Daniel F Voytas

Professor and Director, Center for Precision Plant Genomics

1988 …2022
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Personal profile

Professional Information

Dr. Dan Voytas is a Professor in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development and the Director of the Center for Precision Plant Genomics at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Voytas graduated from Harvard College in 1984 and received his Ph.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1990. He conducted postdoctoral research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where he was a fellow of the Life Science Research Foundation. Prior to joining the University of Minnesota, Dr. Voytas was a professor at Iowa State University (1992-2008).  Dr. Voytas is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Specializing in molecular biology and genetics, Dr. Voytas’ research focuses on genome modification using nucleases that recognize specific DNA sequences. In 2005, he co-founded the Zinc Finger Consortium, a group of academic scientists focused on creating open-source platforms for engineering zinc finger nucleases for targeted mutagenesis.  More recently, his laboratory developed a superior class of sequence-specific nucleases – Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nucleases (TALENs) – which was heralded by Science magazine as one of the top ten scientific breakthroughs of 2012.  Dr. Voytas’ lab is currently optimizing methods for efficiently making targeted genome modifications in a variety of plant species to advance basic biology and develop new crop varieties.

In addition to his position at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Voytas advises agricultural biotechnology companies on the use of new methods of genome engineering for crop improvement and serves as Chief Science Officer for Calyxt. 

External positions

Chief Science Officer, Calyxt


  • Genetics
  • Molecular biology
  • TALENs
  • CRISPR/Cas9
  • Zinc Finger Consortium

Fingerprint The Fingerprint is created by mining the titles and abstracts of the person's research outputs and projects/funding awards to create an index of weighted terms from discipline-specific thesauri.

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Projects 2008 2022

Research Output 1988 2019

1 Citation (Scopus)

Agrobacterium rhizogenes-mediated transformation of a dioecious plant model Silene latifolia

Hudzieczek, V., Cegan, R., Cermak, T., Bacovska, N., Machalkova, Z., Dolezal, K., Plihalova, L., Voytas, D. F., Hobza, R. & Vyskot, B., Jan 25 2019, In : New Biotechnology. 48, p. 20-28 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Allele exchange at the EPSPS locus confers glyphosate tolerance in cassava

Hummel, A. W., Chauhan, R. D., Cermak, T., Mutka, A. M., Vijayaraghavan, A., Boyher, A., Starker, C., Bart, R., Voytas, D. F. & Taylor, N. J., Jul 1 2018, In : Plant Biotechnology Journal. 16, 7, p. 1275-1282 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3-Phosphoshikimate 1-Carboxyvinyltransferase
7 Citations (Scopus)

CRISPR/Cas9 and TALENs generate heritable mutations for genes involved in small RNA processing of Glycine max and Medicago truncatula

Curtin, S. J., Xiong, Y., Michno, J. M., Campbell, B. W., Stec, A. O., Čermák, T., Starker, C., Voytas, D. F., Eamens, A. L. & Stupar, R. M., Jun 1 2018, In : Plant Biotechnology Journal. 16, 6, p. 1125-1137 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats
Medicago truncatula
Glycine max
1 Citation (Scopus)

Editing plant genes one base at a time

Shan, Q. & Voytas, D. F., Jul 1 2018, In : Nature Plants. 4, 7, p. 412-413 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Citations (Scopus)

Essential nucleotide- and protein-dependent functions of Actb/β-actin

Patrinostro, X., Roy, P., Lindsay, A., Chamberlain, C. M., Sundby, L. J., Starker, C., Voytas, D. F., Ervasti, J. M. & Perrin, B. J., Jul 31 2018, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 115, 31, p. 7973-7978 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

High-Frequency Hearing Loss