Supervisory Research Plant Pathologist
USDA-ARS, COMM PROT/QUALITY RES
9611 S. Riverbend Avenue
Parlier CA 93648
The mission of the Commodity Protection and Quality Research Unit is to develop alternative chemical and non-chemical treatments to replace methyl bromide use on horticultural stored products to meet quarantine needs, to preserve or extend domestic and export markets, to ensure quality maintenance of California-grown horticultural commodities, extend storage life, and reduce postharvest losses caused by senescence, pathogens, insect pests and postharvest treatments. The research is conducted under National Programs 303 (Plant Diseases), 304 (Crop Protection and Quarantine), and 306 (Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products). Research is focused on the basic and reproductive biology, phenology, and host preferences of stored product and quarantine pests. Research includes development of heat and cold treatments; fumigant trapping technology; alternative chemicals for insect disinfestation; and insect pathogens and beneficial insects as stored product insect control agents. Research also includes: combining controlled atmosphere with high temperatures and/or fumigants; physiological and insect-plant interaction studies; physical and chemical detection systems; use of behavior governing chemicals to control and/or detect insect infestations; and basic biology and integrated pest management systems combining control methods developed in the above research approaches. The research is also focused on preserving quality and reducing postharvest losses caused by senescence, pathogens, insect pests, and postharvest treatments; and on gaining a better understanding of physiological, biochemical and nutritional causes of postharvest changes in horticultural crops.