Plant Genetic Resources Unit
630 W. North St., Geneva, NY 14456
315 787 2356 (office)
315 787 2339 (fax)
I am responsible as the vegetable curator to manage the overall operation of the vegetable collections of the Plant Genetic Resources Unit. At the USDA-ARS Plant Genetic Resources Unit (PGRU) approximately 200 plant species are conserved as collections of seed, including: tomato, onion, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, celery, asparagus, tomatillo, ground cherry, winter squash, radish, and buckwheat. Responsibilities include conducting service and research activities including acquiring, maintaining, evaluating, and distributing vegetable genetic resources. There is an increasing emphasis being placed on characterization and evaluation of quality components of vegetables, such as, vitamin C, sugar, acidity and lycopene. I am also responsible to ensure cultivar identification of vegetable germplasm accessions, utilizing genetics and horticultural techniques. I collaborate with colleagues in academia and industry to achieve service and research goals of the unit.
Additional activities include working with organic farm groups through several specially funded projects. I am currently working with the Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative (NOVIC) which is developing improved varieties of carrots, snap peas, sweet corn, broccoli, and winter squash for production under organic conditions. The PGRU role in this project is providing germplasm, training in small-scale seed production and developing outreach materials for seed production, participatory breeding, and dissemination of variety trial results.
· Ph.D., 1980, Iowa State University, Plant Breeding and Cytogenetics Major.
· M.S., 1976, University of Tennessee, Plant & Soil Science Major.
· B.S., 1973, Central Michigan University, Biology Major.
· Geneticist/Vegetable Curator, 1998 to present, USDA, ARS, Plant Genetic Resources Unit, Geneva, NY
· Legume Germplasm Curator/Faba Bean Breeder, 1995-1998, GRU-ICARDA, Aleppo, Syria
· Legume Germplasm Curator, 1991-1995, GRU-ICARDA, Aleppo, Syria
· Faba Breeder, 1982-1991, FLIP-ICARDA, Aleppo, Syria
· International Intern (Post-doc.), 1980-1982, ICRISAT, Hyderabad, India
· Baldo, A.M., D.M. Francis, M. Caramante, L.D. Robertson and J.A. Labate. 2011. AlleleCoder: a PERL script for coding codominant polymorphism data for PCA analysis. Plant Genetic Resources: Characterization and Utilization 10:1-3.
· Labate, J.A., S.M. Sheffer, T. Balch and L.D. Robertson. 2011. Diversity and population structure in a geographical sample of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) accessions. Crop Science 51:1068-1079.
· Kopsell, D.A., C.A. Sams D.E. Deyton, K.R. Abney, D.E Kopsell, D.E. Kopsell, L. Robertson. 2010. HortSci. 45(3):463–465
· Labate, J.A., L.D. Robertson, and A.M. Baldo. 2009. Multilocus sequence data reveal extensive departures from equilibrium in domesticated tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.). Heredity 103:257-267.
· Labate, J.A., L.D. Robertson, F. Wu, S.D. Tanksley, and A.M. Baldo. 2009. EST, COSII, and arbitrary gene markers give similar estimates of nucleotide diversity in cultivated tomato (S. lycopersicum L.). Theor Appl Genet 118:1005–1014.
· Labate, J.A., L.D. Robertson, A.M. Baldo, and T.N. Björkman. 2006. Inflorescence identity gene alleles are poor predictors of inflorescence type in broccoli and cauliflower. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 131:667-673.
· Robertson, L.D., and J.A. Labate. 2007. Genetic resources of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum var. esculentum) and wild relatives. p. 25-75. In M.K. Razdan and A.K. Mattoo (eds.) Genetic improvement of Solanaceous crops vol. I: Tomato, Science Publishers Inc., New Hampshire,USA; Plymouth, UK.