Now that I have left Texas A&M AgriLife, I can be reached at the following E-mail address:

Our publications, including those in press, can be downloaded from my Research Gate page

November 9th 2015

The WRKY switchgrass senescence paper has now been published in BMC Genomics

Some big news that I couldn’t talk about before yesterday. The following press release was issued on 8th October 2015.

22nd Century Announces Hiring of Key Executive; Dr. Paul J. Rushton Will Spearhead Growth and Commercialization of 22nd Century’s Plant Biotechnology Portfolio

October 08, 2015 09:05 AM Eastern Daylight Time

CLARENCE, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSE MKT: XXII), a leader in tobacco harm reduction, announced today the appointment of Paul J. Rushton, Ph.D. as the Company’s Vice President of Plant Biotechnology. Dr. Rushton is uniquely qualified to grow and commercialize the Company’s impressive patent portfolio relating to both tobacco and cannabis. He has extensive experience in tobacco biotechnology, including work at the University of Virginia on 22nd Century sponsored research projects, as well as nearly a decade working at the world-renowned Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding in Germany.

“Paul’s experience will enable him to contribute immediately to the Company’s Modified Risk Tobacco Products in development and to spearhead our cannabis technology initiatives.”

Dr. Rushton has published over fifty scientific articles in the United States and abroad. He serves on the editorial boards of a number of scientific journals. While at the Max Planck Institute, Dr. Rushton provided the first evidence that WRKY transcription factors play crucial roles in plants’ responses to stress. Dr. Rushton’s research resulted in him personally defining and naming the important WRKY family of plant transcription factors.

While at the University of Virginia, Dr. Rushton designed and published the tobacco transcription factors database (TOBFAC). This database is possibly the largest collection of transcription factor sequences (genes which turn on or off particular plant responses) from a single tobacco species (over 2,500 genes) and is the world’s most extensive database for tobacco genomic research. Dr. Rushton is also co-inventor of several patents related to nicotine production in tobacco. Dr. Rushton was part of the team of scientists lead by Michael P. Timko, Ph.D, at the University of Virginia who worked on sponsored tobacco research projects for the Company. Thus, Dr. Rushton already has very strong and important experience in working with 22nd Century’s unique tobacco technology.

“Hiring a scientist of Paul Rushton’s caliber – especially given his extensive work in tobacco plant biotechnology – is like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. He will be invaluable to 22nd Century,” explained Henry Sicignano, III, CEO and President. “Paul’s experience will enable him to contribute immediately to the Company’s Modified Risk Tobacco Products in development and to spearhead our cannabis technology initiatives.”

For more information about Dr. Paul Rushton and his research, visit:

October 5th 2015

Publication number ten this year has been editorially accepted in BMC Genomics

The result of a SUN Grant with Jai Rohila, Gautam Sarath and others.

The WRKY transcription factor family and senescence in switchgrass
Charles I. Rinerson, Erin D. Scully, Nathan A. Palmer, Teresa Donze-Reiner, Roel C. Rabara, Prateek Tripathi, Qingxi J Shen, Scott E. Sattler, Jai S. Rohila, Gautam Sarath, and Paul J. Rushton

September 8th 2015

According to ResearchGate, we are the top downloaded group in the Texas A&M System for the past week.

Top A and M

July 20th 2015

So, this is the ninth publication in under seven months and a little different this time. I have co-written an editorial for BMC Genomics about data sharing which is an important and ever changing topic.

Ross L. Tellam, Paul Rushton, Peter Schuerman, Irene Pala, and Derek Anane (2015) The primary reasons behind data sharing, its wider benefits and how to cope with the realities of commercial data. BMC Genomics. 16:626

July 12th 2015

Our latest publication is another from our excellent collaboration with Jeff Shen’s lab:

Kenneth A. Watanabe, Arielle Homayouni, Tara Tufano, Jennifer Lopez, Patricia Ringler, Paul Rushton and Jeffery Q. Shen Tiling Assembly: A New Tool for Reference Annotation Independent Transcript Assembly and Novel Gene Identification by RNA-Sequencing (2015) DNA Research. doi: 10.1093/dnares/dsv015
This is now available free:
June 30th 2015

We have just secured two new sources of funding – more details when I am allowed to talk about them….

June 30th 2015

Our BMC Genomics paper is finally available in its final form

Tobacco drought stress responses reveal new targets for Solanaceae crop improvement

Roel C Rabara1, Prateek Tripathi2, R Neil Reese3, Deena L Rushton4, Danny Alexander5, Michael P Timko6, Qingxi J Shen7 and Paul J Rushton1*

May 25th 2015

And the other one…..

Prateek Tripathi, Roel C. Rabara, Qingxi J. Shen and Paul J. Rushton. (2015) Transcriptomics Analyses of soybean leaves and roots sample during water-deficit. Genomics Data. This is now available online:

May 24th 2015

Submitted on Tuesday, accepted on Sunday. I like these data set papers.

Roel C Rabara; Prateek Tripathi; Mani Kant Choudhary; Michael P Timko; Qingxi J Shen, and Paul Rushton (2015). Transcriptome profiling of tobacco under water deficit conditions. Genomics Data. This is now available online:

April 18th 2015

They are coming thick and fast at the moment! Our collaboration with Jeff Shen at UNLV has been wonderful for many years and our latest manuscript “Three WRKY transcription factors additively repress abscisic acid and gibberellin signaling in aleurone cells” by Liyuan Zhang, Lingkun Gu, Patricia Ringler, Stanley Smith, Paul J. Rushton, and Qingxi J. Shen. has now been accepted in Plant Science. 2015 looks like being a bumper year for publications as we have three more in review and four others in advanced preparation. Well done everyone!

April 14th 2015

Our latest paper on “Tobacco Drought Stress Responses Reveal New Targets for Solanaceae Crop Improvement ” has been editorially accepted in BMC Genomics. It has some really big data sets and exciting observations, so well done to everyone involved. I will post it on Research Gate as soon as it is formally accepted.

March 6th 2015

Our latest paper on “The Interactome of Soybean GmWRKY53 using Yeast 2-Hybrid Library Screening to Saturation” has been accepted for publication in Plant Signaling & Behavior.”

We think that a number of the GmWRKY53 interactions will turn about to be important parts of the signaling pathways in biotic/abiotic stress and that the interaction with the LATE ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL clock protein GmLCL2 (MYB114) suggests a direct input from the clock on GmWRKY53 activity.

February 26th 2015

BMC Plant biology

Our new article on”The Evolution of WRKY transcription factors” has been published in BMC Plant Biology.

January 27th 2015

We made Springer’s “Plant Stars”

Plant Stars-WRKY

January 7th 2015

We have had our chapter “Structure and evolution of WRKY transcription factors

By Charles I. Rinerson, Roel C. Rabara, Prateek Tripathi, Qingxi J Shen, and Paul J. Rushton

Accepted in the forthcoming book:

Plant Transcription Factors:
Evolutionary, Structural and Functional Aspects
Edited by: Daniel H. Gonzalez

January 1st 2015

We have joined the SoyKBase program which officially launched on January 1st 2015. SoyKBase is a Soybean/Legume Knowledge Base which is a collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Agriculture Sciences and a company owned by Dr. Jeff Chen. Dr. Jeff Chen is coordinating this effort and his company has considerable sequencing and bioinformatic resources. Prof. Mike Timko at The University of Virginia is also part of this project, together with a number of Chinese scientists.

September 2014

Press-releaseWe are please that the journal OMICS has chosen to highlight our work on drought.

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