Dr. Michael Schläppi

Dr. Michael Schlappi
Dr. Michael SchläppiMarquette University

Wehr Life Sciences, 207

MilwaukeeWI53201United States of America
(414) 288-1480


Cold tolerance and flowering time regulation in plants



Diploma 1986, University of Basel, Switzerland  
Ph.D. 1990, University of Basel, Switzerland  
Postdoctoral Fellow, Carnegie Institute of Washington 

Courses Taught

Biol 1002 - General Biology
Biol 3406 - Plant Biology
Biol 8201 - Epigenetics
Biol 8202 - Principles of Eukaryotic Genetics
Biol 8954 - Seminar in Plant Molecular Biology 

Research Interests

Cold Tolerance and Flowering Time Regulation in Plants

Wisconsin RiceWe have molecular and genetic projects to investigate cold stress tolerance mechanisms and flowering time regulation in the model plants Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and rice (Oryza sativa). We are currently focusing on exploring the natural variation that exists in rice to map new quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for various cold tolerance traits and to identify QTL associated genes. Toward this goal, we are using a sophisticated method to screen the US Department of Agriculture rice mini-core (RMC) collection and the Rice Diversity Panel 1 (RDP1), both of which represent the diversity and complexity of the world’s germplasms. Our preliminary results are consistent with the hypothesis that mechanisms of cold stress tolerance responses measured in various ways are under complex genetic control. Our long-term goals are to field-test our laboratory results, to introgress large-effect QTLs into elite rice lines, to fine-map interesting QTLs, and to validate cold tolerance candidate genes associated with them. In parallel we are exploring the natural variation of Arabidopsis to study specific aspects of stress tolerance and flowering time regulation, specifically focusing on hybrid proline and glycine-rich protein (HyP/GRP) and FRIGIDA-LIKE(FRL) genes.

In addition to these research projects, we are translating research outcomes into “real world” applications by cultivating cold tolerant rice varieties on (currently) one acre of land in the cold climate of Wisconsin.

Selected Publications

Liu C, Ou S, Mao B, Tang J, Wang W, Wang H, Cao S, Schläppi MR, Zhao B, Xiao G, Wang X, Chu C (2018) Early domestication of bZIP73 facilitated adaptation of japonica rice to cold climates. Nature Commun 9:3302.

Schläppi MR, Jackson AK, Eizenga G, Wang A, Chu C, Shi Y, Shimoyama N, Boykin DL (2017) Assessment of five chilling tolerance traits and GWAS mapping in rice using the USDA mini-core collection. Front Plant Sci 8: 957.

Schläppi M (2017) Undergraduate Student Research Opportunities and Economic Revitalization through Urban Agriculture Initiatives. Metropolitan Universities Journal 28: 37-45.


NIFA-AFRI grant #2016-67013-24587 from the USDA (2016-2020)
Strategic Innovation Fund grant #SIF105-17 from Marquette University (2017-2019)
NIFA-AFRI grant #2018-67014-27470 from the USDA (2018-2019)

Current Students

Huy Phan (Ph.D. student)
Naoki Shimoyama (Ph.D. student)
Nasim Maghboli Balasjin (Ph.D. student)

Dr. Schlappi is currently accepting new Ph.D. students into his lab 

Former Students

Yao Shi, 2019, Ph.D.
Ranjuna Weerasekera, 2009, M.S.
Yi Zhang, 2007, Ph.D. 
Jason A Bubier, 2004, Ph.D.
Richard K Wilkosz, 2001, Ph.D. 
Monica K Patel, 2001, M.S. 

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Department of Biological Sciences

Wehr Life Sciences, 109
1428 W. Clybourn St.
Milwaukee, WI 53233

(414) 288-7355

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