Don Lee

Donald J. Lee


Area of Expertise: Plant Breeding and Genetics

B.A., Biology, Augustana College, 1981

M.S., Agronomy, South Dakota State University, 1985

Ph.D., Plant Breeding and Genetics, Montana State University, 1988

Area of Focus

Plant Breeding, Genetics and Molecular Physiology

Research Interests

  • Detection and assessment of molecular genetic variation in crops, weeds and native plants.
  • Development of Internet resources for teaching genetics to a wide variety of learners.

Major Project Activities


We are currently partnering with colleagues at Colorado State University to assess the role of host plant and herbivorous insect genetic variation in the biological control of leafy spurge.


We offer on-line courses each semester in the application of genetics in the development and management of our crops. In addition, I provide extension training on the topics of transgenic crop development and plant breeding. Our on-line resource of lessons ( supports these educational events and provides learners world wide with access to up to date instruction in these areas.

Extension Interests

Understanding new and traditional genetic technologies and their role in the development of our food and feed.

Courses Taught


  • Byrne, PF; Namuth, DM; Harrington, J; Ward, SM; Lee, DJ; Hain, P. 2002 "Increasing public understanding of transgenic crops through the World Wide Web." Public Understanding of Science. 11(3): 293-304.
  • Martinez-Reyna, K.P. Vogel, C. A. Caha and D. J. Lee. 2001 Meiotic stability, chloroplast DNA polymorphisms, and morphological traits of Upland X lowland switchgrass reciprocal hybrids. Crop Sci. 41:1579-1583.
  • Lee, C.D., A.R. Martin, F.W. Roeth, B.E. Johnson, D.J. Lee. 1999. Comparison of ALS inhibitor resistance and allelic interactions in shattercane accessions. Weed Science 47:275-281.
  • Caha, C.A., Lee, D.J. and Stubbendieck, J. 1998. Organellar genetic diversity in Penstemon haydenii (Scrophupariaceae): an endangered plant species. American Journal of Botany. 85 (12): 1704-1709.
  • Lu, Ku, S.M. Kaeppler, K.P. Vogel, K. Arumuganathan, and D.J. Lee. 1998. Nuclear DNA content and chromosome numbers in switchgrass. Great Plains Research 8:269- 280.
  • Hultquist, S.J., K.P. Vogel, D.J. Lee, K. Arumuganathan and S. Kaeppler 1997. DNA content and chloroplast DNA polymorphisms among switchgrasses from remnant midwestern prairies. Crop Sci. 37:595-598.
  • Rowe, M.L. Lee, D.J. Nissen, B.M. Bowditch, S.J., Masters, R.A. 1997. Genetic Variation in North American leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) determined by DNA markers. Weed Science 45:446-454.
  • Lym, R.G., Nissen, S.J., Rowe, M.L. Lee, D.J., and Masters, R.A. 1996. Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) genotype affects gall midge (Spurgia esulae) establishment. Weed Science 44:629-633.
  • Elmore, S.J., D.J. Lee, S. Kaeppler, K. Arumuganathan, and K.P. Vogel. 1996. Chloroplast DNA and nuclear DNA variations among cultivars of switchgrass, Panicum virgatum L. Crop Sci. 36:1049-10d52. Agronomic performance of hybrids between cultivars and chromosome substitution lines. Crop Sci. 37:396-399.
  • Nissen, S.J. Masters, R.A., Lee, D.J., and Rowe, M.L. 1995. DNA-based marker systems to determine genetic diversity of weedy species and their application to biocontrol. Weed Sci. 43:504-513.
  • Muza, F.R., Lee, D.J., Andrews, D.J. and Gupta, S.C. 1995. Mitochondrial DNA variation in Finger Millet (Elusine coracana L. Gaertn) Euphytica 81: 199-205.
  • Lee, J.H. Graybosch, R.A. and Lee, D.J. 1994. Detection of rye chromosome 2R using PCR and sequence specific DNA primers. Genome 37:19-22.
  • Nissen, S.J., Masters, R.A., Lee, D.J., and Rowe, M.L. Comparison of restriction fragment length polymorphisms in the chloroplast DNA of five leafy spurge (Euphorbia spp.) accessions. Weed Sci. 40:63-67, 1992.
  • Lee, D.J., Caha, C.A., Specht, J.E., and Graef, G.L. 1992, Chloroplast DNA evidence for nonrandom selection of females in an outcrossed population of soybeans [Glycine max (L).] Theor. Appl. Genet. 85:261-268.