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Welcome to the Grape Genetics Research Unit (GGRU)!

ARS established the Grape Genetics Research Unit (GGRU) in October 2005. The mission of the Grape Genetics Research Unit is the advancement of grape production through interdisciplinary research, breeding, and technology transfer. The goals of the program are to reduce losses to crop yield and quality that result from diseases, pests, and abiotic stress and improve grape and grape product quality and utilization. Improved varieties, germplasm, tools and knowledge will be developed using breeding, genetics, genomics, proteomics, digital technology, and bioinformatics and transferred to grape growers, packers, and processors. GGRU currently focuses on three plant protection and production issues of national importance to the grape industry: resistance to powdery mildew disease; tolerance to stress from adverse cold and drought grape growing conditions; and improved fruit yield and quality of wine, juice, and table grapes.

We work closely with our sister organization Plant Genetic Resources Unit (PGRU) which is an integral part of the National Plant Germplasm System.  PGRU preserves and safeguards about 20,000 samples of cold-hardy grapes, apples, tart cherries, and vegetables.

GGRU is constructing a state-of-the-art research facility on the Cornell AgriTech campus in Geneva, NY. The facility will be the site of USDA-ARS National Grape Improvement Center which will provide genetic, genomic and biotechnological solutions to the problems of the U.S. grape production.   

Research Leader: Dr. Gan-Yuan Zhong (315)787-2482

Plant Pathologist: Dr. Lance Cadle-Davidson (315)787-2442