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In the battle against thrips, Cornell breeder Martha Mutschler-Chu has developed a new weapon: a tomato that packs a powerful one-two punch to deter the pests and counter the killer viruses they transmit. The “dual resistant” insect and virus varieties may reduce or even eliminate the need for pesticides in several regions. She is participating in a $3.75 million USDA-AFRI funded project involving nine scientists from eight institutions nationwide. Thrips are tiny insects that pierce and suck fluids from hundreds of species of plants, including tomatoes, grapes, strawberries and soybeans. They also transmit such diseases as the tomato spotted wilt virus, causing millions of dollars in damage to U.S. agricultural crops each year.

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Two scientists talking in greenhouse with wheat plants

Field Note

Global collaborations spark wheat breeding discoveries

  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Plant Breeding and Genetics Section
  • Agriculture
aerial view of a farm

News

Building networks not enough to expand rural broadband
High operations and maintenance costs and low population density in some rural areas result in prohibitively high service fees – even for a subscriber-owned cooperative structured to prioritize member needs over profits, the analysis found...
  • Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
  • Development
  • Applied Economics