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In this new video from the VitisGen project, Dr. Lance Cadle-Davidson, adjunct associate professor of plant pathology, is joined by project manager Beth Takacs (Ph.D. ‘12) and research technician Anna Nowogrodzki to describe work being conducted at the National Cold Hardy Grape Collection at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY, to track and understand powdery mildew resistance in grape plants. VitisGen is a large, multi-institution research effort funded by the USDA and grape industry that aims to develop desirable traits in grape varieties, such as resistance to powdery mildew, cold hardiness, and better fruit quality, all of which are much in demand by North American grape growers. As the video explains, powdery mildew is the most important disease afflicting Vitis vinifera grapes around the world. Using disease resistant varieties found in the wild, scientists are working to develop new cultivated varieties for wine, table and juice grape production that are resistant to powdery mildew, with the goal of reducing expensive fungicide treatments that can cost the average grower upwards of $50,000 a year.

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