Roisin McGarry | BioDiscovery Institute

Roisin McGarry

Research Assistant Professor

Roisin McGarry has a BSc from the University of Lethbridge, Canada, MSc from the University of Alberta, Canada, and PhD from Cornell University. Her doctoral research was awarded a national scholarship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. She conducted post-doctoral research at the University of North Texas, and was a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Germany, and the University of Georgia. McGarry's research in plant development is focused on architecture regulation with the goal of enhancing crop productivity.


Using non-model, woody perennials, McGarry's research aims to:

  • Develop tools to elucidate and manipulate architecture regulation

  • Investigate meristematic signals regulating patterns of indeterminate and determinate growth

  • Explore the genetic networks regulating meristem size and fate


  • 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. $296,000, 01/15/2021-12/31/2024.

  • Ayre BG, McGarry RC, Eshed Williams L, van der Knaap E. USDA BARD. Elucidating and manipulating the CLAVATA-WUSCHEL circuit in cotton to understand meristem homeostasis in relation to fruit size and shape. $310,000, 09/01/2019 - 12/31/2022.

  • Ayre BG and McGarry RC. Cotton Incorporated: National Program. Redesigning the cotton plant's architecture to improve yield and quality. $25,000, 01/01/2023 - 12/31/2023.

  • Ayre BG and McGarry RC. Cotton Incorporated: National Program. Pest- and pathogen-resistant cotton through gene editing. $25,000, 01/01/2023 - 12/31/2023.


  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 meristem homeostasis and facilitates delivery of signals to the meristem. Plant Physiology
  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.