Liana T Burghardt, Ph.D.

Liana T Burghardt, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor

Areas of Expertise

  • Evolutionary ecology of legumes and rhizobia
  • Plant-microbe-climate interactions
  • Mutualism evolution
  • Bio-inoculants and leguminous cover crops
  • Biological nitrogen Fixation
  • Genome-wide association studies (GWAS)
  • Evolve and resequence


  • PostDoc: University of Minnesota (2015-2019)
  • Ph.D.: Duke University (2015)
  • B.A.: Carleton College (2003-2007)


Precipitation timing and soil substrate drive phenology and fitness of Arabidopsis thaliana in a Mediterranean environment
Functional Ecology, Martínez-Berdeja, Alejandra, Okada, Miki, Cooper, Martha D., Runcie, Daniel E., Burghardt, Liana T., Schmitt, Johanna, 2023

The evolutionary ecology of rhizobia: multiple facets of competition before, during, and after symbiosis with legumes
Current Opinion in Microbiology, Burghardt, Liana T., diCenzo, George C., 2023

Host-Associated Rhizobial Fitness: Dependence on Nitrogen, Density, Community Complexity, and Legume Genotype
Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Burghardt, Liana T., Epstein, Brendan, Hoge, Michelle, Trujillo, Diana I., Tiffin, Peter, 2022

Phenotypic and genomic signatures of interspecies cooperation and conflict in naturally occurring isolates of a model plant symbiont
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Batstone, Rebecca T., Burghardt, Liana T., Heath, Katy D., 2022

Combining GWAS and population genomic analyses to characterize coevolution in a legume-rhizobia symbiosis
Molecular Ecology, Epstein, Brendan, Burghardt, Liana T., Heath, Katy D., Grillo, Michael A., Kostanecki, Adam, Hämälä, Tuomas, Young, Nevin D., Tiffin, Peter, 2022

Comparison of nodule endophyte composition, diversity, and gene content between medicago truncatula genotypes
Phytobiomes Journal, Burns, Mannix, Epstein, Brendan, Burghardt, Liana T., 2021

Adaptive evolution of plant life history in urban environments, Gorton, Amanda, Burghardt, Liana, Tiffin, P, 2020

A select and resequence approach reveals strain-specific effects of medicago nodule-specific PLAT-domain genes
Plant Physiology, Burghardt, Liana T., Trujillo, Diana I., Epstein, Brendan, Tiffin, Peter, Young, Nevin D., 2020

Liana T. Burghardt
NEW PHYTOLOGIST, Burghardt, Liana, 2020

Filling in the gaps in survival analysis: using field data to infer plant responses to environmental stressors
Ecology, Tomasek, Bradley J., Burghardt, Liana T., Shriver, Robert K., 2019

Legacy of prior host and soil selection on rhizobial fitness in planta
Evolution; international journal of organic evolution, Burghardt, Liana T., Epstein, Brendan, Tiffin, Peter, 2019

Genome-wide association analyses in the model rhizobium Ensifer meliloti
mSphere, Epstein, Brendan, Abou-Shanab, Reda A.I., Shamseldin, Abdelaal, Taylor, Margaret R., Guhlin, Joseph, Burghardt, Liana T., Nelson, Matthew, Sadowsky, Michael J., Tiffin, Peter, 2018

Select and resequence reveals relative fitness of bacteria in symbiotic and free-living environments
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Burghardt, Liana T., Epstein, Brendan, Guhlin, Joseph, Nelson, Matt S., Taylor, Margaret R., Young, Nevin D., Sadowsky, Michael J., Tiffin, Peter, 2018

Transcriptomic basis of genome by genome variation in a legume-rhizobia mutualism
Molecular Ecology, Burghardt, Liana T., Guhlin, Joseph, Chun, Chan Lan, Liu, Junqi, Sadowsky, Michael J., Stupar, Robert M., Young, Nevin D., Tiffin, Peter, 2017

A Guide to Genome-Wide Association Mapping in Plants
Current protocols in plant biology, Burghardt, Liana T., Young, Nevin D., Tiffin, Peter, 2017

Natural variation for gene expression responses to abiotic stress in maize
Plant Journal, Waters, Amanda J., Makarevitch, Irina, Noshay, Jaclyn, Burghardt, Liana T., Hirsch, Candice N., Hirsch, Cory D., Springer, Nathan M., 2017

Validating genome-wide association candidates controlling quantitative variation in nodulation
Plant Physiology, Curtin, S, Tiffin, P, Guhlin, J, Trujillo, D, Burghardt, Liana, Atkins, P, Baltes, N, Denny, R, Voytas, D, Stupar, R, Young, N, 2017

Canalization of seasonal phenology in the presence of developmental variation: Seed dormancy cycling in an annual weed
Integrative and Comparative Biology, Edwards, Brianne, Burghardt, Liana T., Kovach, Katherine E., Donohue, Kathleen, 2017

Maternal temperature effects on dormancy influence germination responses to water availability in Arabidopsis thaliana
Environmental and Experimental Botany, Edwards, Brianne R., Burghardt, Liana T., Zapata-Garcia, Mercedes, Donohue, Kathleen, 2016

Fluctuating, warm temperatures decrease the effect of a key floral repressor on flowering time in Arabidopsis thaliana
New Phytologist, Burghardt, Liana T., Runcie, Daniel E., Wilczek, Amity M., Cooper, Martha D., Roe, Judith L., Welch, Stephen M., Schmitt, Johanna, 2016

Multiple paths to similar germination behavior in Arabidopsis thaliana
New Phytologist, Burghardt, Liana T., Edwards, Brianne R., Donohue, Kathleen, 2016

A cline in seed dormancy helps conserve the environment experienced during reproduction across the range of Arabidopsis thaliana
American Journal of Botany, Burghardt, Liana T., Metcalf, C. Jessica E., Donohue, Kathleen, 2016

Avoiding the crowds: The evolution of plastic responses to seasonal cues in a density-dependent world
Journal of Ecology, Metcalf, C. Jessica E., Burghardt, Liana T., Koons, David N., 2015

Secondary dormancy dynamics depends on primary dormancy status in Arabidopsis thaliana
Seed Science Research, Auge, Gabriela A., Blair, Logan K., Burghardt, Liana T., Coughlan, Jennifer, Edwards, Brianne, Leverett, Lindsay D., Donohue, Kathleen, 2015

Applying developmental threshold models to evolutionary ecology
Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Donohue, Kathleen, Burghardt, Liana T., Runcie, Daniel, Bradford, Kent J., Schmitt, Johanna, 2015

Modeling the influence of genetic and environmental variation on the expression of plant life cycles across landscapes
American Naturalist, Burghardt, Liana T., Metcalf, C. Jessica E., Wilczek, Amity M., Schmitt, Johanna, Donohue, Kathleen, 2015

The community-level effect of light on germination timing in relation to seed mass: A source of regeneration niche differentiation
New Phytologist, Zhang, Chunhui, Willis, Charles G., Burghardt, Liana T., Qi, Wei, Liu, Kun, de Moura Souza-Filho, Paulo Roberto, Ma, Zhen, Du, Guozhen, 2014

The evolution of seed dormancy: Environmental cues, evolutionary hubs, and diversification of the seed plants
New Phytologist, Willis, Charles G., Baskin, Carol C., Baskin, Jerry M., Auld, Josh R., Venable, D. Lawrence, Cavender-Bares, Jeannine, Donohue, Kathleen, de Casas, Rafael Rubio, Bradford, K., Burghardt, L., Kalisz, S., Meyer, S., Schmitt, J., Strauss, S., Wilczek, A., 2014