Dr. Larkin's research focuses on the genetics and biochemistry of native plant species. It involves both conservation genetics and natural products chemistry. The conservation genetic work focuses on measuring genetic variation and gene flow among native plant populations, especially those impacted by fragmentation and human disturbance. Species studied include seagrasses (Halodule wrightii, Thalassia testudinum), terrestrial legumes (Desmanthus virgatus), and invasive species such as Kleberg’s Bluestem (Dichanthium annulatum). The natural products work focuses on the isolation and characterization of novel compounds from native plant species. Both areas involve a combination of molecular and field techniques. A major goal of our laboratory is to provide conservation professionals with information that can aid in the design of appropriate habitat management plans.


Larkin PD, *Schonacher T, Barrett M, and *Paturzzio M. Development and characterization of microsatellite markers for the seagrass Halodule wrightii. Conservation Genetics Resources 4(2): 511-13 (2012). DOI: 10.1007/s12686-011-9587-0.

Larkin PD, Heideman KL, Burfeind DD and Stunz GW. The effect of boat propeller scarring intensity on genetic variation in a subtropical seagrass species. Botanica marina 53: 99-102 (2010).

Larkin PD, Heideman KL, *Parker JE, Hardegree B. Genetic Structure of Halodule wrightii populations from the Laguna Madre region in the Western Gulf of Mexico. Gulf of Mexico Science 26(2): 124-129 (2008).

Larkin PD, *Quevedo E, *Salinas S, *Parker J, *Storey K and Hardegree B.Genetic structure of Thalassia testudinum populations from the south Texas Gulf Coast. Aquatic Botany 85 (3):198-202 (2006)

Larkin PD and Hartberg Y. Development of a green fluorescent protein-based laboratory curriculum. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education 33(1): 41-45 (2005)

Larkin PD, McClung AM, Ayres NM and Park WD.The effect of the Waxy locus (granule bound starch synthase) on pasting curve characteristics in specialty rice. Euphytica 131:243-253 (2003)

Larkin PD and Park WD.Association of waxy gene single nucleotide polymorphisms with starch characteristics in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Molecular Breeding 12:335-339 (2003)

Larkin, PD, McClung, AM and Park, WD.Sequence polymorphism is granule-bound starch synthase is strongly correlated with rice cooking quality. In: Proceedings of the Second Temperate Rice Conference, Sacramento, CA June 13-17, 1999. Pp. 481-484 (2002)

McClung, AM, Larkin, PD and Park, WD. Heritability of amylase content, alkali spreading value, and starch pasting properties in progeny from a cross from Toro2/Rexmont. In: Proceedings of the 28th Rice Technical Working Group, Biloxi, MS. Feb. 27 – March 1, 2000. (2000)

Larkin PD and Park WD.Transcript accumulation and utilization of alternate and non- consensus splice sites in the granule bound starch synthase gene of rice are controlled by a temperature-sensitive mutation. Plant Molecular Biology 40: 719-727 (1999)

Shu, QY, Wu, DX, Xia, YW, Gao, MW, Ayres, NM, Larkin, PD and Park, WD. Microsatellite Polymorphism on the Waxy gene locus and the relationship to amylose content in indica and japonica rice, Oryza sativa L . Acta Genetica Sinica 26:350-358 (1999)

Bligh H†, Larkin P†, Roach P, Fu H, Jones C and Park W. Use of alternate splice sites in granule bound starch synthase mRNA from low amylose rice varieties. Plant Molecular Biology38: 407-415 (1998) † equal contribution.

Larkin PD, Park WD.Alternate splicing of Granule Bound Starch Synthase pre-mRNA is correlated with low amylose content in rice.  In: Proceedings of the 27th Rice Technical Working Group, Reno, NV. March 1-4, 1998 (1998)

Ayres N, McClung A, Larkin P, Bligh H, Jones C and Park W. Microsatellites and a single nucleotide polymorphism differentiate apparent amylose classes in an extended pedigree of US rice germplasm. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 94: 773-781 (1997)

Ayres, N.M., A.M. McClung, P.D. Larkin, W.D. Park, F. Bligh and C. Jones. Control of apparent amylose content in rice.  In: Proceedings of the 26th Rice Technical Working Group, San Antonio, TX.  Feb. 25-28, 1996. (1996)

Larkin PD, McClung AM, Park WD.Genetic Factors in the Control of Cooking Quality in Texas Specialty Rice. In: Proceedings of the 26th Rice Technical Working Group, San Antonio, TX.  Feb. 25-28, 1996. (1996).

Reddy, A.S., N.M. Ayres, P.D. Larkin, W.D. Park, A.M. McClung and J. Pfeifer. A novel DNA assay for marker-assisted breeding. In: Proceedings of the 26th Rice Technical Working Group, San Antonio, TX.  Feb. 25-28, 1996. (1996)

Funding Support
National Science Foundation
Texas Sea Grant
Welch Foundation

Professional Associations
American Chemical Society

American Society of Plant Biologists

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