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January 21, 2020, Plant breeders are always striving to develop new varieties that satisfy growers, producers and consumers.
February 26, 2019, in service to the vineyards, the Grape Genetic Research Unit, located at Cornell AgriTech, is a team of USDA-ARS scientists who are closely integrated with Cornell faculty, researchers and extension associates. For more than 30 years, USDA and Cornell AgriTech researchers have collaborated to learn about the genetics of grapes and use that information to improve grape quality, disease resistance and adaptability to New York state’s climate.


April 19, 2018, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer is urging the USDA’s Agriculture Research Service to provide a robust investment in new equipment for the Grape Genetics Research Unit in Geneva.





February 29, 2024, As GGRU Research Leader, his goal is simple: leading a group of top-notch research scientists to improve the productivity and profitability of grape production through breeding, genetic research, and technology transfers. That means focusing on the improvement of grapevine resistance and tolerance to various forms of biotic stress (i.e. powdery mildew and downy mildew), abiotic stress (i.e. low temperature, drought, and adverse soil conditions), fruit quality (i.e. aroma, flavor and healthy nutrients), and plant architecture.
There are more than 1,600 family vineyards, 400 wineries, and almost 40,000 acres of cropland in grapes in New York. The state’s grape crop is valued at $52 million and produces $4.8 billion in annual economic benefits for New York.




Spring 2022, Powdery mildew is a costly problem. An outbreak of the plant disease could wipe out an entire greenhouse crop. Treating the mildew with fungicides can cost thousands of dollars, and such treatment may only work if the outbreak is detected early.

Public and private breeders of commodity crops such as maize and soybeans have long used sophisticated bioinformatics, statistical tools, and ‘big data’ to guide their breeding programs. These tools increasingly leverage detailed DNA sequence information to predict the performance of each crop’s breeding lines – and ultimately help breeders release improved varieties more quickly.
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ARS News Articles

USDA's Agricultural Research Service Announces Scientist of the Year and Other Awards
Jun 12, 2012
USDA Scientists and Collaborators Complete More Comprehensive Genetic Analysis of Domesticated Grape
Jan 18, 2011
Bringing Better Grapes a Step Closer to Reality
Mar 23, 2010
Research Probes Day Length Sensing in Grapes
Aug 20, 2009
The Goal: Finding--and Using--Key Grape Genes
Apr 16, 2008
New Dwarf Type May Be a Giant of Grape Research
Dec 21, 2006
A Second Nematode-Foiling Gene Found in Grape Plants
Apr 17, 2006
Grapes' Color Linked to a Gene's Inner Workings
Apr 04, 2006