Michael Renfroe

Professor of Biology

B.S. North Carolina State University
M.S. The Ohio State University
M.Phil. Yale University
Ph.D. Yale University

E-mail: renfromh@jmu.edu
Phone: 540-568-6617
Fax: 540-568-3333
Mail: Dept. of Biology, MSC 7801, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA 22807

Research Interests:
Plant Developmental Biology, Germplasm Conservation, Antioxidants in Foods

We study plant development using the techniques of tissue culture and scanning electron microscopy. An improved understanding of differentiation provides us with better prospects for clonal propagation of plants. We use tissue culture propagation and cryopreservation for germplasm conservation. We are especially interested in cloning and cryopreserving rare and endangered species.

In addition, we are interested in quantifying the hydrophilic and lipophilic antioxidants found in foods in the human diet. Antioxidants are important in promoting health, warding off disease, preventing cancers, and mitigating aging effects. Plants and plant products vary widely in their antioxidant profiles and we are measuring antioxidant content in plants that human consume to determine thier effectiveness as sources of antioxidants.

If you are interested in learning more about cell and tissue culture, please follow my link to Getting Started in Plant Tissue Culture.


Courses Taught at JMU

GBIO 103 - Discovering Life
BIO 364 - Human Uses of Plants
BIO 366 - Plants and Environment
BIO 600 - Effective Teaching I

Selected Recent Publications

Marques, K.K. , M.H. Renfroe, P.B.B. Brevard, R.E. Lee, J.W. Gloeckner. 2010. Differences in antioxidant levels of fresh, frozen and freeze-dried strawberries and strawberry jam. Int. J. of Food Sciences and Nutrition 61(8):759-769.

R.R. Murphy, M.H. Renfroe, P.B. Brevard, R.E. Lee and J.W. Gloeckner. 2009. Cooking does not decrease hydrophilic antioxidant capacity of wild blueberries. Int. J. Food Sciences and Nutrition 60(S2):88-98.

Renfroe, M.H., J.T. Hitt, P.J. McNicholas, and J.F. O'Hara. 2000. Field collection of woody and herbaceous explants for in vitro culture. In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology 36(3)Pt II:31A.

Renfroe, M.H., J.T. Hitt, P.J. McNicholas, J.A. Priday and V.B. Delgaizo. 1999. Comparison of laboratory and field Portulaca culture establishment techniques. In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology 35(3)Pt II:53A.

Jamison, J.A. and M.H. Renfroe. 1998. Micropropagation of Betula uber (Ashe) Fernald. In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology - Plant 34:147-151