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Welcome to the Grape Genetics Research Unit (GGRU)!

ARS is breaking new ground in grape research in New York's Finger Lakes region, whose storied history with viticulture and the wine industry dates back to the 1850's.  Scientists with ARS's recently established Grape Genetics Research Unit (October 2005) study the full gamut of grapes grown in the United States, including those grown in California's semiarid valleys and in northeastern states that experience cold winters. 

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, and has more than 1,200 accessions of Vitis-about one-third of ARS's total grape collection-planted in its vineyard.

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. Enhanced varieties and techniques will be developed using breeding, genetics, genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics and transferred to grape growers, packers, and processors. The primary research areas are: (1) Development of resistance to pests and diseases in grape scion and rootstock; (2) Superior adaptation to growing conditions and tolerance of abiotic stress; (3) Improved product quality through enhanced knowledge of mechanisms governing color, flavor, aroma, sensory characters, and yield.


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

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

Geneticist: Dr. Jason Londo (315)787-2463