My research team studies the genes that determine when and where, and thus how many, flowers are produced on plants. Flowers form on branches called inflorescences, which originate from stem cells. By studying the genes that control how stem cells become inflorescences, we are able to manipulate flower production to improve crop yields.
Zachary Lippman’s research focuses on the process of flowering and flower production in plants, which are major contributors to reproductive success and crop yield. Specifically, Lippman’s research program integrates development, genetics, genomics, and gene editing to explore the mechanisms that determine how plant stem cells become shoots and flowers. The lab takes advantage of extensive natural and mutant variation in inflorescence production and architecture in tomato and related nightshade species (e.g. potato, pepper, groundcherry) to explore how differences in these processes explain the remarkable diversity in the architectures of flower-bearing shoots (inflorescences) observed in nature and agriculture. Recent discoveries on the genes and networks underlying this diversity have led to broader questions on the significance of genomic structural variation, gene redundancy, and epistasis in development, domestication, and breeding. Based on our fundamental discoveries, Lippman is developing and applying innovative concepts and tools for crop improvement.
The DNA tricks that gave us 100 different kinds of tomatoes
June 17, 2020
It takes 230,000 genetic differences to make 100 different varieties of tomatoes.
Zachary Lippman wins Charles Albert Shull Award
April 8, 2020
Professor Zachary Lippman is the 2020 Charles Albert Shull Award winner, an honor given by the American Society for Plant Biology.
The future of food looks small, dense, and very bushy
February 18, 2020
Vertical farming could make agriculture more robust and sustainable. To unlock that potential, scientists are redesigning crops for urban life.
Lippman wins NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences
January 22, 2020
CSHL Professor and HHMI Investigator Zachary Lippman was awarded the NAS Prize for his work in the field of plant genetics.
A new tomato ideal for urban gardens and even outer space
December 23, 2019
Researchers used CRISPR gene editing to optimize tomatoes for urban agriculture, preparing them for the city rooftops and possibly space missions.
A home like no other, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
November 7, 2019
Hear why our campus, our community, and our collaborative nature makes us a place that so many scientists call "home."
Zachary Lippman named 2019 MacArthur Fellow
September 25, 2019
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Professor and HHMI Investigator Zachary Lippman has been named a 2019 MacArthur Fellow.
The next agricultural revolution is here
September 19, 2019
After reviewing decades of plant research, scientists suggest that with past lessons and modern tools, the next agricultural revolution is at hand.
An essay from the President: Biology for the planet
May 16, 2019
CSHL plant scientists are looking for solutions to the biggest questions in agriculture as environments are reshaped by climate change.
Cryptic mutation is cautionary tale for crop gene editing
May 6, 2019
Unexpected interactions between mutations can be a thorn in the side for plant breeders. Scientists unveil what drove one infamous “cryptic” mutation.
Kwon, C. T. and Heo, J. and Lemmon, Z. H. and Capua, Y. and Hutton, S. F. and Van Eck, J. and Park, S. J. and Lippman, Z. B. (2019) Rapid customization of Solanaceae fruit crops for urban agriculture. Nat Biotechnol, 38 pp. 182-188.
Eshed, Y. and Lippman, Z. B. (2019) Revolutions in agriculture chart a course for targeted breeding of old and new crops. Science, 366(6466)
Soyk, S. and Lemmon, Z. H. and Sedlazeck, F. J. and Jimenez-Gomez, J. M. and Alonge, M. and Hutton, S. F. and Van Eck, J. and Schatz, M. C. and Lippman, Z. B. (2019) Duplication of a domestication locus neutralized a cryptic variant that caused a breeding barrier in tomato. Nat Plants, 5(5) pp. 471-497.Additional materials of the author at
CSHL Institutional Repository