Faculty Overview

Ashrafi, Hamid


Assistant Professor Horticultural Science
hashraf2@ncsu.edu
919-515-1216
919-515-2505 fax
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The use of molecular markers in blueberry breeding has been hampered by inadequate DNA markers and structured populations. Did you know that there are only two genetic maps for blueberry with ~265 conventional molecular markers on them, and limited genomics data available in databases? Hamid Ashrafi, assistant professor in blueberry breeding, is passionate to use his expertise to breed for higher quality blueberries. He received his B.S. in agronomy and plant breeding from the University of Technology, Esfahan, Iran, and M.S. in plant breeding from Azad University, Tehran, Iran.  Hamid received his Ph.D. in genetics from the Pennsylvania State University in August 2007 where he was working on tomato breeding and genetics under the supervision of Dr. Majid R. Foolad. He moved to University of California-Davis in early 2008, where he started to work with Drs. Allen Van Deynze and Richard Michelmore as a post-doctoral scholar. Analyzing Affymetrix microarray GeneChips® data he was able to generate ultra-saturated genetic maps of pepper and lettuce with more than 16,000 and 11,000 markers, respectively.  In July 2010, he was promoted to a senior scientist position in bioinformatics when he took the lead to work on next generation sequencing data analysis. Initially, working on transcriptome sequencing and later on re-sequencing 22 pepper lines and cultivars, he developed more than 1.5 million SNP markers for pepper. In collaboration with Dr. Doil Choi at Seoul National University, he was a part of a pepper genome sequencing project which was published in Nature Genetics in 2014. During his tenure as a postdoc and a research scientist, he has also collaborated with Drs. David Stelly at Texas A&M University, Phillip Simon and Michael Havey both at University of Wisconsin. In collaboration with Dr. Stelly, he generated thousands of putative SNP markers for diploid and allotetraploid cotton germplasms and became a part of the team who sequenced diploid cotton sequence at Joint Genome Institute, the results of which were published in Nature in 2012. In collaboration with Dr. Simon, he worked on transcriptome analysis of carrot germplasms and carrot genome sequencing. Over the past several years, he has collaborated with more than 10 seed companies on various projects including sequencing different vegetable crops such as spinach and re-sequencing genome of 12 melon cultivars. He has also developed a pipeline to generate millions of SNP markers for melon, eggplant, spinach, pepper, cotton and many other crops. He recently left that position to join the department of horticulture at NC State. Hamid is interested in plant breeding and genetics, with special interests in molecular breeding through marker assisted selection, genetic mapping, QTL analysis, bioinformatics and statistical genomics. He is located at 270 Kilgore hall and can be reached at (919) 515-1216.


Expertise:
Bioinformatics | Plant Breeding | Plant Genomics and Genetics | Fruit and Vegetable Production | Plant Pathology
Country(s) of experience:
Canada | Costa Rica | Korea, South | Mexico | Morocco | Netherlands | Peru | Spain | Tunisia | Turkey
Type(s) of International Experience:
Speaker at an international conference | Host for international faculty | Host for international post-doc
Language(s):
English | French | Persian (Farsi)
Projects:
To study the conservation of Tunisian olives genetic resources and enhance the quality of olive oil by the use of molecular markers Development project
03/31/2021 - 02/28/2023
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Institutional Partner:

To study the conservation of Tunisian olives genetic resources and enhance the quality of olive oil by the use of molecular markers Research project
03/31/2021 - 02/28/2023
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Institutional Partner:

USDA-FAS Borlaug – Scientific Research Exchange Program Turkey – Wheat Genetics Research project
01/01/2020 - 08/31/2021
Funding Agency/Sponsor:
Institutional Partner: Ankara University, Turkey

BFP17 Morocco (Hamim) Biotech @NCSU Research project
08/15/2017 - 09/30/2019
Funding Agency/Sponsor: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
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Project Collaborations:
A public private partnership to uncover genetic treasures in Rubus
01/01/2019 - 12/31/2026
Funding Agency/Sponsor:
Institutional Partner: Cornell University, USA | University of Arkansas, USA | USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USA
Borlaug Fellowship Program - Morocco
01/01/2018 - 09/30/2019
Funding Agency/Sponsor: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Institutional Partner: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), USA Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture, USA