Sushan Ru Headshot

Sushan Ru

Assistant Professor


(334) 844-7192 


Get In Touch

287 CASIC Building
Auburn Univ, AL 36849



  • 2011 – 2016   Ph.D. Horticulture, Washington State University
  • 2009 – 2011   M.S. Horticulture, Washington State University
  • 2005 – 2009   B.S. Horticulture, Southwest University, China


  • 2021 – Present   Assistant Professor, Auburn University
  • 2017 – 2021   Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Minnesota
  • 2017 – 2018   Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Wisconsin-Madison


  • American Society for Horticultural Science
  • National Association of Plant Breeders


Delicious, aromatic, and nutritious berries are the drive of my research. I am excited to lead the first blueberry breeding program at Auburn University to develop the finest blueberries for Alabama and nearby regions. My program aims to create elite cultivars suitable for outdoor and/or indoor cultivation targeting the high-value fresh market. Using a combination of traditional and modern breeding techniques, I will target a wide range of traits such as superb fruit quality, high nutritional values, good resistance to disease and abiotic stresses, and great adaptability to the diverse environments of Alabama.

My research focuses on better understanding the genetics of small fruit crops and innovating efficient breeding methods using tools such as quantitative genetics, bioinformatics, and high-throughput genotyping and phenotyping. My lab is always looking for passionate, intelligent, and creative students and postdocs. Contact me if you are also excited about improving berries with science and creativity and do not mind a little mud.


  • Plant Breeding for Specialty Crops (3 credit hrs.)
  • Plant Biotechnology (3 credit hrs.)


• Ru S, Hardner C, Carter PA, Evans K, Main D, Harshman J, Sandefur P, Edge-Garza D, Peace C. (2021) Empirical evaluation of multi-trait DNA testing in an apple seedling population. Tree Genetics & Genomes 17:13.
• Ru S*, Bernardo R (2020) Predicted genetic gains from introgressing chromosome segments from exotic germplasm into an elite soybean cultivar. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 133:605─614.
• Ru S, Bernardo R (2018) Targeted recombination to increase genetic gain in self-pollinated species. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 132:289─300.
• Jung S, Lee T, Cheng C, Buble K, Zheng P, Yu J, Humann J, Ficklin SP, Gasic K, Scott K, Frank M, Ru S, Hough H, Evans K, Peace C, DeVetter L, McFerson J, Coe M, Kahn M, Wegrzyn J, Staton M, Main D (2018) 15 years of GDR: New data and functionality in the Genome Database for Rosaceae. Nucleic Acids Research 47:D1137–D1145.
• Ru S, Hardner C, Carter PA, Evans K, Main D, Peace C (2016) Modeling of genetic gain for single traits from marker-assisted seedling selection in clonally propagated crops. Horticulture Research 3:16015.
• Ru S*, Main D, Evan K, Peace C (2015) Current applications, challenges and perspectives of marker-assisted seedling selection in Rosaceae tree fruit breeding. Tree Genetics & Genomes 11:8.
• Jung S, Ficklin SP, Lee T, Cheng C, Blenda A, Zheng P, Yu J, Bombarely A, Cho I, Ru S, Evans K, Peace C, Abbott AG, Mueller LA, Olmstead MA, Main D (2014) The Genome Database for Rosaceae (GDR): year 10 update. Nucleic Acids Research 42:D1237–1244.

* indicates the corresponding author