Using cutting-edge technologies in molecular biology and plant genetics, my Sugarcane Breeding program at Texas A&M AgriLife Research has developed energy cane cultivars with high biomass yield, in partnership with Chevron Technologies Venture and BP Biofuels, that can be grown in a wider region of Texas and the United States, specifically designed for use in the production of bio-fuels. This program has also optimized efficient capabilities for scaling up production of feedstock planting stock. In addition, applying Next-Generation DNA sequencing techniques my program has identified and isolated genes controlling stress resistance, such as cold, which could prevent losses to the $3.8 billion US sugar industry and is developing DNA markers to tag important genes controlling cell wall composition and disease resistance.

education and training
selected publications
Academic Articles35
  • Pokhrel, P., Rajan, N., Jifon, J., Rooney, W., Jessup, R., da Silva, J., Enciso, J., & Attia, A. (2022). Evaluation of the DSSAT‐CANEGRO model for simulating the growth of energy cane ( Saccharum spp.), a biofuel feedstock crop. Crop Science. 62(1), 466-478.
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  • Ramasamy, M., Damaj, M. B., Vargas-Bautista, C., Mora, V., Liu, J., Padilla, C. S., ... Mandadi, K. K. (2021). A Sugarcane G-Protein-Coupled Receptor, ShGPCR1, Confers Tolerance to Multiple Abiotic Stresses. Frontiers in Plant Science. 12, 745891.
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  • Gautam, S., Solis-Gracia, N., Teale, M. K., Mandadi, K., Silva, J., & Vales, M. I. (2021). Development of an in vitro Microtuberization and Temporary Immersion Bioreactor System to Evaluate Heat Stress Tolerance in Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.). Frontiers in Plant Science. 12, 700328.
  • Bhattarai, G., Shi, A., Kandel, D. R., Solís-Gracia, N., da Silva, J. A., & Avila, C. A. (2021). Genome-wide simple sequence repeats (SSR) markers discovered from whole-genome sequence comparisons of multiple spinach accessions.. Sci Rep. 11(1), 9999.
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  • Pokhrel, P., Rajan, N., Jifon, J., Rooney, W., Jessup, R., da Silva, J., Enciso, J., & Attia, A. (2020). Agronomic performance of the lignocellulosic feedstock crop energy cane in the Texas Rolling Plains. Agronomy Journal. 112(5), 3816-3831.
  • Ming, R., Moore, P. H., Wu, K., D'hont, A., Glaszmann, J. C., Tew, T. L., ... Paterson, A. H. (2005). Sugarcane Improvement through Breeding and Biotechnology. Plant breeding reviews. Plant Breeding Reviews. 15-118. John Wiley & Sons, Inc..
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Conference Papers1
  • Jifon, J. L., da Silva, J., Acuna, G., & El-Hout, N. (2013). High-throughput Quality Characterization of Warm Season Lignocellulosic Feedstocks. HORTSCIENCE. 48(9), S148-S148.
recent teaching activities
chaired theses and dissertations
First Name
Last Name
Da Silva
mailing address
Texas A&M AgriLife Research; Weslaco; 9999 TAMUS
Weslaco, TX 78596