ISHS logoInternational Symposium
on Biotechnology of
Temperate Fruit Crops and

Tropical Species


October 10-14, 2005


Hilton Daytona Beach / Ocean Walk Village
Daytona Beach, Florida USA


Invited Speaker Biographies

Pere Arús Jude W. Grosser  Olivier Le Gall R. J. Schnell
Stephen F. Chandler J. S. (Pat) Heslop-Harrison Richard M. Manshardt David D. Songstad
Jim Giovannoni Richard Jefferson David W. Ow Michael Wisniewski
Victor Manuel Chávez Avila  

Pere Arús
Researcher

Agricultural Engineer (Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain); Ph.D. in Genetics (University of California, Davis). Since 1982 I belong to IRTA (Institute for Food and Agricultural Research and Technology, an organization depending on the Catalonian Government) where I have been head of the Plant Genetics Department since 1988 and vice-director of the Laboratory (CSIC-IRTA) of Plant Molecular Genetics since 2004. Specialized in the use of molecular tools for plant breeding and crop evolution, most of my research activities have focused on the genetics of three crops: Prunus fruit trees (mainly peach and almond), melon and strawberry. One of the main objectives in all these species has been to study the inheritance of characters of agricultural interest and to develop marker-assisted selection strategies in collaboration with the breeding industry. For fruit trees, I coordinated the European Prunus mapping project (1993-1997), including researchers from four countries. One of the outcomes of this project was the first saturated Prunus map that was later improved and adopted as the model map by the scientific community and is the basis of the peach physical map currently in progress. I have collaborated with others in the research that has established the high level of synteny among the Prunus genomes, and the comparison between the genomes of Prunus and apple. My current research in the Rosaceae involves the genetic analysis of blooming and maturity seasons and fruit quality characters, the study of the genome of the octoploid strawberry and its comparison with those of the diploid F. vesca and Prunus. As part of these activities I will coordinate a workpackage of the recently funded ISAFRUIT European integrated project, involving eight groups from five countries, with the objective of analyzing the genetics of health and quality characters in apple and Prunus fruits.

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Victor Manuel Chávez Avila

Academic Degree: PhD (Biology)

Institution: Botanical Garden at the Institute of Biology, National
Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Position: “Titular B”, full time researcher
Laboratory of Plant Tissue Culture at the Botanical Garden of the Institute
of Biology, UNAM.

Academic History: Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree and PhD (Biology), at the Faculty of Science, UNAM.

Belongs to the National Researchers System (SNI for its initials in Spanish): National Researcher Level 1 (CONACYT).

Line or Field of Research: Plant Tissue Culture, in vitro regeneration of threatened Mexican species (orchids, cacti, asterceae, agavaceae, pines, cycads; somatic embryogenesis.

Published international articles: 19

Book chapters and proceedings: 10

 Important achievements: First report on the obtention of somatic embryos from somatic tissue in mature gymnosperms. First report on the establishment in soil of cycads regenerated by tissue culture.

Last three published articles:

Moebius-Goldammer, K. G., M. Mata-Rosas and V. M. Chávez-Avila. 2003. Organogenesis and somatic embryogenesis in Ariocarpus kotschoubeyanus (Lem.) K. Schum. (Cactaceae), endemic and endangered Mexican species In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology-Plant 39(4): 388-393.

Litz, R. E., P. A. Moon, E. M. Benson, J. Stewart and V. M.Chávez. 2004. Biotechnology strategy for long term preservation of cycads. The Botanical Review 70(1):39-46.

Vargas-Luna, I., G. Ortiz-Montiel, V. M. Chávez, R. E. Litz and P. A. Moon. 2004. Biochemical characterization of developmental stages of cycad somatic embryos. The Botanical Review 70(1):54-62.

Institutional Achievements: "Gabino Barreda" Gold Medal for his PhD (Biology) studies.

- Member of editorial committees in several national and international magazines

Tutor of defended directed thesis: [15 (Bachelors 10; Masters 2; PhD 3)].

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Stephen F. Chandler
Commercial manager, Florigene
B.Sc and Ph.D, Birmingham (UK)

Dr. Chandler was born in the UK and completed a tertiary education at Birmingham University in that country, completing a PhD on the production of steroidal alkaloids in tissue cultures of the medicinal plant Solanum laciniatum. After his thesis was completed, Dr. Chandler carried out postdoctoral research into salinity tolerance in vitro under the supervision of Professor Indra Vasil at the University of Florida and Professor Trevor Thorpe at the University of Calgary. In 1987 Dr Chandler moved to Australia as a founding member of Calgene Pacific, now Florigene. At Florigene Dr. Chandler first supervised research on the genetic modification of eucalyptus, pine and carnation, before moving into more commercial areas. For two years Dr. Chandler resided in Holland, working from the companies European facility. Dr Chandler is now responsible for managing Florigenes product development, production, marketing, sales and regulatory activities.

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Jim Giovannoni

Dr. Giovannoni is a San Francisco native who received a BS in Biochemistry at UC Davis in 1985. It was here that he received his introduction to laboratory research in the Department of Plant Pathology under the supervision of Bill Timberlake who told Jim “plants are the future”. Jim received a Ph.D. in Molecular and Physiological Plant Biology from UC Berkeley in 1990. The later was based on research in the area of cell wall metabolism as related to fruit texture in tomato (R. Fischer, advisor). Jim spent 1990 – 1992 as a post-doctoral research associate at Cornell University in the laboratory of Steve Tanksley working on genetic mapping of fruit ripening loci in tomato. In October 1992 Jim took a position as Assistant Professor in the Horticultural Sciences Department at Texas A&M where he developed a research program based on analysis of developmental determinants of fruit ripening using molecular genetic and genomics approaches. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1997 and appointed director of the Texas A&M Center for Nutrition, Health, and Food Genomics in 1999 and simultaneously began to focus a portion of his research efforts on nutritional modification of crop species. Jim has been a Plant Molecular Biologist with the USDA-ARS Plant, Soil and Nutrition Laboratory in Ithaca, NY since late September 2000 and continues to work on tomato with emphases on genetic determinants of ripening and nutrient quality of fruit. Dr. Giovannoni's laboratory is housed in the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research (BTI) on the Cornell University campus. He holds the title of Scientist at the BTI and is an Adjunct Professor in the departments of Plant Biology, Plant Breeding and Horticultural Sciences at Cornell. The focus of research in the Giovannoni laboratory is molecular and genetic analysis of fruit ripening and related signal transduction systems with emphasis on aspects of nutritional quality. Research focuses on the regulation of ripening and genetic basis of fruit nutritional quality using tomato as a model system. The Giovannoni laboratory has isolated or participated in the isolation of many of the genes corresponding to important fruit ripening mutations used in shelf-life and quality enhancement and has identified the first transcription factors regulating the ripening process. The lab has shown that two of these genes are widely conserved through evolution and likely regulate ripening in numerous species that develop fleshy fruit. Researchers in the Giovannoni lab are also characterizing the roles and mechanisms of ethylene and light signal transduction particularly as they relate to fruit maturation. An example of recent results is data suggesting that light signal transduction genes may be useful targets for manipulation of fruit antioxidant nutrient quality. The laboratory is also part of a large NSF-funded tomato genomics consortium including Steve Tanksley of Cornell and Greg Martin and Joyce VanEck of BTI. This consortium has developed many of the tools used by researchers around the world in genomics analyses of tomato and the Solanaceae family and the consortium is currently developing many of the components that support the recently initiated international tomato genome sequencing effort.

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Jude W. Grosser
Professor/Plant Cell Genetics
University of Florida
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC)
Lake Alfred
, Florida

My research program in citrus variety improvement addresses all major citrus production problems in Florida, and also strives to develop new cultivars that will provide growers with new marketing opportunities. Using a team-oriented approach, my program is integrated with other members of the IFAS/CREC cultivar improvement team (F. G. Gmitter, W. S Castle, and G. A. Moore) as well as entomologists, pathologists, and physiologists. I have been a consistently productive full professor, as evidenced by a ‘Superior’ faculty evaluation every full year that I have been employed by UF (18 consecutive years). Our citrus somatic hybridization program is the most successful in the world, resulting in somatic hybrid plants from more than 150 parental combinations. Most of these are now in field tests (in replicated commercial blocks) to determine their potential in scion and rootstock improvement. After collecting a few more years of yield and fruit quality data, we expect to release new somatic hybrid rootstocks to the industry that should have improved disease resistance (including blight, CTV, Phytophthora, and nematodes), better adaptation to poor soils, improved tree size control (which should facilitate mechanical harvesting and cold protection), improved nursery characteristics, and higher and more consistent productivity. Feedback from field trials is guiding current somatic hybridization research, and several mandarin + pummelo hybrids with potential to replace sour orange rootstock have been produced. Our successes in somatic hybridization have allowed us to initiate rootstock breeding and selection at the tetraploid level (a completely unique approach), resulting in the selection of more than 150 superior individual hybrids called “tetrazygs” to date (collaboration with J. H. Graham). Progress has also been made towards the development of rootstocks with improved tolerance of Diaprepes root weevil (collaboration with C.W. McCoy) or salinity (collaboration with J. P. Syvertsen). Somatic hybridization has been used to broaden the germplasm base available for rootstock improvement by producing hybrids with sexually incompatible or difficult to hybridize citrus relatives that possess valuable attributes. Numerous tetraploid somatic hybrids that combine elite diploid scion material have been produced and several flowering somatic hybrids are being used as pollen parents in our triploid breeding program (under the direction of F. G. Gmitter). Some of these somatic hybrids are producing quality fruit at the tetraploid level and a few may have cultivar potential on their own. We have built the largest collection of quality monoembryonic diploid females and quality tetraploid pollen parents in the world. More than 7000 triploid hybrids have been recovered from interploid crosses followed by embryo rescue, with a good percentage of these being fathered by somatic hybrids (in collaboration with FG Gmitter). This program will generate the seedless zipper-skin tangerines that the Florida citrus industry desperately needs to compete both nationally and internationally. Another approach to seedlessness is the transfer of CMS (cytoplasmic male sterility) from Satsuma to other elite but seedy Florida scions via cybridization, and so far we have achieved this with 4 cultivars (3 tangerines and one pummelo). This approach has the potential to make existing popular cultivars seedless, without otherwise altering cultivar integrity. Progress has also been made in the development of improved acid fruits (lemons and limes) and ornamental citrus. Triploid lime hybrids containing ‘Lakeland limequat’ germplasm that are resistant to citrus canker have been identified by screening using a stomatal inoculation method. Because sweet oranges and grapefruit are not amenable to conventional breeding, my program has focused on the generation of somaclonal variation to produce new cultivars. We have the largest field study in the world to evaluate somaclonal variation in woody fruit trees. Expected releases from this program in the near future include: Valencia sweet orange selections for processing with earlier or later maturity, or improved color and higher soluble solids (which will facilitate the shift from a concentrate market to an NFC-not from concentrate market in Florida); improved Valencia clones for fresh market with seedlessness, reduced rag, and altered maturity dates; and Hamlin sweet orange selections with earlier maturity, or improved color and higher soluble solids. One high-quality Valencia somaclone matures in January, two months ahead of standard Valencia. The molecular component of my research program has also made significant progress. We have developed an alternative citrus transformation method that utilizes GFP for selection and plant recovery via somatic embryogenesis - resulting in transgenic plants containing no bacterial resistance genes (more consumer friendly). In collaboration with the W. O. Dawson group (Plant Pathology), CTV-derived sequences are being screened for their ability to block CTV-replication, using an in-vitro protoplast assay. One transgenic sweet orange callus line containing the 392 CTV sequence has been identified that does not support CTV replication. Efforts to transfer this gene, other disease resistance genes (including potential canker resistance genes), and fruit quality genes (in collaboration with J. K. Burns) to commercial cultivars are underway, and transgenic plants are being produced. Recently, we regenerated transgenic Hamlin sweet orange plants that contain the Xa21 Xanthonomas resistance gene from rice in efforts to develop canker-resistant citrus (using the protoplast/GFP transformation system). Overall, my research program should impact many aspects of Florida citriculture in the near future.

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J. S. (Pat) Heslop-Harrison
Department of Biology
University of Leicester
Leicester, UK


Pat Heslop-Harrison is Professor of Molecular Cytogenetics and Plant Cell Biology in the University of Leicester in the middle of England. His research interests centre around the physical and molecular organization of plant genomes, and the application of results to the improvement of crop plants, particularly those of relevance to developing countries. Work on the nature, evolution, organization, modification and function of genes and repetitive DNA sequences is leading to a better understanding of plant diversity, gene behaviour and strategies for plant breeding through learning about what is in the genome, how it is modified, and how it has evolved over long periods (speciation) and short timescales (plant breeding). Much of his work is collaborative involving institutes and Universities in the Americas, Asia, Africa and Australasia as well as Europe, and he is involved with training of scientists from many countries. He is also involved with policy issues including study of mechanisms of research exploitation and was a member of the UK Government’s GM Science Review Panel. (www.gmsciencedebate.org.uk)

His University education was at University of Massachusetts and University College of Wales and then he carried out his PhD at the Plant Breeding Institute, University of Cambridge UK. After becoming a staff member at the Plant Breeding Institute, he joined the John Innes Centre, Norwich before moving to the University of Leicester in 2000.

Further information is available for his website, www.molcyt.com (for manuscript data, the User ID and password are both ‘visitor’).

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Richard Jefferson
Founder and CEO
CAMBIA
Canberra, Australia

As founder and CEO of CAMBIA, Richard Jefferson is laying the groundwork for new ways of solving problems in the life sciences – from agriculture to public health and environment. CAMBIA is an internationally focused, private, non-profit research institute with specialization in enabling biotechnologies, patent informatics and innovation system reform. The group’s recently launched BiOS Initiative - the biological open source movement - is gaining visibility as a revolutionary model for accelerating productive and inclusive innovation. Designed to stimulate the development and use of new technology via an open source platform, BiOS is one part of Richard’s answer to the challenges posed by current intellectual property practices that inhibit creative innovation, and to the huge opportunities presented by millions of potential innovators whose needs are unmet and whose capabilities are untapped.

Richard began his scientific career at the University of California in Santa Barbara, and completed his PhD in Molecular Biology at the University of Colorado in 1985. He developed the reporter gene system GUS (β-glucuronidase), now amongst the most prominent tools in biotechnology. GUS was patented but shared with thousands of labs and licensed to virtually all companies in the sector. As well, during his postdoctoral research at the Plant Breeding Institute in Cambridge, England, he conducted the world’s first field release of transgenic food crops.

In 1989 Richard was appointed as the first Senior Molecular Biologist for the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, based in Vienna but working extensively in the developing world. In 1992, Richard moved to Australia to establish CAMBIA and to assume responsibility for troubleshooting the Rockefeller Foundation's rice biotechnology programs, largely in Asia, using revenue from tiered patent licensing of GUS and his other inventions to fund its core operations and growth.

Frequently profiled in global media publications such as The Economist, The New York Times, New Scientist, The Financial Times, Science, Nature, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal and Wired Magazine, Richard is acknowledged internationally as one of the world’s most influential scientists and innovative thinkers. The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship has named Richard to their roster of Outstanding Social Entrepreneurs, attending their annual summits and appearing as a regular panellist and participant at the World Economic Forum’s Davos meeting. In 2003, Scientific American selected Richard as one of their World’s 50 Most Influential Technologists, naming him the World Research Leader for Economic Development. In 2004, Wired Magazine named Richard a finalist for Wired Rave Awards ‘Scientist of the Year.’ This year Richard received the 2005 American Society of Plant Biology “Leadership in Science Public Service Award” for outstanding contributions to science and society.

When Richard’s not developing new technologies and new methods of collaboration in the life sciences, he devotes time to his family and musical and circus-arts interests, performing on guitar and mandolin in new acoustic styles, and juggling.

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Olivier Le Gall

My personal background is Life Sciences in general. As a teenager I spent most of my spare time with marine biology, botany and ornithology, and to fulfil this attraction when I was 18 I chose to leave to Paris, France, to end up some years later as an agronomical engineer specialized in plant pathology. During my PhD which I defended in 1989 at the University of Bordeaux, France, I studied the molecular biology of Grapevine chrome mosaic nepovirus (GCMV) and sequenced one of its two genomic RNAs. This introduced me to the world of picorna-like viruses. I studied the replication of another picorna-like virus, Cowpea mosaic comovirus (CPMV), as an EMBO post-doctoral fellow in the department of Molecular Biology of the Wageningen Agricultural University, in the Netherlands. Beside clarifying the role of the 58K protein in CPMV RNA-2 replication, this was an occasion for me to learn more advanced cellular and molecular plant virology techniques such as the infection of protoplasts.

I was then recruited as a junior researcher at the agronomical research center of Bordeaux (INRA) to study the mechanisms involved in the resistance induced in tobacco by a transgene encoding the GCMV coat protein. These tobacco plants were readily resistant against GCMV, but expressed more acute symptoms than non-transgenic controls when infected with a GCMV relative, Tomato black ring nepovirus. I spent some time on the study of genetic exchanges between nepoviruses, before I finally decided to change my study model, mostly because the lack of infectious cDNA clones for GCMV, despite many efforts, made reverse genetics approaches unavailable.

Since 1997, I focus on the host range determinism of another picorna-like virus, Lettuce mosaic potyvirus (LMV). It all started when our group focused on solving how some LMV isolates are able to infect lettuce plants carrying one or the other of the two genes, mo1¹ and mo1², that are used to protect lettuce crops against this economically very important disease. Because these two genes, which were presumed (and which we now showed) to be alleles, are recessive, we believed that they could possibly encode a protein required by the virus to accomplish its cycle: heterozygotes, carrying a functional copy of this gene, would therefore be susceptible. First, we performed a population study for LMV, to characterize the resistance-breaking strains, and showed that they belonged to a novel emerging form of LMV that did not have a direct phylogenetic relationship with the strain commonly found. Using infectious cDNAs, we delineated the domain responsible for resistance breaking to the central domain of the LMV genome. Because this region encodes a protein called VPg, that other authors had shown to interact physically with eIF4E (eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E, the cap-binding protein), we tested the hypothesis that eIF4E could be encoded by mo1, which appeared to be the case. Together with the almost simultaneaous cloning by our colleagues in Avignon of the Potato Y potyvirus resistance gene pvr2 in pepper which also encodes eIF4E, this was the first recessive resistance gene that was ever cloned against a plant virus. This work is continuing by trying to elucidate the role of eIF4E in the potyvirus cycle and to find other such host factors involved in the potyvirus cycle, with the aim to eventually use these data to gain a better genetic control not only of LMV in lettuce but of all potyviruses in all crops.

Beside these direct research interests the results of which were published in more than 60 peer-reviewed articles, until recently I used to be an associate editor of the Journal of general Virology and the General Secretary of the French Phytopathological Society. I am also the chairman of the study groups on Comoviridae and on Sequiviridae at the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. I often participate in GMO debates in the vicinity of Bordeaux. And last but not least, I am the father of two wonderful children, and a very active birdwatcher too.

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Richard M. Manshardt
Horticulturist
Department of Tropical Plant & Soil Sciences
University of Hawaii Honolulu, HI

Education:
 Antioch College B.A. Biology, 1969
 Univ. of Illinois M.S. Agronomy, 1976
 Univ. of Florida Ph.D. Horticulture (Plant Breeding & Genetics), 1980

Positions held:
 Univ. of Hawaii, Department of Tropical Plant & Soil Sciences
  - Horticulturist 1996 - present
  - Associate Horticulturist 1990 - 1996
  - Assistant Horticulturist 1983 - 1990
 Univ. of California, Riverside, Department of Botany and Plant Sciences
  - Postdoctoral Geneticist 1980 -1982

Current Programs:
 Instruction
  - TPSS 403 - Tropical Fruit Crop Production.
  A survey of tropical fruit and nut crops covering taxonomy, domestication, reproductive biology,
  environmental adaptation and crop management practices.
  - TPSS 453 - Plant Breeding.
  A lecture course in plant genetics and conventional approaches to crop improvement, with examples
  and field trips demonstrating successful programs in Hawaii.
  - TPSS 614 - Molecular Genetics of Crops.
  A lecture course in methods and applications of biotechnology in crop improvement.
  Research
  - Genetic improvement of tropical fruit crops.
  - Genetic characterization of tropical fruit and nut germplasm.

Honors:
 American Society for Horticultural Science Fruit Publication Award - 1989
 Special Service Citation, House of Representatives, State of Hawaii - 1998
 American Society for Horticultural Science Outstanding Fruit Cultivar Award – 2001
 Member of Research Team awarded Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Award for
 Agriculture - 2002

Plant Patents (co-Inventor):
 ‘UH SunUp’ Papaya, Plant Variety Protection Office #9900268, October 2000
 ‘UH Rainbow’ Papaya, Plant Variety Protection Office #9900270, October 2000

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David W. Ow
Principal Investigator
Plant Gene Expression Center
USDA-UC Berkeley, Albany, CA

David Ow received an A.B. in Genetics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1978 and a Ph.D. in Cellular and Developmental Biology from Harvard University in 1983 (nitrogen fixation). He conducted postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, the Institute of Plant Physiology at Shanghai, and the University of California at San Diego (firefly luciferase gene in tobacco). In 1986, he joined the Plant Gene Expression Center in Albany, California (www.pgec.usda.gov). His laboratory’s current research interests are on site-specific recombination and oxidative stress tolerance. 

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R. J. Schnell
USDA, ARS, SHRS
Miami FL, USA

Dr. Schnell is the lead scientist for an international genetic improvement program for Theobroma cacao located at the Subtropical Horticulture Research Station, Miami, FL. He received his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics in 1984 from North Carolina State University. He then worked with the Hawaiian Sugar Planters’ Association in sugarcane genetics and was involved with the early coffee work at HSPA. His work has resulted in 75 scientific publications and numerous speaking invitations including presenting a keynote address at the National Academy of Science in Washington, D.C. in February 2004.

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David D. Songstad
Monsanto
St. Louis, MO, USA

David Songstad has been employed in the industrial sector for the past 15 years and is currently the lead of Monsanto’s corn transformation process improvement effort in St. Louis, Missouri. He also worked for Pioneer Hi-Bred on various aspects of corn transformation and at the Plant Biotechnology Institute in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on a secondary metabolism team. Prior to this, David completed a Post-Doctoral assignment at the University of Illinois under Jack Widholm, received his Ph.D. in Plant Science from the University of Tennessee (1986) in Bob Conger’s lab and graduated from South Dakota State University with a M.S. (1983) in Botany (C.H. Chen’s lab) and B.S. (1981) in Microbiology and Biology (Chemistry minor).  In his career, he has published approximately 40 journal articles or book chapters, two issued patents and 33 published abstracts. Major scientific accomplishments include one of the first (in 1990) to express a plant secondary metabolism gene in a heterologous species, discovering the utility of silver nitrate in maize callus cultures and improved stable transformation of maize by use of precultured embryos with particle bombardment. He was directly involved in the production of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Corn and Corn Root Worm resistance products and received Monsanto’s Above and Beyond Award for Scientific Achievement in 2004. In 2005, David was recognized by his peers at the Society for In Vitro Biology (SIVB) in becoming a Fellow. He also received the 2005 SIVB Distinguished Service Award for his efforts in the biotech industry as well as within this society where he currently serves on the Board of Directors as Vice President. David also serves as Associate Editor of the journals In Vitro Plant and Plant Cell Tissue and Organ Culture.

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Michael Wisniewski
Research Plant Physiologist
USDA-ARS
Kearneysville, WV

Dr. Wisniewski received his BSc. From Cornell University in 1978 and his PhD from the University of New Hampshire in 1983. Since that time he has been employed by the USDA-ARS at the Appalachian Fruit Research Station in Kearneysville, WV. He has been conducting research for over 20 years on cold hardiness and the use of biological control agents to manage postharvest decay in fruit crops. Currently, he is serving as the Lead Scientist on two projects devoted to these topics. He has authored over twenty book chapters and published more than 120 peer-reviewed papers. He holds several patents on technology related to freeze protection in plants and the use of yeast antagonists to control postharvest diseases of fruit crops. He was awarded the USDA-ARS Technology Transfer Award in 1996 and the USDA-ARS Early Career Scientist Award in 1992. He was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Horticultural Society in 1998. More recently, he has served on the Technical Advisory Committee for the U.S.- Israel Bi-National Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD). In his research, he was the first to use high-resolution infrared thermography to study freezing in plants. Images from this research have been used on the cover of Plant Physiology, The ASHS Journal, international science magazines, and recently one of his photographs appeared in a special exhibit on botanical illustration at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA. He was the first to link the expression of a specific gene/protein with levels of cold hardiness in peach trees and along with Dr. Michael Glenn demonstrated the ability of a hydrophobic particle film to block ice nucleation in plants and provide frost protection. He has used transgenic approaches to overexpress antioxidant enzyme (APX, SOD) genes in tomato and apple and has shown that the resulting transformants have increased resistance to several abiotic stresses. He has also shown that overexpression of a peach defensin gene in yeast improves its ability to control Penicillium spore germination. Dr. Wisniewski has been internationally recognized for his contributions to both abiotic stress and biocontrol research and has been an invited speaker at numerous conferences, workshops, and institutions around the world.

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