north carolina state university   |  mypack portal  |  news  |  libraries  |  calendar  |  contact   
department of crop science
David Danehower Dr. David Danehower 
Professor of Crop Science

Office: 4324A Williams Hall
Phone: 919.515.3567
Fax: 919.515.7959

Mailing Address:
4324 Williams Hall
Campus Box 7620
Raleigh, NC 27695-7620


David A. Danehower, Professor of Crop Science, holds a Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry from NCSU. His research interests are in the area of plant natural products chemistry including the role these compounds play in defending plants against other plants, insects, and diseases (allelochemistry), and the potential for utilizing plant natural products as a renewable biochemical resource.


Influence of Environment and Agronomic Practices on Rye Allelopathy
Annual rye (Secale cereale) is a cover crop that produces a series of allelopathic natural products called benzoxazilinones. These compounds have demonstrated excellent suppression of weed species in both bioassay systems and in the field. Current research in this area is focused on developing methods for analysis that will allow us to better understand how environmental and agronomic practices influence the production, leaching, and degradation of these metabolites. The goal is to develop agronomic systems that maximize the effectiveness of this allelopathic cover crop.

Value-Added Natural Products from Bioprocessed Tobacco
Researchers in the Department of Crop Science and elsewhere are examining the potential for producing vaccines and other high-value protein products from genetically engineered tobacco. In addition to these compounds, there are several additional products found in tobacco that might add to the overall revenue stream. These include solanesol, a C-45 terpenoid which constitutes a portion of the Co-enzyme Q molecule; sucrose esters, natural insecticides found on the leaf surface of certain Nicotiana species; and cis-abienol, a diterpenoid with potential use in the flavor and frangrance industry. This project focuses on examination of possible markets of these and other products and development of technology for the efficient and profitable extraction of these compounds from bioprocessed tobacco

Development of Phyto-Pharmaceutical Crops for North Carolina
North Carolina has a diversity of climates and native plants that make it an ideal location for the development of phyto-pharmaceutical crops. These crops include traditional medicinal plants such as Goldenseal, Black Cohosh, Bloodroot, and Mayapple. Research in our labs is aimed at the development of analytical methods for the active principles in these plants and protocols for the germination, propagation, and agronomic production of these plants.