Professor, School of Integrative Plant Science Horticulture Section Plant Breeding and Genetics Section Cornell AgriTech
I specialize in the development of new wine and table grape varieties, as well as new grape breeding techniques. Since joining the Cornell faculty in 1980, my program has released 14 new grape varieties - ten wine grapes (cooperatively with the Dept. of Food Science and Technology) and four seedless table grapes. The grape breeding program continues to emphasize wine variety development with a strong emphasis on combining wine quality with disease resistance and cold tolerance. We develop flavorful, attractive table grapes, as well. We complement the traditional breeding program with experimental approaches to develop complete maps of grapevine chromosomes, and to study functional gene expression. In addition to my research responsibilities, I was Chair for over 10 years of the Grape Crop Germplasm Committee, a national committee overseeing U.S. Department of Agriculture efforts to preserve wild and cultivate grapevines. My studies have taken me to international conferences, research stations and the grape growing regions of France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Israel, Hungary, Turkey, Thailand, Switzerland, China and Japan. My laboratory has hosted graduate students and researchers from many parts of the world, including Japan, Chile, Brazil, Pakistan, France, South Africa, Germany, Hungary, Korea, Israel, Nepal, and China.
Grape breeding and genomics
Molecular genetic mapping
Using tools of genetics and genomics for grapevine improvement:
Program objectives focus on the genetic improvement of grapevines while integrating traditional and novel techniques. In the traditional portion of the project, interspecific hybridization is used to select wine grapes with cold hardiness, high yield, disease resistance and high wine quality. The 'Traminette' grapevine, a cold-hardy, disease resistant white wine grape which makes a wine reminiscent of Gewürztraminer, has been extremely well received by the premium wine industry and received the Outstanding Fruit Cultivar Award from American Society for Horticultural Science in 2015. Genetic mapping is used to locate genes controlling viticulturally important traits, and marker-assisted selection is used routinely to pre-select for traits that would otherwise be difficult to evaluate or take years to determine.
Program objectives focus on the genetic improvement of grapevines while integrating traditional and novel techniques. In the traditional portion of the project, interspecific hybridization is used to select wine grapes with cold hardiness, disease resistance and high wine quality. Our 1996 release, 'Traminette', a cold-hardy, disease resistant white wine grape producing a wine reminiscent of Gewürztraminer, has been extremely well received by the premium wine industry. Three new wine grapes were released for use in 2006 and are quickly being adopted by the eastern grape industry. 'Arandell' (disease resistant red wine grape) and 'Aromella' (hardy, productive white wine grape) were named and released in 2013. Also, table grapes with pleasing flavors, cold hardiness, seedlessness, storage potential, and large berry and cluster size are under development. Disease resistance is a high priority objective. Our best accessions, usually derived from native American species, are used as parents to impart high levels of disease resistance. Promising selections are tested across New York State and with University cooperators across the United States. Novel techniques in plant breeding are also being studied for potential contributions to grapevine improvement. These studies currently focus on an assortment DNA techniques to place molecular markers on genetic linkage maps in Vitis. Our present efforts focus on use of these maps for marker-assisted selection. Large mapping populations are being used to study the genetics of a range of viticultural and resistance traits. we have been applying marker-assisted breeding technology directly to the ongoing breeding program, and are seeking efficient means to expand such efforts.
Outreach and Extension Focus
Our program hosts field visits by members of the New York grape and wine industry to show the research progress being made in developing new grape cultivars. We also present information at various events, and publish extension bulletins as needed. In addition, our VitisGen2 SCRI project maintains a twitter account in conjunction with the www.vitisgen2.org website to push out current research information.
Extension is a small but highly important position responsibility. The wine and grape industries rely on me as a source for information not only on the new cultivars developed in my program, but also on the full range of wine and table grape cultivars available on today`s market. Our approach is to supply test selections and cultivars to researchers in many states; gather information on cultivars and selections in trials at Geneva, Fredonia, Pennsylvania, and Niagara County; and to present information at public meetings, workshops, and on our VitisGen program web site as well as via the SCRI project website.
- Yang, S., Fresnedo, J., Wang, M., Cote, L., Schweitzer, P. A., Barba, P., Demmings, E., Clark, M., Luby, J., Manns, D., Sacks, G. L., Mansfield, A. K., Londo, J., Fennell, A., Gadoury, D. M., Reisch, B. I., Cadle-Davidson, L., & Sun, Q. (2016). A next-generation marker genotyping platform (AmpSeq) in heterozygous crops: a case study for marker assisted selection in grapevine. Horticulture Research. 3.
- Reisch, B. I., Yang, S., Fresnedo, J., Wang, M., Cote, L., Schweitzer, P. A., Barba, P., Demmings, E., Clark, M., Luby, J., Manns, D., Sacks, G. L., Mansfield, A., Londo, J., Fennell, A., Gadoury, D. M., Reisch, B. I., Cadle-Davidson, L., & Sun, Q. (2016). A next-generation marker genotyping platform (AmpSeq) in heterozygous crops: a case study for marker assisted selection in grapevine. Horticulture Research. 3.
- Hyma, K. E., Barba, P., Wang, M., Londo, J. P., Acharya, C. B., Mitchell, S. E., Sun, Q., Reisch, B. I., & Cadle-Davidson, L. (2015). Heterozygous mapping strategy for high resolution genotyping-by-sequencing markers. A case study in grapevine. PLOS One.
- Feechan, A., Kocsis, M., Riaz, S., Zhang, W., Gadoury, D. M., Walker, A., Dry, I. B., Reisch, B. I., Cadle-Davidson, L., & , (2015). Strategies for RUN1 deployment using RUN2 and REN2 to manage grapevine powdery mildew informed by studies of race-specificity. Phytopathology. 105:1104-1113.
- Barba, P., Cadle-Davidson, L., Galarneau, E., & Reisch, B. I. (2015). Vitis rupestris B38 confers isolate-specific quantitative resistance to penetration by Erysiphe necator. Phytopathology. 105:1097-1103.
- Kono, A., Sato, A., Reisch, B. I., & Cadle-Davidson, L. (2015). Effect of detergent on the quantification of grapevine downy mildew sporangia from leaf discs. HortScience. 50:656-660.
- Myles, S., Mahanil, S., Harriman, J., Gardner, K. M., Franklin, J. L., Reisch, B. I., Ramming, D. W., Owens, C. L., Li, L., Buckler, E. S., & Cadle-Davidson, L. (2015). Genetic mapping in grapevine using SNP microarray intensity values. Molecular Breeding. 35:88.
- Reisch, B. I., Mahanil, S., Consolie, N., Luce, R. S., Wallace, P. G., & Cadle-Davidson, L. (2014). Examination of marker-assisted selection for powdery and downy mildew resistance. Acta Horticulturae. 1046:151-155.
- Barba, P., Cadle-Davidson, L., Harriman, J., Glaubitz, J. C., Brooks, S., Hyma, K., & Reisch, B. I. (2014). Grapevine powdery mildew resistance and susceptibility loci identified on a high-resolution SNP map. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. 127:73-84.
- Feechan, A., Anderson, C. L., Torregrosa, L., Jermakow, A., Mestre, P., Wiedemann-Merdinoglu, S., Merdinoglu, D., Walker, A., Cadle-Davidson, L., Reisch, B. I., Aubourg, S., Bentahar, N., Shrestha, B., Bouquet, A., Adam-Blondon, A., Thomas, M. R., & Dry, I. (2013). Genetic dissection of a TIR-NB-LRR locus from the wild North American grapevine species Muscadinia rotundifolia identifies paralogous genes conferring resistance to major fungal and oomycete pathogens in cultivated grapevine. The Plant Journal. 76:661-674.
Awards & Honors
- Outstanding Fruit Cultivar 2015 - 'Traminette' wine grape (2015) American Society for Horticultural Science
- Outstanding Career Accomplishments in Applied Research (2011) College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University
635 W North St.
204 Hedrick Hall
Geneva, NY 14456
bir1 [at] cornell.edu
School & Section
- VitisGen - multi-disciplinary, collaborative projects focused on decreasing the time, effort and cost involved in developing the next generation of grapes
University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Master of Science
University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Bachelor of Science
Bruce in the news
- Cornell AgriTech
- Cornell Cooperative Extension
- Viticulture and Enology
Introducing Aravelle – a new white wine grape that was 42 years in the making.
- Cornell AgriTech
- Cornell Cooperative Extension
- School of Integrative Plant Science