Courtney Weber, Cornell University

Associate Professor Ithaca, New York caw34@cornell.edu

Bio/Research

The primary goal of my program is to develop improved berry varieties to better serve the needs of the New York industry by integrating new technologies for investigating the fundamentals of disease and insect resistance, and fruit quality characteristics with traditional breeding practices. My b...

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Bio/Research

The primary goal of my program is to develop improved berry varieties to better serve the needs of the New York industry by integrating new technologies for investigating the fundamentals of disease and insect resistance, and fruit quality characteristics with traditional breeding practices. My breeding program has six variety development categories: short day strawberries (June-bearing), day-neutral strawberries (everbearing), floricane-fruiting red raspberries, primocane-fruiting red raspberries, new market raspberries including black and purple and primocane-fruiting blackberries. New varieties in any of these categories must have superior fruit quality including excellent flavor, large size, firm texture, attractive color, and extended shelf life relative to what is currently available to growers. New varieties that possess growth and yield characteristics suitable for New York growing conditions are being developed with the expectation that they will be successful in other regions of similar climate.

Through collaborative projects with food scientists and human health specialists superior varieties containing beneficial phytochemicals are being identified. Cooperation with pathologists and entomologists are providing insights into important pest problems in New York to allow us to develop strategies for dealing with growers' problems. Increasing consumer demand for berries by developing new varieties that have enhanced health benefits combined with superior eating quality are as important as increasing yield and pest resistance. Improved fruit varieties that consumers recognize as delicious, nutritious and attractive will keep New York growers competitive in the changing marketplace.


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