Dr. Diane M. Beckles

Diane M. Beckles

Position Title
Associate Professor

Department of Plant Sciences, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

133 Asmundson Hall

Research Interests

1. Regulation of carbon allocation in plants and how this changes in response to environmental stress; 2. Starch granule biosynthesis and molecular structure; 3. Postharvest quality of horticultural crops.

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Horticulture and Agronomy.
  • Plant Biology.

Specialties / Focus

  • Environmental and Integrative Biology
  • Genomics, Proteomics and Metabolomics
  • Model Plants
  • Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Genomics


  • BIT 161A; Genetics and Biotechnology Lab, Winter
  • PLS 152; Plant Genetics, Fall


  • http://www.plantsciences.ucdavis.edu/plantsciences_faculty/beckles/

Honors and Awards

  • Barbados Government Scholarship, 1989
  • Commonwealth Scholarship Commission Fellowship, 1995
  • Tom ap Rees Memorial Prize, 1997
  • Cambridge Philosophical Society Fellowship, 1998
  • Faculty Fellowship to Israel

    Professional Societies

    • Metabolomics Society


    • 1999 PhD Plant Biochemistry University of Cambridge, UK
    • 1993 BS Biotechnology University of Sheffield, UK


    Buaban, P., Beckles, DM, Mongkolporn, O. and Luengwilai, K. (2019). Lycopene accumulation in Pummelo (Citrus maxima) is influenced by growing temperature. International Journal of Fruit Science. DOI:10.1080/15538362.2019.1605559.

    Chen, B., Saltveit, M., Beckles, DM. (2019). Chilling-stress modifies DNA methylation level in cucumber (Cucumis sativus) seedling radicle to regulate elongation rate. Scientia Horticulturae 252: 14-19.

    Dong, S., Beckles, DM. (2019) Dynamic changes in starch metabolism may promote a better response under abiotic stress by modulating plant source-sink activity.  J. Plant Physiology. 234-235:80-93.

    Albornoz, K., Cantwell, M.C. Zhang, L., Beckles, DM. (2019) Integrative analysis of postharvest chilling injury in cherry tomato fruit reveals contrapuntal spatio-temporal responses to ripening and cold stress. Scientific Reports 9, Article number: 2795. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-38877-0.

    Anagbogu, C., Bhattajarchee, R., Ilori, C., Dada, K.E., Gepts, P., Tongyoo, P., Beckles, DM (2019) Genotyping-by-Sequencing establishes the genetic diversity, interrelatedness and reclassification of coffee (Coffea canephoraPierre ex A. Froehner) in South-Western Nigeria. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10722-019-00744-2.

    Dong, S., Zhang, J., Beckles, DM (2018).  A pivotal role for starch in the reconfiguration of carbon partitioning and allocation in Arabidopsis thaliana under short-term abiotic stress. Scientific Reports 8 (1), 9314.

    Luengwilai, K., Beckles, DM, Roessner, U., Dias, D., Jingtair, S. (2018) Identification of physiological changes and key metabolites coincident with postharvest internal browning of pineapple (Ananas comosus L.) fruit. Postharvest Biology Technology 137:56-65.

    Thitisaksakul, M., Arias, M-C., Dong, S., Beckles, DM (2017) Overexpression of Glycogen Synthase Kinase (OsGSK3) in rice (Oryza sativa) enhances salinity tolerance in part via preferential carbon allocation to root starch. Functional Plant Biology 44 (7), 705-719.

    Thitisaksakul, M., Dong, S., Beckles, D.M. (2017) How rice Glycogen Synthase Kinase-like 5 (OsGSK5) integrates salinity stress response to source-sink adaptation: A proposed model. Plant Signaling Behaviour 12 (12) e1403708.

    Mtunguja, M. Thitisaksakul, M., Henry, L., Shoemaker, C.F., Muzanila, Y.C., Beckles, DM. (2016), Morphological, structural and functional characteristics of the starches of 6 farmer-preferred cassava genotypes from Tanzania. Starke/Starch 68 (5-6), 514-527.

    Luengwilai, K., Beckles, DM, Jingtair, S. (2016) Postharvest internal browning of pineapple (Ananas comosus L.) fruit occurs at the phloem. J. Plant Physiology 202: 121–133.

    Thitisaksakul, M., Tanadul, O., Tananuwong, K., Chung, A., Shoemaker, C.F., Beckles, DM.  (2015) Effects of soil salinity on rice yield, grain composition and sensory quality by assessing the physico-chemical properties of starch and protein. J. Agriculture Food Chemistry 63: 2296-2304.

    Beckles, DM, Thitisaksakul, M. (2014) The Use of Biotechnology to Engineer Starch in Cereals. Encyclopedia Biotechnology Agriculture Food. 10.1081/E-EBAF-120051354.

    Tao, F., Zhang, L., McCarthy, M., Beckles, DM, Saltveit, M.E. (2014) Magnetic resonance imaging provides spatial resolution of CI in Micro-Tom tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) fruit. Postharvest Biology Technology. 97: 62-67.

    Luengwilai, K., Beckles, DM, Pluemjit, O, Siripanich, J. (2014) Postharvest Storage of Makapuno Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.). Scientia Horticulturae 175: 105-110.

    Tanadul, O., vanderGheynt, J., Beckles, DM, Powell, A.L.T,. Labavitch, J.L (2014) The impact of elevated CO2 concentration on the quality of algal starch as a biofuel feedstock. Biotechnology & Bioengineering 111: 1323-1331.

    Beckles, DM & Thitisaksakul, M (2014) How environmental stress affects starch composition and functionality in cereal endosperm. Starke/Starch 66: 58-71.

    Thititsasakul, M., Jimenez R.C, Arias, M.-A., Beckles, DM. (2012) Effects of environmental factors on starch synthesis and composition. J. Cereal Science 56 (1): 67-80. 26.

    Hazard, B., Zhang, X., Colasuonno, P., Uauy, C., Beckles, DM, Dubcovsky, J. (2012) Induced mutations in the Starch Branching Enzyme II (SbeII) gene increase amylose content in tetraploid wheat. Crop Science. 52 1754-1766.

    Roessner, U. & Beckles, DM (2012) “Metabolomics for salinity research.” Plant Salt Tolerance for the series “Methods in Molecular Biology” (Eds S. Shabala, T.A Cuin) Humana Press, USA (In Press).

    Beckles, DM, Tananuwong K, Shoemaker, CF. Starch characteristics of transgenic wheat over-expressing the High Molecular Weight- Dx5 subunit are substantially equivalent to those in non-modified wheat (2012). J. Food Science 77 (4): 437-442.

    Beckles, DM, Hong, N, Stamova, L, Luengwilai, K. (2012) Biochemical factors influencing tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) fruit sugar content. Fruits 67 (1): 1-23.

    Luengwilai K, Beckles DM, Saltveit, ME. (2012) Chilling-injury of harvested Micro-Tom tomato fruit is reduced by temperature pre-treatment. Postharvest Biology Technology 63 (1): 123-128.

    Luengwilai K, Saltveit, ME, Beckles DM. (2012) Metabolite content of harvested Micro-Tom tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) fruit is altered by chilling and protective heat-shock treatments as shown by GC-MS metabolic profiling. Postharvest Biology Technology 63 (1): 116-122.

    Beckles DM (2012) Factors affecting the postharvest sugar content of tomato Solanum lycopersicum L. fruit. Postharvest Biology Technology 63 (1) 129-140.

    Beckles, DM & Roessner, U. (2011) Plant Metabolomics - Applications and opportunities for agricultural biotechnology. In "Agricultural Plant Biotechnology for the 21st Century" (eds) A. Altman & P. Hagewawa, P. Elsievier pp 67-80.

    Luengwilai K, Fiehn O & Beckles DM. (2010) Comparison of leaf and fruit metabolism in two tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) genotypes varying in total soluble solids. J. Agriculture Food Chemistry 58 (22):11790-800.

    Uhlmann, N & Beckles DM. (2010) Storage product and transcriptional profiling of the endosperm of cultivated and wild wheat. J. Applied Genetics 51(4):431-47.

    Luengwilai K, Shoemaker, CF Tananuwong K, Beckles DM. (2010) Starch composition and crystalline structure show little association with fruit physiology and starch metabolism in tomato. J. Agriculture Food Chemistry. 58 (2): 1275–1282.

    Luengwilai K & Beckles DM. (2010) Climacteric ethylene is not essential for the initiation of chilling injury in tomato cv. Ailsa Craig J. Stored Product Postharvest Res. 1 (1): 1.

    Stamova BS, Laudencia-Chingcuanco, DL, Beckles DM (2009) Transcriptomic analysis of starch biosynthesis in the developing grain of hexaploid wheat. Intl J. Plant Genomics. Volume 2009, Article ID 407426.

    Luengwilai K & Beckles DM (2009b) Starch granules in tomato fruit show a complex pattern of degradation. J. Agriculture Food Chemistry 57 (18): 8480-7.

    Luengwilai, K. & Beckles, DM (2009a) Morphology and structural features of starch from two tomato cultivars varying in fruit starch content. J. Agriculture Food Chemistry. 57 (1): 282–291.

    Stamova, BS, Roessner, U, Suren, S, Laudencia-Chingcuanco, DL, Bacic, T, Beckles DM. (2009) Metabolic profiling of transgenic wheat over-expressing the High Molecular Weight Dx5 glutenin. Metabolomics  5(2):239-252.

    Roessner, U & Beckles, DM (2009). Metabolite measurements. In: Plant Metabolic Networks (Ed) J. Schwender. Springer NY pp 39-69.

    Leterrier, MS, Holappa, LD, Broglie, KE, Beckles, DM, (2008) Cloning, characterisation and comparative analysis of a starch synthase IV gene in wheat: functional and evolutionary implications. BMC Plant Biology 8:98.