Xiwen Cai

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Xiwen Cai

USDA Research Geneticist

Area of Expertise: Plant Breeding and Genetics

Area of Focus

Plant Molecular Cytogenetics, Genomics, and Germplasm/Variety Development

Research Interests

  • Plant Genome/Chromosome Characterization, Manipulation, and Engineering
  • Plant Haploidization and Polyploidization
  • Plant Breeding Technologies and Resources

Major Project Activities

  • Gene discovery and characterization for pest resistance in wheat, barley, and related wild species
  • Developing superior wheat and barley germplasm/varieties
  • Enriching and diversifying the wheat and barley genomes
  • Developing effective doubled haploid systems in wheat and barley.
  • Developing new strategies, methodologies, and resources for wheat/barley breeding and genome study.


  • Zhang, M., Zhang, W., Zhu, X., Sun, Q., Chao, S., Yan, C., Xu, S.S., Fiedler, J. D., and Cai, X. 2020. Dissection and physical mapping of wheat chromosome 7B by inducing meiotic recombination with its homoeologues in Aegilops speltoides and Thinopyrum elongatum. Theor Appl Genet 133: 3455–3467.
  • Gyawali, Y., Zhang, W., Chao, S., Xu, S. S., and Cai, X. 2019. Delimitation of wheat ph1b deletion and development of ph1b-specific DNA markers. Theor Appl Genet 132:195–204.
  • Ma, G., Zhang, W., Liu, L., Chao, W. S., Gu, Y., Qi, L., Xu, S. S., and Cai, X. 2018. Cloning and characterization of the homoeologous genes for the Rec8-like meiotic cohesin in polyploid wheat. BMC Plant Biology 18:224; https://doi.org/10.1186/s12870-018-1442-y.
  • Zhang, W., Zhang, M., Zhu, X., Cao, Y., Sun, Q., Ma, G. Chao, S., Yan, C., Xu, S. S., and Cai, X. 2018. Molecular cytogenetic and genomic analyses reveal new insights into the origin of the wheat B genome. Theor Appl Genet 131: 365–375.
  • Niu, Z., Klindworth, D. L., Friesen, T. L., Chao, S., Jin, Y., Cai, X., Xu, S. S. 2011. DNA marker-assisted chromosome engineering of wheat carrying stem rust resistance gene Sr39 derived from Aegilops speltoides. Genetics 187: 1011-1021.