Curriculum Vitae

Mark J. Guiltinan

The Pennsylvania State University
University Park PA, 16802

Professional Preparation

Humboldt State University Arcata, CA, USA Botany BS 1978
University of California Irvine, CA, USA Biology PhD 1986
Texas A&M University College Station, TX, USA Regulation of Plant Gene Expression 1986 -1987
Rhone Poulenc Agrochimie Lyon, France Plant Biotechnology 1987 -1988
The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, NC, USA Plant Biochemistry 1989 -1991


J. Franklin Styer Professor of Horticultural Botany

Professor of Plant Molecular Biology, Department of Plant Science, The Pennsylvania State University (PSU)

2018 - present 2001 - present
Director, Penn State Plant Science Center 2000 - present
Associate Professor of Plant Molecular Biology, Horticulture Dept., PSU 1997 - 2001
Director, American Cocoa Research Institute Program in the Molecular Biology of Cocoa 1996 - present
Adjunct Appointment, Department of Biology 1994 - present
Assistant Professor of Plant Molecular Biology, Department of Horticulture, PSU 1991 - 1994


  1. 2019 W. LaMarr Kopp International Faculty Award
  2. 2018 Alex and Jessie C. Black Award for Excellence in Research


A list of five products most closely related to the proposed project

  1. Fister AS, Leandro-Muñoz ME, Zhang D, Marden JH, Tiffin P, dePamphilis C, Maximova S, Guiltinan MJ: Widely distributed variation in tolerance to Phytophthora palmivora in four genetic groups of cacao. Tree Genetics & Genomes 2020, 16(1).
  2. Pokou DN, Fister AS, Winters N, Tahi M, Klotioloma C, Sebastian A, Marden JH, Maximova SN, Guiltinan MJ: Resistant and susceptible cacao genotypes exhibit defense gene polymorphism and unique early responses to Phytophthora megakarya inoculation. Plant Mol Biol 2019, 99(4-5):499-516.
  3. Hamala T, Guiltinan MJ, Marden JH, Maximova S, dePamphilis C, Tiffin P: Gene expression modularity reveals footprints of polygenic adaptation in Theobroma cacao. Molecular Biology and Evolution 2019, msz206,
  4. Mejía L, Herre E, Sparks J, Winter K, García M, Van Bael S, Stitt J, Shi Z, Zhang Y, Guiltinan M et al: Pervasive effects of a dominant foliar endophytic fungus on host genetic and phenotypic expression in a tropical tree (reprint). Recent Advances in Symbiosis Research: Integrative Approaches 2017:52-67.
  5. Fister A, Mejia L, Zhang Y, Herre E, Maximova S, Guiltinan M: Theobroma cacao L. pathogenesis-related gene tandem array members show diverse expression dynamics in response to pathogen colonization. BMC genomics 2016, 17(1):363.

A list of five products significant but may not be related to the proposed project

  1. Gallego AM, Rojas LF, Rodriguez HA, Mora C, Atehortúa L, Urrea AI, Guiltinan MJ, Maximova SN, Gaquerel E, Zuluaga M et al: Metabolomic profile of cacao cell suspensions growing in blue light/dark conditions with potential in food biotechnology. Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture (PCTOC) 2019.
  2. Fister AS, Landherr L, Perryman M, Zhang Y, Guiltinan MJ, Maximova SN: Glucocorticoid receptor-regulated TcLEC2 expression triggers somatic embryogenesis in Theobroma cacao leaf tissue. PLOS ONE 2018, 13(11):e0207666.
  3. Fister AS, Landherr L, Maximova SN, Guiltinan MJ: Transient Introduction of CRISPR/Cas9 Machinery Targeting TcNPR3 Enhances Defense Response in Theobroma cacao. Frontiers in Plant Science 2018.
  4. Fister AS, Shi Z, Zhang Y, Helliwell EE, Maximova SN, Guiltinan MJ: Protocol: transient expression system for functional genomics in the tropical tree Theobroma cacao L. Plant Methods 2016, 12:19.5.
  5. *Argout, X., Guiltinan, MJ et al., (*These authors contributed equally to this work) The genome of Theobroma cacao. Nature Genetics, 2011. 43: p. 101-108.

Synergistic Activities

  1. University Level Service: served as a PI or co-PI on successful NSF Major Research Instrumentation proposals including: acquisition of metabolomics insturment(co-PI, 2011); MRI proposal Acquisition of Plant Growth Chambers for Teaching and Research: Enhancement of New Life Sciences Building (PI, 2002); Greenhouse Renovation for Research and Education in Plant Science (PI, 1994; PI).
  2. National Level Service: ad-hoc reviewer for NASA Space Biology Research Program (2019), USDA-ARS National Programs Plant Genetic Resources, Genomics and Genetic Improvement Panel (2013); NSF Dimensions of Biodiversity panel (2011); NSF Plant Genome Program (2010); USDA SBIR (2009); External Science Review OMAFRA/ University of Guelph Bioeconomy-Industrial Uses Research Theme; Panel Member, University of Hawaii/USDA TSTAR program (2009-2010).
  3. International Level Service: Member of the Executive committee of the International Group for the Genetic Improvement of Cacao (INGENIC) and Chair of the Cacao Molecular Genetics group. Co-Coordinator of the Penn State Cacao and Chocolate Research Network; Co-organizer of international cacao genomics workshop at the plant and animal genome meeting in San Diego, CA (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020); Co-organizer of the Plant Biology Symposium at Penn State (2015); Co-organizer of International Cacao symposium in Barranquilla, Colombia (2017); Co-organizer of International Cacao meeting at Penn State (2016).
  4. Recent communication of research results to the general public: lecture presentation as part of the 2014 PSU lectures on the Frontiers of Science. Presentation: Agricultural Biotechnology Innovations for Cacao The Future of Chocolate?, Pennsylvania Ag Council (2019), presentation: The Future of Food Summit, Genome Editing of Cacao, Meredith Publishing Corp, New York (2019).