Roisin McGarry | BioDiscovery Institute

Roisin McGarry

Research Associate Professor

Róisín McGarry's research in plant development centers on architecture regulation to enhance crop productivity. She holds a PhD from Cornell University, MSc from the University of Alberta, Canada, and BSc from the University of Lethbridge, Canada. Her doctoral research was awarded a prestigious national scholarship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. She further enriched her research experience as a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Germany and the Center for Applied Genetic Technology at the University of Georgia.


  • Innovate tools for uncovering and influencing architecture regulation in non-model, woody perennials.
  • Probe the meristematic cues orchestrating the dynamics of indeterminate and determinate growth.
  • Delve into the genetic intricacies governing meristem size and fate.

For Prospective Graduate Students

Apply to the Graduate Program in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology


  • Ayre BG, McGarry RC. Cotton Incorporated: National Program. Pest- and pathogen-resistant cotton through gene editing. $80,000, 01/01/2022 - 12/31/2024.
  • Ayre BG, McGarry RC. USDA NIFA AFRI Foundational Program. Formation of cotton bast fiber as a means to modulate carbon capture and increase bio-product utilization. $294,000, 03/01/2023 - 03/01/2026.
  • McGarry RC, Shah J, Ayre BG. USDA NIFA AFRI Foundational Program. Generating pathogen and pest resistant non-GMO cotton through targeted genome editing of oxylipin signaling pathways. $294,000, 01/15/2021-12/31/2024.


  1. McGarry RC, Kaur H, Lin Y-T, Lopez Puc G, Eshed Williams L, van der Knaap E, Ayre BG (2023) Altered expression of SELF-PRUNING disrupts homeostasis and facilitates signal delivery to meristems. Plant Physiology 192:1517-1531.
  2. McGarry RC, Ayre BG (2021) Cotton architecture: examining the roles of SINGLE FLOWER TRUSS and SELF-PRUNING in regulating growth habits of a woody perennial crop. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 59:101968.
  3. McGarry RC, Rao X, Li Q, van der Knaap E, Ayre BG (2020) SINGLE FLOWER TRUSS and SELF-PRUNING signal developmental and metabolic networks to guide cotton architectures. Journal of Experimental Botany 71:5911-5923. doi: 10.1093/jxb/eraa338.
  4. Ayre BG, El-Gebaly FE, McGarry RC (2020) Virus induced flowering - a tool for cereals. Journal of Experimental Botany 71:2839-2841.
  5. Prewitt SF, Ayre BG, McGarry RC (2018) Cotton CENTRORADIALIS / TERMINAL FLOWER 1 / SELF-PRUNING genes functionally diverge to differentially impact architecture. Journal of Experimental Botany 69:5403-5417.
  6. McGarry RC, Klocko AL, Pang M, Strauss SH, Ayre BG (2017) Virus-induced flowering: An application of reproductive biology to benefit plant research and breeding. Plant Physiology 173:47-55. doi: 10.1104/pp.16.01336.
  7. McGarry RC, Prewitt SF, Culpepper S, Eshed Y, Lifschitz E, Ayre BG (2016). Monopodial and sympodial branching architecture in cotton is differentially regulated by the Gossypium hirsutum SINGLE FLOWER TRUSS and SELF-PRUNING orthologs. New Phytologist 212:244-258. doi: 10.1111/nph.14037. Featured as a Research Highlight in Nature Plants (July, 2016).
  8. McGarry RC, Kragler F. (2013). Phloem-mobile signals affecting flowers: applications for crop breeding. Trends in Plant Science 18:198-206. Cover image.
  9. McGarry RC, Prewitt S, Ayre BG. (2013). Overexpression of FT in cotton affects architecture but not floral organogenesis. Plant Signaling & Behavior 8:e23602.
  10. McGarry RC, Ayre BG. (2012). Manipulating plant architecture with members of the CETS gene family. Plant Science 188-189:71-81.
  11. McGarry RC, Ayre BG. (2012). Geminivirus-mediated delivery of florigen promotes determinate growth in aerial organs and uncouples flowering from photoperiod in cotton. PLoS ONE 7:e36746.