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Keith E Woeste

Forestry and Natural Resources 

  • Adjunct Assist. Professor of Forestry
PFEN Room 226A
715 W. State Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907

Dr. Woeste is a full-time scientist with the Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center (HTIRC) at Purdue University. The mission of the HTIRC includes the development and dissemination of knowledge related to the improvement of the genetic quality of hardwoods, the conservation of fine hardwood germplasm, and the restoration and regeneration of sustainable hardwood forests.  Our research spans a multitude of scales, from DNA and single cells to landscapes, from species that are common to some that are endangered, and it requires the application of statistical, molecular, classical, and population genetics. By establishing improvement programs for many of the most valuable fine hardwood species, we expect to deliver trees that better meet the expectations of public and private forestland owners in the Central Hardwood Region.  Specific research areas under investigation include:
  1. The application of classical and molecular genetic approaches to understand the genetics of heartwood formation, a poorly characterized developmental process that has profound implications for the value of hardwoods.
  2. The development of advanced breeding populations of black walnut, black cherry, northern red oak, white oak, and American chestnut.
  3. Research into the conservation genetics of butternut and the development of plans for breeding and reintroducing butternut that is resistant to butternut canker.
  4. The reproductive biology of managed fine hardwoods.
To integrate hardwood tree improvement with every aspect of the production and marketing of hardwood products we collaborate with silviculturists, nursery specialists, extension specialists, forest managers and consulting foresters, pathologists, phylogeneticists, wood products specialists, and a wide array of private companies, government agencies, university faculty, and non-governmental organizations.

Research Group - Forest Science, Genetics Lab, Genetics

Facilities - FNR Farm, John S. Wright Center

Related Centers - Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center

Selected Publications

Rahmani, M., Shabanian, N., Khadivi-Khub, A., Woeste, K. E., Badakhshan, H., & Alikhani, L. (2015). Population structure and genotypic variation of Crataegus ponticainferred by molecular markers. Gene, 572(1), 123-129. doi:10.1016/j.gene.2015.07.001

Pollegioni, P., Woeste, K. E., Chiocchini, F., DelLungo, S., Olimpieri, I., Tortolano, V., . . . Malvolti, M. E. (2015). Ancient Humans Influenced the Current Spatial Genetic Structure ofCommon Walnut Populations in Asia. Plos One, 10(9). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0135980

Ha, K., Atallah, S. S., Benjamin, T., Farlee, L., Hoagland, L. A., & Woeste, K. E. (2016). Costs and Returns of Producing Wild-Simulated Ginseng in Established Tree Plantations. (FNR-530-W), 6. Retrieved from

LaBonte, N. R., Ostry, M. E., Ross-Davis, A., & Woeste, K. E. (2015). Estimating heritability of disease resistance and factors thatcontribute to long-term survival in butternut (Juglans cinerea L.) Tree Genetics & Genomes, 11(3). doi:10.1007/s11295-015-0884-8

Vahdati, K., Pourtaklu, S. M., Karimi, R., Barzehkar, R., Amiri, R., Mozaffari, M., & Woeste, K. E. (2015). Genetic diversity and gene flow of some Persian walnut populations insoutheast of Iran revealed by SSR markers. Plant Systematics and Evolution, 301(2), 691-699. doi:10.1007/s00606-014-1107-8

Miller, A. C., Woeste, K. E., Anagnostakis, S. L., & Jacobs, D. F. (2014). Exploration of a rare population of Chinese chestnut in North America:stand dynamics, health and genetic relationships. AOB PLANTS, 6. doi:10.1093/aobpla/plu065

Jacobs, J. J., Ostry, M. E., Moore, M. J., Michler, C. H., & Woeste, K. E. (2014). A rapid foliar assay for screening butternut trees for resistance tobutternut canker disease. PHYTOPATHOLOGY, 104(11, 3), 54.

Zerillo, M. M., Caballero, J. I., Woeste, K. E., Graves, A. D., Hartel, C., Pscheidt, J. W., . . . Tisserat, N. (2014). Population Structure of Geosmithia morbida, the Causal Agent of ThousandCankers Disease of Walnut Trees in the United States. PLOS ONE, 9(11). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0112847

Pollegioni, P., Woeste, K. E., Chiocchini, F., Olimpieri, I., Tortolano, V., Clark, J., . . . Malvolti, M. E. (2014). Landscape genetics of Persian walnut (Juglans regia L.) across its Asianrange. TREE GENETICS & GENOMES, 10(4), 1027-1043. doi:10.1007/s11295-014-0740-2

Alexander, L. W., & Woeste, K. E. (2014). Pyrosequencing of the northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) chloroplastgenome reveals high quality polymorphisms for population management. TREE GENETICS & GENOMES, 10(4), 803-812. doi:10.1007/s11295-013-0681-1

Forestry and Natural Resources, 715 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2061 USA, (765) 494-3590

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