Mailing Address:
Division of Plant & Soil Sciences
1090 Agricultural Sciences Bldg
P.O. Box 6108
West Virginia University
Morgantown, WV 26506-6108
image of Benedito

Vagner A. Benedito, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biochemical Genetics

Contact Information

Office Address: 2090 Agricultural Sciences Building

Telephone: (304) 293-5434
Fax: (304) 293-2960


Ph.D., 2004, Plant Sciences, Wageningen University, the Netherlands
M.Sc., 1999, Horticulture, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
B.S., 1997, Agronomy, Federal University of Viosa, Brazil

Professional Employment

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Sao Paulo University, 2004-2006
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, 2006-2009
Assistant Professor, West Virginia University, 2009-2014
Associate Professor, West Virginia University, 2014-present

Courses Taught

GEN726 – Advanced Biochemical Genetics (fall of even years)
GEN796 – Seminars in Genetics and Developmental Biology (every semester)
GEN691A – Special Topics in Molecular Genetics
GEN692 – Directed Study in Mechanisms of Molecular Genetics
GEN792 – Directed Study in Molecular Genetics of Plant Development
PLSC550/GRAD593 – Grants and Grantsmanship (summer course)
PLSC592B – Agricultural Experimentation
PLSC593A – Perl Programming for Bioinformatics
PLSC593B – Plant Biochemistry
PLSC693C – Genes and Gene Regulation
PLSC693 – Crop Physiology
PLSC795 – Independent Study: Integrative Plant Biochemistry
HNF692 – Directed Study: Data Analysis

Research Interests

Functional Genetics and Plant Genomics
Plant Development and Molecular Physiology
Biological Nitrogen Fixation in Legumes
Molecular Biochemistry of Membrane Transporters and Transcription Factors
Genetics and Physiology of Agronomical Traits of Tomato

Professional Affiliations

American Society of Plant Biology

Selected Publications

Scientific Publications

42. Morton JB, Benedito VA, Panaccione DG, Jenks MA (2014) Potential for industrial application of microbes in symbioses that influence plant productivity and sustainability in agricultural, natural, or restored ecosystems. Industrial Biotechnology 10:347-353

41. maditz KH, Oldaker C, nanda N, Benedito VA, Livengood R, Tou JC (2014) Dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids or soy protein isolate did not attenuate disease progression in a female rat model of autosomal recesive polycystic kidney disease. Nutrition Res 34:526-534

40. Sestari I, Zsgn A, Rehder GG, Teixeira LL, Hassimotto NMA, Purgatto E, Benedito VA, Peres LEP (2014) Near-isogenic lines enhancing ascorbic acid, anthocyanin and carotenoid content in tomato (Solanum lycopersicoum L. cv. Micro-Tom) as a tool to produce nutrient-rich fruits. Scientia Horticulturae 175:111-120.

39. Benedito VA, Modolo LV (2014) Introduction to metabolic genetic engineering for the production of valuable secondary metabolites in in vivo and in vitro plant systems. Recent Patents on Biotechnology 8:61-75

38. Sinharoy S, Torres-Jerez I, Kereszt A, Pislariu CI, Nakashima J, Benedito VA, Kondorosi E, Udvardi MK (2013) The C2H2 transcription factor REGULATOR OF SYMBIOSE DIFFERENTIATION represses transcription of the secretory pathway gene MtVAMP721a and promotes symbiosome development in Medicago truncatula. Plant Cell 25: 3584-3601

37. Scotton DC, Benedito VA, Molfetta JB, Rodrigues BIF, Tulmann-Neto A, Figueira A (2013) Response of root explants to in vitro cultivation of marketable garlic cultivars. Horticultura Brasileira 31: 80-85

36. Wang M, Verdier J, Benedito VA, Tang Y, Murray JD, Ge Y, Becker JD, Carvalho H, Rogers C, Udvardi M, He J (2013) LegumeGRN: A gene regulatory network prediction server for functional and comparative studies. PLOS One 8:e67434

35. Gigliotti JC, Benedito VA, Livengood R, Oldaker C, Nanda N, Tou JC (2013) Feeding different omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid sources influences renal fatty acid composition, inflammantion, and occurrence of nephrocalcinosis in female Sprague-Dawley rats. Food and Nutrition Sciences 4:125-136

34. Pislariu CI, Murray JD, Wen J, Cosson V, Muni RR, Wang M, Benedito VA, Andriankaja A, Cheng X, Jerez IT, Mondy S, Zhang S, Taylor ME, Tadege M, Ratet P, Mysore KS, Chen R, Udvardi MK (2012) A Medicago truncatula tobacco retrotransposon insertion mutant collection with defects in nodule development and symbiotic nitrogen fixation. Plant Physiology 159: 1686-1699

33. Mortimer L, Le Roux M, Perez-Fernandez M, Benedito VA, Kleinert A, Valentine A (2012) The dual symbiosis between arbuscular mycorrhiza and nitrogen fixing bacteria benefits the growth and nutrition of the woody invasive legume Acacia Cyclops under nutrient limiting conditions. Plant and Soil 366:229-241

32. Barreto HG, Lazzari F, Sgio SA, Chalfun-Junior A, Paiva LV, Benedito VA (2012) In silico and quantitative analyses of the putative FLC-like homologue in coffee (Coffea arabica L.) Plant Molecular Biology Reporter 30: 29-35

31. Young ND, Debell F, Oldroyd G, Geurts R, Cannon SB, Udvardi MK, Benedito VA et al. (2011) The Medicago genome provides insight into the evolution of rhizobial symbiosis. Nature 480: 520-524

30. Tou JC, Altman SN, Gigliotti JC, Benedito VA, Cordonier EL (2011) Different sources of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids affects apparent digestibility, tissue deposition, and tissue oxidative stability in growing female rats. Lipids Health Dis 10: 179

29. Fess TL, Kotcon JB, Benedito VA (2011) Crop breeding for low input agriculture: the solution for feeding a growing world population. Sustainability 3: 1742-1772

28. Carvalho R, Campos ML, Pino LE, Crestana SL, Zsgn A, Lima JE, Benedito VA, Peres LEP (2011) Convergence of developmental mutants into a single tomato model system: ‘Micro-Tom’ as an effective toolkit for plant development research. Plant Methods 7: 18

27. Ward CL, Kleinert A, Scortecci KC, Benedito VA, Valentine AJ (2011) Phosphorus-deficiency reduces aluminium toxicity by altering uptake and metabolism of root zone carbon dioxide. Journal of Plant Physiology 168: 459-465
26. Benedito VA, Li H, Dai X, Wandrey M, He J, Kaundal R, Torres-Jerez I, Gomez SK, Harrison MJ, Tang Y, Zhao PX, Udvardi MK (2010) Genomic inventory and transcriptional analysis of Medicago truncatula transporters. Plant Physiology 152: 1716-1730

25. Wang M, Benedito VA, Zhao PX, Udvardi MK (2010) Inferring large-scale gene regulatory networks using a novel low-order constraint-based algorithm. Molecular BioSystems 6: 988-998

24. Campos ML, Carvalho RF, Benedito VA, Peres LE (2010) Small and remarkable: The Micro-Tom model system as a tool to discover novel hormonal functions and interactions. Plant & Signaling Behavior 5: 267-270

23. He J*, Benedito VA*, Wang M, Murray JD, Zhao PX, Tang Y, Udvardi MK (2009) MtGEA: the Medicago truncatula Gene Expression Atlas database. BMC Bioinformatics 10: 441

22. Li H, Benedito VA, Udvardi MK, Zhao PX (2009) TransportTP: A two-phase classification approach for membrane transporter prediction and characterization. BMC Bioinformatics 10: 418

21. Libault M, Joshi T, Benedito VA, Xu D, Udvardi MK, Stacey G (2009) Legume transcription factor genes; what makes legumes so special? Plant Physiology 151: 991-1001

20. Campos ML, Almeida M, Rossi ML, Martinelli AP, Litholdo-Junior CG, Figueira, A, Rampelotti-Ferreira FT, Vendramim JD, Benedito VA, Peres LEP (2009) Brassinosteroids interact negatively with jasmonates in the formation of anti-herbivory traits in tomato. Journal of Experimental Botany 60: 4347-4361 (cover)

19. Lima JE, Benedito VA, Figueira A, Peres LE (2009) Callus, shoot and hairy root formation in vitro as affected by the sensitivity to auxin and ethylene in tomato mutants. Plant Cell Reports 28: 1169-1177

18. Coelho CMM, Benedito VA (2008) Seed development and reserve compound accumulation in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) Seed Science and Biotechnology 2: 45-52

17. Benedito VA, Torres-Jerez I, Murray J, Andriankaja A, Allen S, Kakar K, Wandrey M, Gallardo K, Thompson R, Ott T, Moreau S, Niebel A, He J, Dai X, Zhao PX, Tang Y, Udvardi MK (2008) A gene expression atlas of the model legume, Medicago truncatula 55: 504-513 (cover)

16. Zsgn A, Lambais MR, Benedito VA, Figueira AVO, Peres LEP (2008) Reduced arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization in tomato ethylene mutants. Scientia Agricola 65: 259-267

15. Frickey T, Benedito VA, Udvardi M, Weiller G (2008) AffyTrees: facilitating comparative analysis of Affymetrix plant microarray chips. Plant Physiology 146: 377-386

14. Benedito VA (2007) Time to crop: jumping from biological models to crop biotechnology. Crop Breeding and Applied Biotechnology 7: 1-10

13. Udvardi MK, Kakar K, Wandrey M, Montanari O, Murray J, Andriankaja A, Zhang JY, Benedito VA, Hofer JMI, Chueng F, Town C (2007) Legume transcription factors: global regulators of plant development and response to the environment. Plant Physiology 144: 538-549

12. Benedito VA, Faria L, Freitas-Asta J, Figueira A (2007) Genetic Machinery for RNA Silencing and Defense against Viruses in Citrus. Genetics and Molecular Biology 30: 991-996

11. Quecini V, Torres, GAM, Rosa Jr. VE, Gimenes MA, Machado JBM, Figueira A, Benedito V, Targon MLP, Cristofani M (2007) In silico analysis of phytohormone metabolism and communication pathways in citrus transcriptome. Genetics and Molecular Biology 30: 713-733

10. Coelho CMM, Benedito VA, Figueira A, Vitorello V, Azevedo RA (2007) Variation in the enzyme activity and gene expression of myo-inositol-3-phosphate synthase (MIPS) and phytate accumulation during seed development in common bean. Acta Physiologiae Plantarum 29: 265-271

9. Benedito VA, Dai X, He J, Zhao PX, Udvardi MK (2006) Functional Genomics of Legume Nodule Transporters. Functional Plant Biology 33: 731-736

8. Benedito VA, Angenent G, Krens FA (2005) Floral homeotic mutants in lily: double flower and festiva phenotypes. Flowering Newsletter 39: 29-37

7. Benedito VA, Visser PB, Angenent GC, de Vries SC, Krens FA (2005) Transformation of Lilium longiflorum via particle bombardment and generation of herbicide-resistant plants. Crop Breeding and Applied Biotechnology 5: 125-130

6. Benedito VA, Visser PB, van Tuyl JM, Angenent GC, de Vries SC, Krens KA (2004) Ectopic expression of LLAG1, an AGAMOUS homologue from lily (Lilium longiflorum Thunb.) causes floral homeotic modifications in Arabidopsis. Journal of Experimental Botany 55: 1391-1399

5. Benedito VA, Visser PB, Angenent GC, Krens KA (2004) The potential of virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) for speeding up functional characterization of plant genes. Genetics and Molecular Research 3: 323-341

4. Benedito VA, Krens KA (2004) Lilium longiflorum and its molecular floral development: the ABCDE model. Acta Horticulturae 651: 83-89

3. Mendes BMJ, Mouro Filho FAA, Farias PCM, Benedito VA (2001) Citrus somatic hybridization with potential for improved blight and CTV resistance. In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology – Plant 37: 490-495

2. Benedito VA, Mendes BMJ, Mouro Filho FAA (2000) Callus induction, somatic embryogenesis and protoplast isolation from sweet orange varieties. Scientia Agricola 57: 33-38 (in Portuguese, abstract in English)

1. Siqueira DL, Pereira WE, Salomo LCC, Benedito VA (2000) Physicochemical characteristics of ‘Hamlin’ sweet orange fruits in relation to the number of leaves and ringing. Brazilian Journal of Pomology 22: 106-110 (abstract in English)

Book Chapters

6. Fess TL, Kotcon JB, Benedito VA (2015) Crop breeding for low input agriculture: the solution for feeding a growing world population. In: K. Etingoff (ed) Agricultural Resource Use and Management. Apple Academic Press

5. Valentine AJ, Mortimer PE, Kleinert A, Kang Y, Benedito VA (2013) Carbon metabolism and costs of arbuscular mycorrhizal associations to host roots. In: R. Aroca (ed) Symbiotic Endophytes. Spring-Verlag Press

4. Verdier J, Benedito VA, Udvardi MK (2013) The Medicago truncatula gene expression atlas (MtGEA): A tool for understanding legume seed biology. In: Ganesh K Agrawal & Randeep Rakwal (eds) Seed Development: omics – technologies toward improvement of seed quality and crop yield

3. Faria AP, Ftima A, Benedito VA, Modolo LV (2011) Plant cell culture and transgenic plants: the goldmines for the production of compounds of pharmacological interest. In: Goutam Brahmachari (ed) Bioactive Natural Products – opportunities & challenges in medicinal chemistry.

2. Valentine AJ, Benedito VA, Kang Y (2011) Legume nitrogen fixation and soil abiotic stress: from physiology to genomics and beyond. In: Christine Foyer & Hanma Zhang (ed) Nitrogen Metabolism in Plants in the Post-genomic Era – volume 2. Wiley-Blackwell (in press)

1. Benedito VA, Figueira A (2005) Environmental risk of transgenic plants. In: Borem A (ed). Plant Biotechnology. Viosa University Press (in Portuguese)