Plant Breeding

Breeding new crop varieties is vital to our food supply and the success of agricultural industries in the 21st century. Growers are faced with numerous challenges such as plant disease, climate change, evolving consumer preferences and market competition. Our plant breeders help overcome these challenges through the development of fruit and vegetable varieties with improved disease resistance, climate suitability, flavor profiles, travel longevity and other unique traits that lead to success in the field and the market place.

For over 100 years, Cornell AgriTech has been a world-renowned campus for plant breeding with over 250 apple, grape, berry and vegetable varieties developed.

Many of the world's most popular apple varieties were developed at Cornell AgriTech such as Jonagold, Empire, Ruby Frost and Snapdragon. Our apple breeding program continues to help growers succeed across New York, the U.S. and the world.

New York's burgeoning wine and grape industries have also benefited from the development of many successful juice, table and wine grape varieties at Cornell AgriTech.

Our berry breeding program is the oldest in the United States and new raspberry, strawberry and blackberry varieties continue to help growers add appeal to farm market and grocery shelves each year.

Consumers are looking for new, visually attractive and flavorful vegetable varieties and our breeders are meeting this demand through the development of unique, delicious, disease resistant and high-yielding vegetables.

Together, our scientists are developing vibrant, successful fruit and vegetable varieties for agricultural industries and the food supply of the 21st century.

 

Woman holding up an apple.
Several red and yellow apples on a grey table

We play a vital role in the success of the U.S. apple industry.

Person holding grapes in a vineyard.

We breed successful grapes for the wine and grape industries.

Assorted colors of berries.

Our berry breeding program supports the New York berry industry.

Lots of yellow peppers.

Our expertise covers the expanse of vegetables grown in New York.

Our plant breeding experts

Lawrence Smart

Professor

Horticulture

Lawrence Smart
Phillip Griffiths

Associate Professor

Horticulture

Phillip Griffiths
Susan Brown

Professor

Horticulture

Susan Brown
Bruce Reisch

Professor

Horticulture

Bruce Reisch
Gennaro Fazio

Adjunct Associate Professor

Cornell AgriTech

Gennaro Fazio