Keenan Amundsen


·UNL Turfgrass
·UNL Hops

Keenan Amundsen

Associate Professor

Area of Expertise: Plant Breeding and Genetics, Turf and Landscape Systems

B.S. Mathematics, Alma College, 1998

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, hops, and ornamental pearl millet cultivar development
  • Identify management practices to maximize crop productivity and profitability for our producers
  • Develop genetic tools to improve plant breeding methods used for buffalograss improvement

Major Project Activities

My lab is focused on specialty crop breeding and genetics with special emphasis given to buffalograss.  We routinely apply genetic and computational biology tools to develop molecular markers, identify molecular marker-trait associations, discriminate genotypes, and resolve genetic relationships.  The data is used to inform plant breeding decisions allowing for more efficient selection throughout the plant breeding process.


Google Scholar publication list
  • Amaradasa, B.S., and K. Amundsen. 2016. Characterization of defense-related genes of buffalograss challenged with the leaf spot pathogen Curvularia inaequalis. Frontiers in Plant Science DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2016.00715
  • 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.
  • Amundsen, K.L., L. Li, R. Shearman, R. Gaussoin. 2017. Addressing misperceptions regarding buffalograss tolerance to sandy soils, traffic, and shade. International Turfgrass Research Journal 13:1-6 doi: 10.2134/itsrj2016.05.0347
  • Amundsen, K., Sarath, G., Donze-Reiner, T., eds. 2017. Genomic Approaches for Improvement of Understudied Grasses. Lausanne: Frontiers Media. doi: 10.3389/978-2-88945-242-2
  • Bushman, S., K. Amundsen, S. Warnke, J. Robins, P. Johnson. 2016. Transcriptome Profiling of Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) Accessions in Response to Salt Stress. BMC Genomics 17:48. DOI: 10.1186/s12864-016-2379-x