For a number of years we have been developing fungi in the genus Trichoderma for the control of plant diseases. Very recently we have discovered, in large part though the use of genomic techniques, that the fungi have a number of important agricultural, economic and environmental advantages. They colonize plant roots, establish chemical communication with the plants, and cause the plants to wall off the fungi so they do not grow deeply into the plant.
Our work over the years have shown that fungi in the genus Trichoderma can effectively control plant diseases. Strains we have developed are used in more than 20 countries. This has generated royalties to Cornell University totaling more than $800,000.
We investigate the molecular interactions between protein products of gene expression and the genetic material, especially proteins that determine how the boundaries of gene transcription by the enzyme RNA polymerase are determined.
The new disease-resistant Geneva rootstocks have the potential to become the most important apple rootstocks in the world over the next decade. They provide high production efficiency, which will keep U.S. apple growers competitive, but they also provide insurance against devastating loses due to fire blight.
This cooperative project provides scientific and technical assistance and training in support of soil survey activities in New York. We investigate new geo-spatial analysis tools for developing and using digital soil survey data, and we explore relationships between land-use practices, soil characteristics and soil processes in agronomic and environmental systems.