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

Regulation of carbon allocation in plants and how this changes in response to environmental stress; Starch granule biosynthesis and molecular structure; Postharvest quality of tomato fruit.

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Horticulture and Agronomy Graduate Group
  • 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


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

    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

    Thitisaksakul, M., Arias, M-C., Dong, S., Beckles, D.M. (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

    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

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

    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. Journal of Agriculture Food Chemistry 63: 2296-2304

    Beckles, D.M. 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.). Scientiae Horticulturae 175: 105-110

    Tanadul, O., vanderGheynt, J., Beckles, D.M., 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, D.M. (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 Biol. Technol. 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 Biol. Technol. 63 (1): 116-122

    Beckles DM (2012) Factors affecting the postharvest sugar content of tomato Solanum lycopersicum L. fruit. Postharvest Biol. Technol. 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. Agric. Food Chem 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. Agric. Food Chem. 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. Agric. Food Chem. 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. Agric. Food Chem. 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.