceae) exhibits an inducible ecological strategy of desiccation tolerance: Effects of rate of drying on shoot damage and regeneration. Am. J. Bot. 100: 1522-1531

Stark LR, Greenwood JL, Brinda JC, and Oliver, MJ. (2014) Physiological history may mask the inherent inducible desiccation tolerance strategy of the desert moss Crossidium crassinerve. Plant Biology 16:935-946

Xiao, L, Yang, G, Zhang, L, Yang, X, Zhao, J, Ji, Z, Zhou, Q, Hu, M, Wang, Y, Chen, M, Xu, Y, Jin, H, Xiao, X, Hu, G, Bao, F, Hu, Y, Wan, P, Li, L, Deng, X, Kuang, T, Xiang, C, Zhu, J-K, Oliver, MJ, and He, Y. (2015) The resurrection genome of Boea hygrometrica: a blueprint for survival of dehydration. PNAS 112. 18: 5833-5837

Costa, MCD, Farrant, JM, Oliver, MJ, Ligterink, W, Buitink, J. and Hilhorst, HWM. (2016) Key genes involved in desiccation tolerance and dormancy across life forms. Plant Science. 251, 162–168

Reed, SC, Maestre, FT, Ochoa-Hueso, R, Kuske, CR, Darrouzet-Nardi, A, Oliver, MJ, Darby, B, Sancho, LG, Sinsabaugh, RL, and Belnap. J. (2016) Biocrusts in the context of global change. In Biological Soil Crusts: An Organizing Principle in Drylands, pp. 451-476. Springer International Publishing.

Costa, MCD, Artur, MS, Maia, J. Jonkheer, E, Derks, MFL, Nijveen, H, Jiménez-Gómez, JM, Ligterink, W, Oliver, MJ, Farrant, JM, Hilhorst, HWM. (2017) A ‘footprint’ of desiccation tolerance in the genome of the resurrection plant Xerophyta viscosa. Nature Plants 3:17038 doi:10.1038/nplants. 2017.38.

Yobi, A, Wone, B, Tillet, RL, Yim, WC, Espinoza, C, Schlauch, K, Cushman, JC, and Oliver MJ. (2017) Sporobolus stapfianus: Insights into desiccation tolerance in the resurrection grasses from linking transcriptomics to metabolomics. BMC Plant Biology 17: 67