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Combating phylloxera on grape roots

Project Advisor
Professor John March - jcm224@cornell.edu

Project Collaborators
Justine Vanden Heuvel

Project Area/Concentration
Agricultural Biotechnology

Project Description
There are over 1,043,000 acres of bearing grapes in the United States (National Agricultural Statistics, 2012). With the exception of approximately 67,000 acres being grown in Washington state, the vast majority of the remaining >900,000 acres don’t grow on their own roots; they are grafted onto rootstocks that are either tolerant or resistant to Phylloxera vastatrix – a microscopic insect related to aphids that feeds on the roots of most commercially-grown grapevines. We are trying to determine the factors that play into selection of grapes by phylloxera. Students with interest in chemical ecology or interspecies communication should consider applying. Our focus will be on first understanding then manipulating crosstalk between phylloxera and their hosts.

Possible Courses

Course number Course title
ENTOM 3200 Grape Pest Management
FDSC 5204 Principles and Practices of Growing Grapes and Making Wines