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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Kearneysville, West Virginia » Appalachian Fruit Research Laboratory » Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement, and Protection » People » Cheryl Vann

Cheryl Vann

Plant Physiologist
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Cheryl D. Vann
Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement and Protection
Plant Physiologist (Support Scientist)
Phone: (304) 725-3451 ext. 233
Fax: (304) 728-7232
Room 413



Education and Degrees

2014 Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics. The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802.

2001 Master of Science in Biology. George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030. Thesis: Productivity and methane production in a future CO2-enriched environment.

1992 Bachelor of Science in Horticulture. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061.


2005- Present   Plant Physiologist (Support Scientist). USDA-ARS, Appalachian Fruit Research Station. Kearneysville, WV 25430. Duties include performing research studies to genetically engineer and molecularly characterize pear.
2004   Adjunct Faculty II. Lord Fairfax Community College, Department of Biology, Middletown, VA 22645
2002- 2003   Biological Research Technician. Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Edgewater,  MD 21037. Duties include performing wetland research to assess the effects of climate change on hydrologic perturbations.
2000- 2002 Research Associate (Contractor). U.S. Geological Survey. Reston, VA 20192. Duties include identifying anthropogenic and climatic influences on the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.



Current Projects

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Figure 1. Flower buds on 3 month-old in vitro grown Conference pear transformed with an early flowering gene.   

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Figure 2. Flower on 3 month-old Bartlett pear transformed with an early flowering gene.




Genetically Engineered Pear

Globally, pear are an important fruit crop with world pear production projected to hit a record high of 25.3 million metric tons in 2017. Two of the major problems encountered in the pear industry are lengthy periods required to produce improved pear varieties and tree size control. We are developing pear that have been transformed with early flowering or dwarfing genes to accelerate the pear breeding process and provide commercial growers with smaller, more manageable trees.