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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Joanne A Labate

Molecular Biologist (Plants)


Plant Genetic Resources Unit

Vegetable Crops Acting Curator


630 W. North St., Geneva, NY  14456

315 787 2438 (office)

315 787 2339 (fax)


I characterize genetic variation in gene bank vegetable collections using molecular tools. 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. We apply molecular, population and quantitative genetic techniques in order to describe, evaluate and better manage the collections. We also perform chemical evaluations in the lab for quality components of vegetables, such as, vitamin C, sugar, acidity and lycopene.


  • B.S. in Biology, 1983, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA
  • Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution, 1993, SUNY Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY

Professional Experience

  • Molecular Biologist and Lab Director, 1/01 to Present, PGRU, Geneva, NY
  • Research Associate, 9/99 to 1/01, Institute for Genomic Diversity, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
  • Research Geneticist (Plants), 7/95 to 8/99, USDA/ARS, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, 1/94 to 7/95, Center for Agricultural Molecular Biology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ

Selected Publications

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.

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. Bj?rkman. 2006. Inflorescence identity gene alleles are poor predictors of inflorescence type in broccoli and cauliflower. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 131:667-673.

Labate, J.A., and A.M. Baldo. 2005. Tomato SNP discovery by EST mining and resequencing. Mol. Breeding 16:343-349.

Labate, J.A. 2008. Molecular markers in germplasm conservation. p. 45-74. In C. Kole and A.G. Abbott, (eds.) Principles and practices of plant genomics: Vol 2 Molecular breeding. Science Publishers Inc., New Hampshire, USA; Plymouth, UK.

Labate, J.A., S. Grandillo, T. Fulton, S. Mu?os, A.L. Caicedo, I. Peralta, Y. Ji, R.T. Chetelat, et al. (39 authors in total). 2007. Tomato. p. 1-125. In C. Kole (ed.) Genome mapping and molecular breeding in plants: Vol 5 Vegetables. Springer Publishing Co., NY.

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.) Geneticimprovement of Solanaceous crops vol. I: Tomato, Science Publishers Inc., New Hampshire,USA; Plymouth, UK.


Last Modified: 6/19/2017
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