Gary Stacey

Gary Stacey


Curators' Distinguished Professor

Division of Plant Sciences and Technology

Research at a glance

Area(s) of Expertise

Research Summary

The interests of the laboratory are diverse but have a common theme of plant and microbe development. Recently, we have an interest in understanding plant receptor function and how plants respond to their environment. Purinergic signaling and symbiotic nitrogen fixation are our current focus.

Gary Stacey is Curators’ Distinguished Professor and Professor of Plant Science and Technology at the University of Missouri-Columbia. His research focuses generally on molecular aspects of plant-microbe interactions, including studies of the beneficial legume-rhizobium symbiosis and plant-fungal pathogen interactions. He has also been instrumental in the development of genomic resources for the study of soybean. He has mentored 51 postdoctoral fellows and 36 Ph.D. and 8 M.S. graduate students. Past postdocs have gone on to start independent careers in academia (e.g., Michigan State Univ., Washington State Univ.), industry, as well as winning the 2005 USA National Medal of Technology, which was presented to Dr. Puvanesarajah by Pres. Bush. Past graduate students (Dr. Jeongmin Choi) have won the 2015 distinguished dissertation award in Life Sciences/ Biology presented by the National Council of Graduate Study/Proquest, while others have started successful, multimillion-dollar businesses (e.g., Dr. Stacey has authored or co-authored more than 300 peer-reviewed research articles (33601 citations, h index=101), 79 book chapters, and 13 patents. Two of his patents support the product OptimizeTM sold by Novozymes, Inc., to enhance rhizobial inoculant performance on soybean. He has edited or co-edited 17 books/reports. He has served on various advisory/editorial boards and, from 2010 to 2013, served as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. He founded the journal series “Current Protocols in Plant Biology”, published by Wiley, and served as the editor-in-chief through Fall, 2021. He chaired the Public Affairs Committee of the American Society for Plant Biologists (ASPB) from 2006 to 2011. From 2009-2018 he was chair of the DOE, Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee. In 2008, he founded a not-for-profit corporation, Missouri Energy Initiative (MEI;, and served as its Acting Executive Director until 2011. In 2021, he cofounded the biotechnology company, Viosimos Agricuture LLC. He has received a variety of honors, including being named Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. American Academy of Microbiology, American Society for Plant Biology, St. Louis Academy of Science and, most recently, National Academy of Inventors.

Educational background

  • Ph.D., 1978, Microbiology, University of Texas, Austin

Courses taught

  • Molecular Plant Physiology
  • Genetics of Plant-Microbe Interactions