Christopher D. Town, PhD




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Christopher D. (Chris) Town is a Professor and Leader of the Plant Genomics group, having joined the Institute in 1999.  He has a B.A. degree in Physics from the University of Cambridge, UK and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of London, UK in Radiation Physics and Radiation Biology. He held post-doctoral positions at Stanford University, CA and the University of Edinburgh, UK followed by Staff Scientist positions at The Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London, UK and the University of Madison, Wisconsin before taking a faculty position at Case Western Reserve University where he spent 20 years working first of Dictyostelium and then on Arabidopsis before coming to JCVI.

He has worked on a wide range of plant genomics projects in the areas of genome and EST sequencing, genome annotation, microarray development and analysis and functional genomics in Arabidopsis, Medicago, Brassica, onion and banana as well as a variety of legumes and other species of great nutritional significance to developing countries. His current interests are mainly in data aggregation and integration of various data types both within and across species using appropriate combinations of warehousing and web services.

Research Priorities

Genome sequencing and annotation

  • Arabidopsis
  • Brassica
  • Medicago
  • Willow

Plant Genome Databases and Data Management


Select Publications

Araport11: a complete reannotation of the Arabidopsis thaliana reference genome.
The Plant journal : for cell and molecular biology. 2017-02-01; 89.3: 789-804.
PMID: 27862469
ThaleMine: A Warehouse for Arabidopsis Data Integration and Discovery.
Plant & cell physiology. 2017-01-01; 58.1: e4.
PMID: 28013278
The pangenome of an agronomically important crop plant Brassica oleracea.
Nature communications. 2016-11-11; 7.13390.
PMID: 27834372
MTGD: The Medicago truncatula genome database.
Plant & cell physiology. 2015-01-01; 56.1: e1.
PMID: 25432968
Araport: the Arabidopsis information portal.
Nucleic acids research. 2015-01-01; 43.Database issue: D1003-9.
PMID: 25414324
An improved genome release (version Mt4.0) for the model legume Medicago truncatula.
BMC genomics. 2014-04-27; 15.312.
PMID: 24767513
Taking the next step: building an Arabidopsis information portal.
The Plant cell. 2012-06-01; 24.6: 2248-56.
PMID: 22751211
Large-scale transcriptome analysis in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.), an orphan legume crop of the semi-arid tropics of Asia and Africa.
Plant biotechnology journal. 2011-10-01; 9.8: 922-31.
PMID: 21615673
Gene expression profiling of M. truncatula transcription factors identifies putative regulators of grain legume seed filling.
Plant molecular biology. 2008-08-01; 67.6: 567-80.
PMID: 18528765
Experimental validation of novel genes predicted in the un-annotated regions of the Arabidopsis genome.
BMC genomics. 2007-01-17; 8.18.
PMID: 17229318
Sequencing Medicago truncatula expressed sequenced tags using 454 Life Sciences technology.
BMC genomics. 2006-10-24; 7.272.
PMID: 17062153
Comparative genomics of Brassica oleracea and Arabidopsis thaliana reveal gene loss, fragmentation, and dispersal after polyploidy.
The Plant cell. 2006-06-01; 18.6: 1348-59.
PMID: 16632643
Annotating the genome of Medicago truncatula.
Current opinion in plant biology. 2006-04-01; 9.2: 122-7.
PMID: 16458040
Sequencing the genespaces of Medicago truncatula and Lotus japonicus.
Plant physiology. 2005-04-01; 137.4: 1174-81.
PMID: 15824279
Complete reannotation of the Arabidopsis genome: methods, tools, protocols and the final release.
BMC biology. 2005-03-22; 3.7.
PMID: 15784138
Development and evaluation of an Arabidopsis whole genome Affymetrix probe array.
The Plant journal : for cell and molecular biology. 2004-05-01; 38.3: 545-61.
PMID: 15086809
Analysis of the genome sequence of the flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana.
Nature. 2000-12-14; 408.6814: 796-815.
PMID: 11130711