Invasive species can have a major impact on the ability to export agricultural goods in our global economy. Monitoring for invasive species yet to be found in New York state is a major component of the Cooperative Agriculture Pest Survey, a cooperative project between the state Department of Agriculture and Markets, the state Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program, and Cornell Cooperative Extension grape programs.
Powdery mildews are a remarkably diverse group of fungi that attack many important crops. Their ability to produce vast numbers of infectious spores is the driving force of the disease. In a series of experiments, we identified key wavebands of light that shut down spore production. In effect, we have taken an environmental cue that the fungus uses in spore production and turned it against itself.
Labor-intensive agriculture is highly dependent upon the work performed by immigrants.
We are developing algal bioenergy as both an alternative to fossil fuels and a source of energy for powering systems that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, thus reducing the concentrations of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere and decreasing ocean acidification. We are also investigating protein by-products as potential nutritional supplement in animal feeds.
The overall goal of the research in my lab is to understand the basis of inheritance in plants by studying the mechanisms of meiosis, particularly pairing of homologous chromosomes and meiotic recombination. Both pairing and recombination are critical for correct segregation of chromosomes into gametes. We want to understand these processes at the molecular level. This basic research will provide a platform for investigations on how meiotic processes can be modified to improve plant breeding methods.
Our research uses the soil worm C. elegans as a model to study genes that affect aging. Many genes that affect aging in C. elegans also work in humans. Our research will have impact on human aging and age-related diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and neurodegeneration.
The divisiveness around potential hydrofracking in the Marcellus Shale has opened a broader dialogue about how we are to responsibly meet our energy needs.
The viticulture and enology steering committee created a quarterly electronic newsletter, Appellation Cornell, to provide in-depth research articles written for laypersons, as well as faculty profiles, student profiles, industry profiles, and brief articles to highlight research, extension, and teaching activities of Cornell's Viticulture and Enology Program to a national and international audience. In its first year, readership comprised 1000 to 1500 online subscribers in 45 states, three Canadian provinces, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Fifty articles were published in 2010.
Due to today’s relatively favorable commodity prices, farmers are trying to increase yields by installing pattern drainage systems, which have been proven to be a long term investment to improve soil conditions and increase yields. The North West New York Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops Team organized trials with tractor pulled tile plows and GPS control systems to evaluate their performance under WNY conditions.
We are learning the extent and severity of dairy food chain contamination with mycotoxins, toxins that come from fungi, that impact human health.