Dr. Michael J. Muhitch

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Michael J. Muhitch
School of Natural and Behavioral Sciences
Richardson Academic Center (RAC) 207
(248) 218-2161


  • Ph.D., Miami University
  • M.S., Miami University
  • B.S., Baldwin-Wallace College

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Chemistry I and II
  • College Chemistry I and II
  • Organic Chemistry I and II
  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Natural Science Research Topics (independent research projects)

Honors and Affiliations

  • Ad hoc reviewer for the journals Plant Physiology, Physiologia Plantarum, Annals of Botany, etc.
  • Ad hoc reviewer for National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program, 1991, 1992, 1994, 2003
  • Invited panel member to review EPA Ecotox database, August 15/16, 1994
  • Acting Research Leader (Dept Chair), Seed Biosynthesis Unit, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, 1991 – 1992
  • Rochester College Distinguished Faculty Member of the Year 2011

Professional and Academic Experience

  • Post-doctoral Research Associate, Botany and Microbiology Department, University of Oklahoma, 1981 -1984
  • Post-doctoral Research Biochemist, American Cyanamid Company, Princeton, NJ, 1984- 1985
  • Plant Physiologist, USDA Agricultural Research Service, 1985 – 2004
  • Assistant Professor of Science, Rochester College, 2004 – present


Mike is married to Denise. They have two sons: Benjamin, who graduated from Rochester College and is currently a senior recruiter for the college, and Matthew, who graduated from The Kendall School of Art and Design and currently is employed at the Paint Creek Center for the Arts in Rochester, Michigan.

Publications / Presentations / Patents

  • Desjardins, AE.; M Busman; MJ Muhitch; R Proctor. (2007). Complementary host-pathogen genetic analyses of the role of fumonisins in the Zea mays-Gibberella moniliformis interaction. Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology 70:149-160.
  • Minsang Lee, Melinda N. Martin, Andre’ O. Hudson, Jiyeon Lee, Michael J. Muhitch and Thomas Leustek. (2005). Methionine and threonine synthesis are limited by homoserine availability and not the activity of homoserine kinase in Arabidopsis thaliana. The Plant Journal 41:685-696.
  • Muhitch, MJ (2003). Distribution of the glutamine synthetase isozyme GSp1 in maize (Zea mays). Journal of Plant Physiology 160: 610-605.
  • Muhitch MJ, H Liang, KG Sollenberger. (2003). Transformation efficiencies and expression patterns of a series of truncated GS1-2 promoter/GUS transgenes in maize. Physiologia Plantarum 118:346-351.
  • Turano FJ, MJ Muhitch, FC Felker, MB McMahon. (2002). The putative glutamate receptor 3.2 from Arabidopsis thaliana (AtGLR3.2) is an integral membrane peptide that accumulates in rapidly growing tissues and persists in vascular-associated tissues. Plant Science 163: 43-51.
  • Muhitch MJ, H Liang, R Rastogi, KG Sollenberger.. (2002). Isolation Of a Promoter Sequence From the Glutamine Synthetase1-2 Gene Capable Of Conferring Tissue-Specific Expression In Transgenic Maize. Plant Science 163: 865-872.
  • Muhitch MJ, SP McCormick, NJ Alexander, TM Hohn. (2000). Transgenic expression of the TRI101 or PDR5 gene increases resistance of tobacco to the phytotoxic effects of the trichothecene 4,15-diacetoxyscirpenol. Plant Science 157: 201-207.
  • Turano FJ, MJ Muhitch. (1999). Differential accumulation of ferredoxin- and NADH-dependent glutamate synthase activities, peptides, and transcripts in developing soybean seedlings in response to light, nitrogen, and nodulation. Physiologia Plantarum 107: 407-418.
  • Muhitch MJ. (1999). Nitrogen assimilation and amino acid biosynthesis in developing maize (Zea mays L.) kernels. Recent Research Developments in Phytochemistry Vol. 3: 63-82.
  • Michael J. Muhitch, Mark L. Johnston, and Ján A. Miernyk. (2011). “Expression of Glutamine Synthetase During Soybean Seed Development.” 28th Annual IPG Symposium: Plants for the Future, Columbia, MO, May 24, 2011.
  • Muhitch, MJ. “Systems Biology of Soybean Seed Development.” Presentation to the Rochester College faculty, March 15, 2011.
  • Kendra, DF, MJ Muhitch, A Anderson, CE McAlpin. (2005). Cultural Conditions Promoting Chitinase Production in Gliocladium catenulatum. Proceedings of the 2005 Annual Multicrop Aflatoxin/Fumonisin Elimination Workshop, Raleigh, NC Oct 25-26, 2005.
  • Muhitch MJ, BJ Savary, A Nuñez, DT Wicklow, DF Kendra, R Alessandro, RG Shatters. (2004). Identification of Citrus leaf proteins that inhibit the growth of the maize pathogen Fusarium verticillioides in vitro. The American Society of Plant Biologists Annual Meeting. Orlando, FL.
  • Muhitch MJ, KG Sollenberger. (2003). Improved transformation efficiency and tissue specific expression of heterologous GS1-2/GUS genes in maize by utilizing the Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation method. The American Society of Plant Biologists Annual Meeting. Honolulu, HI.
  • Muhitch, MJ, H Liang, R Rastogi, KG Sollenberger. (2002). Characterization Of The Maize Glutamine Synthetase1-2 Promoter Proceedings Of Int’l Association Of Plant Tissue Culture And Biotechnology, Orlando, FL.
  • Muhitch, MJ. “A Tissue-specific expression cassette for increasing fungal resistance and reducing mycotoxin levels in maize.” (2001). Aflatoxin/Fumonisin Elimination Workshops, A/F Elim Workshop, Phoenix, AZ, Oct 24, 2001.
  • Muhitch, MJ. “Transgenic approach to enhanced fungal disease resistance and lower mycotoxin levels in maize.” (2001). Midwest Section Meeting of the American Organization of Analytical Chemists International, Peoria, IL, June 5, 2001.
  • Muhitch MJ, H Liang, R Rastogi, KG Sollenberger. (2001). The maize glutamine synthetase1-2 promoter confers maternal seed tissue-specific expression in transgenic maize. The American Society of Plant Biologists Annual Meeting. Providence, RI.
  • Muhitch MJ, SP McCormick, NJ Alexander, TM Hohn. (2000). Transgenic expression of TRI101 or PDR5 genes increases the resistance of tobacco plants to the Fusarium trichothecene 4,15-diacetoxyscirpenol. The American Society of Plant Physiologists Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.
  • Muhitch MJ, H Liang. (1999). Metabolic regulation of the maize 22kd zein promoter in endosperm slices from young maize kernels. The American Society of Plant Physiologists Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD.
Patent Applications
  • Maize Glutamine Synthetase Gene Promoter, US Patent Application 60/206,984, May 25, 2000.