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Gennaro Fazio

Geneticist Plants


 Plant Genetic Resources Unit


630 W. North St., Geneva, NY  14456

315 787 2480 (office)

315 787 2216 (fax)


I am a plant breeder and research geneticist with the USDA-ARS Plant Genetic Resources Unit in Geneva, NY.  The focus of my research is to develop new apple rootstocks that are more productive than current commercially available varieties and are resistant to devastating diseases like fire blight (caused by Erwinia amylovora) and replant disease.  Part of the research focus is directed toward developing marker assisted breeding protocols for the breeding program, therefore I conduct basic and applied research on apple genetics, particularly in the area of disease resistance, root and tree architecture, rootstock mediated plant nutrition and dwarfing mechanisms of apple rootstocks.  My research also aims to expand use of genetic resources within the National Malus Collection for apple rootstock improvement.


Professional Experience

Selected Publications

Philip J Jensen, Noemi Halbrendt, Gennaro Fazio, Izabela Makalowska, Naomi Altman, Craig Praul, Siela N Maximova, Henry K Ngugi, Robert M Crassweller, James W Travis, Timothy W McNellis. 2012. Rootstock-regulated gene expression patterns associated with fire blight resistance in apple. BMC Genomics 2012, 13:9

Fazio, G., H.S. Aldwinckle, T.L. Robinson, and Y. Wan. 2011. Implementation of molecular marker technologies in the Apple Rootstock Breeding program in Geneva - challenges and successes. Acta Horticulturae. 903: 61-68.

Auvil, T.D., T.R. Schmidt, I. Hanrahan, F. Castillo, J.R. McFerson, and G. Fazio. 2011. Evaluation of dwarfing rootstocks in Washington apple replant sites. Acta Horticulturae. 903: 265-271.

Baldo, A.M., G. Fazio, Y. Wan, K. Gasic, and S. Korban. 2011. Mapping genes expressed preferentially in apple rootstocks. Acta Horticulturae. 903: 75-80.

Gao, H., Z. Dang, D. Li, L. Mei, Y. Wan, L. Wang, Z. Zhao, and G. Fazio. 2011. The history of apple breeding in People's Republic of China. Acta Horticulturae. 903: 199-205.

Norelli, J.L., D.A. Lalli, C.L. Bassett, M.E. Wisniewski, S.E. Gardiner, J.M. Celton, D.R. Bowatt, C.M. Carlisl, M. Malnoy, H.S. Aldwinckle, R.E. Farrell, Jr., M.B. Horner, V.G.M. Bus, A.M. Baldo, and G. Fazio. 2011. Molecular markers for durable fire blight resistance in apple. Acta Horticulturae. 903: 81-85.

Robinson, T.L., S.A. Hoying, and G. Fazio. 2011. Performance of Geneva rootstocks in on-farm trials in New York State. Acta Horticulturae. 903: 249-255.

Tworkoski, T.and G. Fazio. 2011. Physiological and morphological effects of size-controlling rootstocks on 'Fuji' apple scions. Acta Horticulturae. 903: 865-872.

Wan, Y.and G. Fazio. 2011. Confirmation by QTL mapping of the Malus robusta ('Robusta 5') derived powdery mildew resistance gene Pl1. Acta Horticulturae. 903: 95-99.

Wan, Y., D. Li, Z. Zhao, L. Mei, M. Han, H. Schwaninger, and G. Fazio. 2011. The distribution of wild apple germplasm in Northwest China and its potential application for apple rootstock breeding. Acta Horticulturae. 903: 123-141.

Aide Wang, Herb Aldwinckle, Philip Forsline, Dorrie Main, Gennaro Fazio, Susan Brown and Kenong Xu. 2010. EST contig-based SSR linkage maps for Malus •- domestica cv Royal Gala and an apple scab resistant accession of M. sieversii, the progenitor species of domestic apple.  Molecular Breeding - Online First.

Jensen, P.J., I. Makalowska, N. Altman, G. Fazio, C. Praul, S.N. Maximova, R.M. Crassweller, J.W. Travis, and T.W. McNellis. 2010. Rootstock-regulated gene expression patterns in apple tree scions. Tree Genetics and Genomes 6:57-72

St. Laurent, A., I.A. Merwin, G. Fazio, J.E. Thies, and M.G. Brown. 2010. Rootstock genotype succession influences apple replant disease and root-zone microbial community composition in an orchard soil. Plant and Soil 337:259-272

Iezzoni, A., C. Weebadde, J. Luby, C.Y. Yue, E.v.d. Weg, G. Fazio, D. Main, C.P. Peace, N.V. Bassil, and J. McFerson. 2010. RosBREED: enabling marker-assisted breeding in Rosaceae. Acta Hort 859:389-394

Dreesen, R.S.G., B.T.M. Vanholme, K. Luyten, L.v. Wynsberghe, G. Fazio, I. Roldan-Ruiz, and J. Keulemans. 2010. Analysis of Malus S-RNase gene diversity based on a comparative study of old and modern apple cultivars and European wild apple. Molecular Breeding 26:693-709

Bassil, N., K.E. Hummer, J.D. Postman, G. Fazio, A. Baldo, I. Armas, and R. Williams. 2009. Nomenclature and genetic relationships of apples and pears from Terceira Island. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 56:339-352

Mazzola, M., J. Brown, X. Zhao, A. Izzo, and G. Fazio. 2009. Interaction of Brassicaceous Seed Meal and Apple Rootstock on Recovery of Pythium spp. and Pratylenchus penetrans from Roots Grown in Replant Soils. Plant Disease 93:51-57

Gasic, K., D.O. Gonzalez, J. Thimmapuram, L. Liu, M. Malnoy, G. Gong, Y.P. Han, L.O. Vodkin, H.S. Aldwinckle, N.J. Carroll, K.S. Orvis, P. Goldsbrough, S. Clifton, D. Pape, L. Fulton, J. Martin, B. Theising, M.E. Wisniewski, G. Fazio, F.A. Feltus, and S.S. Korban. 2009. Comparative analysis and functional annotation of a large expressed sequence tag collection of apple. Plant Genome 2:23-38

Fazio, G., H.S. Aldwinckle, G.M. Volk, C.M. Richards, W.J. Janisiewicz, and P.L. Forsline. 2009. Progress in evaluating Malus sieversii for disease resistance and horticultural traits. Proceedings of the 12th Eucarpia Symposium on Fruit Breeding and Genetics, Zaragoza, Spain, 16-20 September 2007.:59-66

Fazio, G., T. Robinson. 2008. Modification of Nursery Tree Architecture by Apple Rootstocks.  Hortscience 43:1271

Fazio, G, P. Forsline, H. Aldwinckle, and L. Pons. 2008. The Apple Collection in Geneva, NY: A Resource for The Apple Industry Today and for Generations to Come.  New York Fruit Quarterly 16(1):5-8