Stephen R. King

Associate Professor

Department of Horticultural Sciences
Vegetable & Fruit Improvement Center
Texas A&M University
, College Station, TX 77843-2133



Office Phone: 979-845-2937

Cell Phone: 979-229-8746


Office Location:

Department of Horticultural Sciences

HFSB 512

Lab: HFSB 503

Lab Phone: 979-845-4203


Stephen King received his B.S. and M.S. in Agronomy from the University of Arkansas in 1988 and 1991, respectively. He received his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding in 1994 from Cornell University. Dr. King is a Member of the Graduate Faculty of Texas A&M University, and can serve as a Chair, Co-chair or Member of Graduate Student Advising Committees.

Dr. King began his plant breeding career with Petoseed (which later became Seminis) in 1994. He worked on Eastern melons for the U.S. market and greenhouse cucumbers for Europe, developing several successful varieties in each crop. In 1997, he created and managed the Biotech Germplasm Development Group for Seminis. In this capacity, Dr. King conducted over 100 field and greenhouse trials of 14 different genetically engineered vegetable crops for over 20 traits.

Dr. King joined the faculty of Texas A & M in September, 2002. His research interests include plant breeding, genetics and biotechnology with a special interest in developing applications for new technologies to solve specific problems in the industry or to address specific needs of the consumer. Dr. King's focus is on watermelon breeding, but he will also manage specific projects in other crops. Current projects include a survey of total carotenoids and other health beneficial compounds in watermelon which will be followed by a study of the genetics and heritability of specific health promoting compounds, including lycopene and Beta carotene. Dr. King is also interested in improving seedless watermelon through applied breeding and the application of new technologies.

"Graduate students under my advisement will find that my approach takes advantage of my broad industry experience in plant breeding and applied biotechnology. My philosophy for solving challenging problems is to start with a solid basis for the science of the problem followed with the passion to work hard on a solution and the willingness to be a team player. Of these traits, passion is probably the most important, so I encourage students to identify problems that they will find challenging and rewarding to solve in areas where they want to become world-class experts."


HORT325: Vegetable Crop Production

HORT689/AGRO689: Molecular & Biological Techniques in Plant Breeding


Texas Statewide Watermelon Trials
Vegetable & Fruit Improvement Center
Watermelon PI collection images
  Others underconstruction