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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Understanding the Global Virus Distribution in Tomato and Development of Translational Genomic Tools to Accelerate Breeding for Resistance

Location: Vegetable Research

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Specific objectives are to conduct outreach programs to enhance communication with all segments of the tomato industry, to educate the public, and to train the youth.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Dr. Zitter has been active in the area of Plant Pathology and Extension for over 40 years. While at Cornell, and earlier in Florida, he has worked with a wide array of tomato stakeholders including homeowners, growers, tomato breeders, and plant diagnostic services and labs at numerous locations. His extension programming has been focused on stakeholder needs as delivered through both publishing and internet access. Zitter is the plant pathology coordinator for the annual Cornell Integrated Crop and Pest Management Guidelines for Commercial Vegetable Production for New York. He is co-editor of the Compendium of Tomato Diseases, 2nd Edition (to be published by the American Phytopathological Society in 2012). He is co-developer of the “Focus on Tomato”, a webcast resource to bring quality, science-based tomato crop management information to the practitioner through the resource Plant Management Network International. He developed and hosted the Vegetable MD online website at Cornell University in 2000, which is now extensively resourced, with an annual visitor rate of more than 5 million. In October 2011, he was responsible for hosting the 26th Annual Tomato Disease Workshop in Ithaca, NY with over 110 in attendance. Specifically in the current project, Dr. Zitter will develop a comprehensive outreach plan with the following major activities: 1) Outreach to stakeholders in the tomato industry – via an annual workshop, such as the Tomato Disease Workshop and the Tomato Breeders Roundtable Discussion; 2) Outreach to private seed and diagnostic companies; 3) Outreach to the tomato scientific community – through the development of the Project Website and through a webinar series of “Focus on Tomato”; 4) Outreach to youth – through programs to reach high school, undergraduate and graduate students, to offer research experiences in diagnostic lab experience in molecular detection of viruses/viroids, and applied genomics and molecular breeding.

3. Progress Report:
Research in this subordinate project relates to inhouse project Objective 1: Develop sensitive diagnostic tools for the emerging viral diseases of greenhouse tomatoes and bacterial diseases on vegetable Brassicas. Outreach and extension are an important component of this project. Outreach to stakeholders in the tomato industry, including tomato growers and processors, either in field production and greenhouse settings is ongoing. Overview presentations on the project were presented at the 2012 annual Tomato Disease Workshop in Wooster, OH, and 2013 International Symposium on Tomato Diseases in Orlando, FL. In outreach to the tomato scientific community – a project website which will provide a prompt release of deliverables associated with the project is under construction. The developed project website will be established at Cornell University with the general working title of “Managing Tomato Viruses and Viroids, a Global Perspective”, with information Links [i.e., Sol Genomic Network (SGN,; Vegetable MD, and others].

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 06/21/2017
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