1970 Folwell Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55108
- Ph.D., University of Minnesota. Horticulture, 1989 - Minor: Plant Breeding
- M.S., University of Minnesota. Horticulture, 1985 - Minor: Plant Breeding
- B.S., Summa cum laude, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Ornamental Horticulture
Involved affiliations include: Faculty of Agriculture & Science, Jihoceska Univerzita (University of South Bohemia, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic); Gullickson, McLaughlin Gormley King, Minneapolis, MN; Department of Biology & Agricultural and Environmental Research Station, West Virginia State University, Institute, WV; Floriculture Research Center, The Chungcheongnam-do Agricultural Research and Extension Services [CNARES], Chungseo-ro Oga-Myeon, Yesan-gun, Chungcheongnam-do; Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, China; Department of Biology, Faculty of Nature Sciences, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania
Areas of Interest
floriculture, reproductive biology, invasive species biology, geophytes
Neil Anderson is a Full Professor and J. William Fulbright Scholar, directing the Herbaceous Ornamental Breeding Program for the University of Minnesota. His program focuses on winter-hardy herbaceous perennials with ornamental value as well as R&D on ornamental plant crops which produce natural compounds useful as green pesticides. Additional research is on issues of preventing invasiveness of ornamental crops during domestication. The program releases many asexually-propagated crops with Intellectual Property filings around the world. Neil is an internationally recognized expert in plant reproductive biology (self-incompatibility, incongruity), invasive species biology, geophytes, rapid generation cycling crops, tissue culture, molecular biology, plant breeding and genetics. In addition, his program also is involved in risk assessment to prevent new invasive species from being introduced into the market and causing future problems. His crop specialty is the genus Chrysanthemum, focusing on pyrethrum, ornamentals, and the sole N. American species. Additional herbaceous perennial crops being bred by his program include: Lilium, Gladiolus, Iris, Linum, Schoenocaulon and Gaura. Neil is also a recognized plant explorer, having collected wild species of ornamental interest across the globe, in areas as diverse as the United States, Argentina, and South Africa. Dr. Anderson leads a team of scientists working on these crops (2 research scientists, 7 graduate students, 13 undergraduates). Neil teaches a wide range of online and live horticulture classes in Aquaponics, Floral Design, Greenhouse Production and Spring Flowering Bulbs. He is also the Major Coordinator for the Plant Science Major and the Horticulture Minor.
- Hort 1113, Floral Design
- Hort 4141W/6141 Scheduling Crop for Controlled Environments
- Hort 4110 Spring Flowering Bulbs
Lengthy generation times in herbaceous perennials continue to challenge the rate of crop domestication, breeding and selection to move crop ideotypes in new directions for the ornamental (floricultural), botanical and green pesticide, biochemical, and oilseed markets. Our continued research focuses on four such herbaceous perennial crops: pyrethrum (Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium, C. coccineum; Asteraceae); sabadilla or feathershank (Schoenocaulon officinale, S. texanum, Melanthiaceae); garden and greenhouse chrysanthemums (C. ×grandiflorum, C. ×hybridum); perennial flax (Linum perenne, L. austriacum, L. lewisii). Breeding, parental and progeny screening of pyrethrum species resulted in new ornamental types and hybrids with high concentrations of Pyrethrin I & II (PyI/II). Three clonally-propagated ornamental selections of C. coccineum were selected from seed lots with 100% seed germination (highly unusual in any Chrysanthemum seed); resultant hybrids had 100% winter hardy in USDA Z3-4 trials over multiple years and are slated for release in 2022. These genotypes were selected with a range of flower colors, from light pink to pink and deep garnet. Breeding and selection of the green pesticidal crop, pyrethrum, has been successful in changing this crop into an annualized perennial which has made the rate of progress 2x as fast as competitive pyrethrum breeding programs. The University of Minnesota pyrethrum breeding program is now the largest in the world, focusing market potential of selections for worldwide production.
The University of Minnesota Herbaceous Perennial Breeding Program is recognized as one of the premiere public-sector flower breeding project programs in the world. Our creation of new chrysanthemum plant habits (from large shrubs to groundcover types), discovery and breeding of reflowering, non-vernalization requiring lilies, release of USDA Z4 winter-hardy gladiolus, and cold-tolerant gaura are example research efforts enabling the generation of revitalized floricultural crops for the 21st century. The new shrub chrysanthemums resulted in increased U.S. perennial, garden chrysanthemum sales in wholesale farmgate values in 2018 of $147.49M in sales of over 53 million containers of herbaceous perennials, $10.459M (w) of cut flowers from 6.9M bunches of pompon types, as well as ~7.7M flowering potted plants valued at nearly $30M, helping make mums the #1 herbaceous perennial in U.S. sales. Shrub types also prompted growers to sell traditional cushion cultivars in larger containers to mimic shrub types. Winter hardy gladioli would not require digging the corms in the fall for overwintering; multiple flowering stems on each plant would increase cut stem yields. Our advancements in lily breeding have resulted in the creation of colored, seed-propagated hybrids for continued development and domestication. Lilies which flower <1 yr. from seed and continuously flower thereafter will significantly alter production and use of this crop as a cut flower, flowering potted plant, and garden perennial. Focus on preventing invasive ornamental floriculture crops prior to their release onto the market has led to research on contributing factors within the horticultural distribution channel, risk assessment, as well as plant traits to select against during domestication. Reed canarygrass and knotweed, ornamental herbaceous perennials, are being used as model plants in which to study these factors. Continual incorporation of new traits, such as non-invasiveness and drought/heat tolerance will enable continued growth of the floriculture sector with readily adaptable germplasm.
- Anderson, N. O. (2006). Flower breeding & genetics: Issues, challenges, and opportunities for the 21st century. Flower Breeding and Genetics: Issues, Challenges and Opportunities for the 21st Century. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4020-4428-1
- Aljaser, J. A., & Anderson, N. O. (2021). Effects of a gibberellin inhibitor on flowering, vegetative propagation and production of rapid generation cycling gladiolus for potted plant production. HortScience. In Press.
- Anderson, N. O., Suranyi, R., & Gullickson, S. M. Rapid Generation Cycling Transforms Pyrethrum, Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium, Into an Annualized Perennial. Crop Science. doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/csc2.20453
- Anderson, N. O., Hoover, E. E., Kostick, S., Tepe, E., & Tillman, J. (2020). Chemical, Physical and Sensory Characteristics of Winter-Hardy Tart Cherry and Plum Jams. Journal of the American Pomological Society, 74(3), 146-162.
- Yue, C., Vickers, Z. (Lead Author), Anderson, N. O., Wisdorf, L., Brady, J., Schermann, M., . . . Venturelli, P. (2020). Consumer acceptability of aquaponically-grown basil. HortScience, 55(6), 841-850. doi: https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI14831-20
- Riera-Vila, I., Anderson, N. O., Flavin Hodge, C., & Rogers, M. (2019). Anaerobically-digested brewery wastewater as a nutrient solution for substrate-based food production. Horiculturae (Switzerland), 5(43), 1-12.
- Noyzewski, A. K., Anderson, N. O., Smith, A. G., Kilian, A., Dalbotten, D., Ito, E., . . . Pellerin, H. (2019). Challenges of Establishing Native Vs. Exotic Status of Herbarium Specimens. HortTechnology. doi: https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTTECH04313-19
- Abbey, M., Anderson, N. O., Yue, C., Schermann, M., Phelps, N., Venturelli, P., & Vickers, Z. (2019). Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) Production in Northern Latitudinal Aquaponic Growing Conditions. HortScience, 54, 1-5. doi: https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI14088-19
- Krokaite, E., Shakeneva, D., Juskaityte, E., Rekasius, T., Nemaniute-Guziene, J., Butkuviene, J., . . . Kupcinskiene, E. (2019). Nitrogen concentration of the aquatic species in relation to land use type and other variables of the environment. Zemdirbyste-Agriculture, 106(3), 203-212. doi: DOI 10.13080/z-a.2019.106.026
- Anderson, N. O. (2019). Throwing Out the Bathwater But Keeping the Baby: Lessons Learned from Lythrum and Phalaris. HortTechnology.doi:https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTTECH04307-19
- Abbey, M., Anderson, N. O., Yue, C., Short, G., Schermann, M., Phelps, N., . . . Vickers, Z. (2019). An analysis of strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) productivity in northern latitudinal aquaponic growing conditions. Journal of the American Pomological Society, 73(1), 22-37.
- Anderson, N. O. (2019). Selection tools for reducing generation time of geophytic herbaceous perennials. Acta Horticulturae, 1237, 53-66.
- Anderson, N. O. (2019). Breeding for dwarf, winter-hardy Iris domestica, Blackberry lily (Iridaceae). Acta Horticulturae, 1263, 275-281. doi: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1263.36
- Tork, D., Anderson, N. O. (Corresponding Author), Wyse, D., & Betts, K. (2019). Perennial Flax Ideotypes for Simultaneous Breeding and Development for Agronomic and Horticultural Objectives. Agronomy; Crop Domestication and Evolution (special issue), 9(11)(707), 1-16. doi: 10.3390/agronomy9110707
Honors and Awards
- Thank A Teacher Project, University of Minnesota, Center for Educational Innovation, 2019
- Fellow, American Society for Horticultural Science, 2017
- Minnesota FFA Convention Career Development Event Faculty Chairs Award for ten plus years of service, Minnesota FFA Association, 2015
- Education Publication Award, American Society for Horticultural Science, 2014
- Outstanding Professor, CFANS Student Board Awards, 2013
- Inventor Recognition Award: Patent, Plant Breeder's Rights Issued, University of Minnesota, Office for Technology Commercialization, 2010
- J William Fulbright Research/Teaching Scholar Fellowship, University of South Bohemia, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic, "United States. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Institute of International Education, J. William Fulbright Commision, Council for International Exchange of Scholars", 2010
- The Bronze Award, "For an individual who has made a remarkable contribution in horticulture through the development of new plant(s)", Minnesota State Horticultural Society, 2010
- Inventor Recognition Award, "Patent Issued and License Signed", University of Minnesota, Office for Technology Commercialization, 2008
- Honorary State FFA Degree, "Minnesota State Future Farmers of America", 2007
- Thank a Teach Program Award, University of Minnesota, Center for Teaching and Learning, 2007
- Education Publication Award, American Society for Horticultural Science, 2003
- Education Publication Award, American Society for Horticultural Science, 2002
- Distinguished Achievement Award, "The Kenneth Post Award, by The ASHS Floriculture Working Group & The Kenneth Post Foundation", American Society for Horticultural Science, 1991
- Ornamental Publications Award, American Society for Horticultural Science, 1991
- Garden chrysanthemum, Mammoth™ ‘Red Daisy’, (Mn. Sel’n. 00-100-216), U.S. Plant Patent No. 19,771.
- Garden chrysanthemum Mammoth™ ‘Dark Bronze Daisy’ (Mn. Sel’n. 95-169-8), U.S. Plant Patent No. 19,043.
- Garden chrysanthemum Mammoth™ ‘Dark Pink Daisy’ (Mn. Sel’n. 01-127-1), U.S. Plant Patent No. 19,795.
- Garden chrysanthemum Mammoth™ ‘Lavender Daisy’ (Mn. Sel’n. 00-100-382), U.S. Plant Patent No. 19,831.
- Garden chrysanthemum Mammoth™ ‘Twilight Pink Daisy’ (=My Favorite™ ‘Twilight Pink’, Mn. Sel’n. 98-E90-15), U.S. Plant Patent No. 14,455; Canadian Plant Breeder's Rights Certificate No. 4,192.
- Garden chrysanthemum Mammoth™ ‘Yellow Quill Daisy’ (=‘My Favorite™ Yellow Quill’, Mn. Sel’n. 98-M91-1), U.S. Plant Patent No. 15,027; Canadian Plant Breeder's Rights Certificate No. 2,951.
- Garden chrysanthemum, Mn. Sel’n. 90-275-27, U.S. Plant Patent No. 14,749.
- Garden chrysanthemum, Mn. Sel’n. 98-89-7, U.S. Plant Patent No. 14,495.
- Dahlia Noveletta ‘Cherry Sunrise’ (`Balnovches`), U.S. Plant Patent No. 14,254; Canadian Plant Breeder's Rights Certificate No. 2,033.
- Dahlia Noveletta ‘Red Sunrise’ (`Balnovrese`), U.S. Plant Patent No. 14,386. Issued: 2003
- Dahlia Noveletta ‘Violet Frost’ (`Balnovost’), U.S. Plant Patent No. 14,387; Canadian Plant Breeder's Rights Certificate No. 2,926.
- Garden chrysanthemum Mammoth™ ‘Coral Daisy’ (=My Favorite™ ‘Coral’; Mn. Sel’n. 95-105-6), U.S. Plant Patent No. 14,129; Canadian Plant Breeder's Rights Certificate No. 2000/340.
- Garden chrysanthemum My Favorite™ ‘Autumn Red’ (Mn. Sel’n. 92-333-2), U.S. Plant Patent No. 14,197; Canadian Plant Breeders Rights Certificate No. 2000/338.
- Garden chrysanthemum Mammoth™ ‘White Daisy’ (=My Favorite™ ‘White’; Mn. Sel’n. 95-157-6), U.S. Plant Patent No. 17,786; Canadian Plant Breeders Rights Certificate No. 2000/339.
- Greenhouse potted chrysanthemum, Mn. Sel’n. 83-267-3, U.S. Plant Patent No. 6,884.