Keenan Amundsen


·Turfgrass Website

Keenan Amundsen

Associate Professor

Area of Expertise: Plant Breeding and Genetics

B.S. Crop and Soil Sciences, Michigan State University, 1998

M.S. Crop and Soil Sciences, Michigan State University, 2003

Ph.D. Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, George Mason University, 2010

Area of Focus

Turfgrass Genetics

Research Interests

  • Buffalograss breeding and genetics
  • Turfgrass germplasm improvement for reduced input sustainability
  • Evaluate the turf potential of other native grass species
  • Develop tools to improve breeding methods used in turf

Major Project Activities

My primary research objective is to develop improved buffalograss cultivars. My lab's research is focused on enhancing buffalograss performance, seed yield, sod characteristics, and stress tolerance. At a basic research level we are applying genetics and computational biology tools to advance buffalograss breeding efficiency, develop improved cultivars, and understand the genetic components contributing to turf traits and stress tolerance.


  • Amaradasa, B., H. Madrid, J.Z. Groenewald, P.W. Crous,K. Amundsen. 2014. Porocercospora seminalis gen. et comb. nov., the causal organism of buffalograss false smut. Mycologia 106(1):77-85.
  • Amaradasa, B.S., K. Amundsen. 2014. First Report of Curvularia inaequalis and Bipolaris spicifera Causing Leaf Blight of Buffalograss in Nebraska. Plant Disease 98(2):279     
  • Ramm, C., A. Saathoff, T. Donze, T. Heng-Moss, F. Baxendale, P. Twigg, L. Baird, K. Amundsen. 2013. Expression Profiling of Four Defense-Related Buffalograss Transcripts in Response to Chinch Bug (Hemiptera: Blissidae) Feeding. J. Economic Entomology 106(6):2267-2576.
  • Wachholtz, M., T. Heng-Moss, P. Twigg, L. Baird, G. Lu,K. Amundsen. 2013. Transcriptome analysis of two buffalograss cultivars. BMC Genomics 14:613.
  • Bushman, B.S., S.E. Warnke, K.L. Amundsen, K.M. Combs, P. Johnson. 2013. Molecular markers highlight variation within and among Kentucky bluegrass varieties and accessions. Crop Science. 53(5):2245-2254.