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Horticulture and Natural Resources

Dr. Sunghun Park

Dr. Sunghun Park


Crop Functional Genomics

Kansas State University
3731 Throckmorton PSC
1712 Claflin Road
Manhattan, KS 66506

Ph: +1-785-532-4412
Fx: +1-785-532-6949

Area of Specialization

  • Horticultural Crop Genomics / Biotechnology

Biography & Education


Dr. Park states, the general goal of his research program is to "increase the nutritional value and production efficiency of horticultural crops by using biotechnology."  His very active research program includes projects to increase calcium concentrations in fruits and vegetables; metabolic engineering of flavonoids in fruits and vegetables; studying plant adaptation to stresses such as salinity, cold, and drought tolerance; engineering ornamental plants for phytoremediation; and molecular breeding for biofuels.

Dr. Park is the department's tissue culture expert, and he teaches an advanced undergraduate and graduate course on the subject. Outside of the lab, Park enjoys traveling to Galveston, Texas, to ocean fish.

  • Ph.D. Plant Physiology, Texas A&M University (1995)
  • M.S. Agronomy, Seoul National University (1989)
  • B.S. Agronomy, Seoul National University (1987)


  • T. Kakeshpour*, T.M. Tamang*, G. Motolai*, Z. Fleming*, J. Park*, Q. Wu*, and S.H. Park (2021) CGFS-type glutaredoxin mutations reduce tolerance to multiple abiotic stresses in tomato. Physiologia Plantarum. In Press
  • G. Lin, C. He, J. Zheng, D.H. Koo, H. Le, H. Zheng, H. Le, H. Zheng, T.M. Tamang*, J. Lin, Y. Liu, M. Zhao, Y. Hao, F. McFarland, B. Wang, Y. Qin, H. Tang, D.R. McCarty, H. Wei, M.J. Cho, S.H. Park, H. Kaeppler, S. Kaeppler, Y. Liu, N.M. Springer, P.S. Schnable, G. Wang, F.F. White, and S Liu (2021) Chromosome-level genome assembly of a regenerable maize inbred line A188. Genome Biology. 22: 175 
  • T.M. Temang*, S.A. Sprague*, T. Kakeshpour*, S. Liu, F.F. White, and S.H. Park (2021) Ectopic expression of a heterologous glutaredoxin enhances drought tolerance and grain yield in field grown maize. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 22: 5331
  • Cheng, H. Yu, X. Rao, S.H. Park, E.L. Connolly, K.D. Hirschi, and P.A. Nakata (2020) Alteration of iron responsive gene expression in Arabidopsis glutaredoxin S17 deletion plants with or without iron stress. Plant Signaling & Behavior. 15: 1758455
  • He, Y. Du, J. Fu, E. Zeng, S.H. Park, F.F. White, J. Zheng, and S. Liu (2020) Early drought-responsive genes are variable and relevant to drought tolerance. G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics. 10: 1657-70
  • Kakeshpour*, T.M. Tamang*, W.D. Park, M. Manohar, J. Yang, K.D. Hirschi and S.H. Park (2020) Expression of mouse small interfering RNAs in lettuce using artificial microRNA technology. BioTechniques. 68: 214-218
  • B-C. Kang, Q. Wu*, S.A. Sprague*, S.H. Park, F.F. White, S-J. Bae, K. Kim, and J-S. Han (2019) Ectopic overexpression of an Arabidopsis monothiol glutaredoxin AtGRXS17 affects floral development and enhances tolerance to heat stress in chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat.). Environmental and Experimental Botany. 167: 103864
  • Peng, Y. Hu*, J. Zhang, J.C. Huguet-Tapia, A.K. Block, S.H. Park, S. Sapkota, Z. Liu, S. Liu, and F.F. White (2019) Xanthomonas translucens commandeers the host rate-limiting step in ABA biosynthesis for disease susceptibility. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 116: 20938-20946
  • Y. Hu*, Q. Wu*, Z. Peng, S.A. Sprague*, W. Wang, J. Park*, E. Akhunov, K.S.V. Jagadish, P. Nakata, N. Cheng, K.D. Hirschi, F.F. White, and S.H. Park (2017) Silencing of OsGRXS17 in rice improves drought stress tolerance by modulating ROS accumulation and stomatal closure.  Scientific Reports. 7:15950  "Top 100 Scientific Reports Plant Science papers in 2017”
  • Q. Wu*, Y. Hu*, S.A. Sprague*, T. Kakeshpour*, J. Park*, P. Nakata, N. Cheng, K.D. Hirschi, F.F. White, and S.H. Park (2017) Expression of a monothiol glutaredoxin, AtGRXS17, in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) enhances drought tolerance. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 491: 1034-1039
  • H. Yu, J. Yang, Y. Shi, J. Donelson, S.M. Thompson, S.A. Sprague*, T. Roshan, D. Wang, J. Liu, S.H. Park, P.A. Nakata, E.L. Connolly, K.D. Hirschi, M.A. Grusak, and N. Cheng (2017) Arabidopsis Glutaredoxin S17 Contributes to Vegetative Growth, Mineral Accumulation, and Redox Balance during Iron Deficiency. Frontiers in Plant Science. 8: 1024
  • Q. Wu*, J. Yang, N. Cheng, K.D. Hirschi, F.F. White, and S.H. Park (2017) Glutaredoxins in plant development, abiotic stress response, and iron homeostasis: From model organisms to crops. Environmental and Experimental Botany. 139: 91-98
  • Qingyu Wu, S.H. Park, M.B. Kirkham, and Kimberly A. Williams (2016) Transcriptome analysis reveals potential mechanisms for inhibition of intumescence development by UV radiation in tomato. Environmental and Experimental Botany. 134: 130-140
  • Florian Müller, Jiemeng Xu, Lieke Kristensen, Mieke Wolters-Arts, Peter F. M. de Groot, Stuart Y. Jansma, Celestina Mariani, S.H. Park, and Ivo Rieu (2016) High-Temperature-Induced Defects in Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) Anther and Pollen Development Are Associated with Reduced
    Expression of B-Class Floral Patterning Genes. PLOS ONE. 11: e0167614
  • P. Li, G. Zhang, N. Gonzales, Y. Guo, H. Hu, S.H. Park, and J. Zhao (2016) Ca2+-and diurnal rhythmregulated Na+/Ca2+ exchanger AtNCL affects flowering time and auxin signaling in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell & Environment. 39: 377-392
  • Y. Hu, Q. Wu, S.A. Sprague, J. Park, M. Oh, C.B. Rajashekar, H. Koiwa, P. Nakata, N. Cheng, K.D. Hirschi, F.F. White, and S.H. Park. (2015) Tomato expressing Arabidopsis glutaredoxin gene AtGRXS17 confers tolerance to chilling stress via modulating cold responsive components. Horticulture Research. 2: 15051 "Featured Article"
  • N. Driedonks, J. Xu, J.L. Peters, S.H. Park, and I. Rieu. (2015) Multi-level interactions between heat shock factors, heat shock proteins and the redox system regulate acclimation to heat. Frontiers in Plant Science. 6:999
  • J. Zhao, P. Li, C.M. Motes, S.H. Park, and K.D. Hirschi (2015) CHX14 is a plasma membrane Kefflux transporter that regulates K+ redistribution in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Cell & Environment. 38: 2223-2238
  • J-S. Han, K. Park, S. Jeon, S.H. Park, A.H. Naing, and C. Kim (2015) Assessments of salt tolerance in a bottle gourd line expressing the Arabidopsis H+-pyrophosphatase AVP1 gene and in a watermelon plant grafted onto a transgenic bottle gourd rootstock. Plant Breeding. 134: 233-238


Dr. Park’s research interests include both fundamental studies to address unique questions in the role of Ca2+ in vegetable/fruit cell physiology and applied studies to enhance production and nutritional quality of horticultural crops using genomic and plant biotechnology tools.

Currently, he is focusing on plant growth and adaptation mechanisms to abiotic stresses (salinity, freezing and drought), manipulating the expression levels and substrate specificity of ion transporters, development of blossom-end rot tolerant and longer shelf life horticultural crops, Phytoremediation and metabolic engineering of flavonoids for health and nutritional benefits.

Staff & Students


Course #TitleSemesterDelivery Method
HORT 350Plant propagation (micropropagation section)SpringOn Campus
HORT 640Undergraduate Research ProjectSpring
On Campus
HORT 710Plant cell, tissue and organ cultureSpringOn Campus
HORT 910Advances in plant cell cultureSpring**On Campus