Workshop: Breeding for Resistance to
Whitefly-transmitted Viruses

22-23 July 2009

 Royal Plaza Hotel in the Walt Disney World Resort
Orlando, Florida

Don't miss this unique opportunity to learn the keys to successful development of resistant cultivars!

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Workshop Instructors

Jane E. Polston, Ph.D.

Dr. Polston is a Professor in the Dept. of Plant Pathology at the University of Florida.  She has conducted research on insect-transmitted viruses affecting agronomic, vegetable and ornamental crops for 30 years and is an author of more than 13 book chapters, 50 refereed papers and 150 extension and popular articles. Much of her research has focused on Begomovirus characterization, their transmission by the whitefly vector, and their management.  However she has also conducted studies with the criniviruses, Cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus and Tomato chlorosis virus. Dr. Polston has conducted studies on the detection and identification of vegetable and ornamental viruses, biologically and molecularly characterized several new whitefly-transmitted viruses, and developed or improved methods for their detection and discrimination. Her research in genetically-engineered resistance produced a gene which gives function immunity to Tomato yellow leaf curl virus in tomato. The results of her research have improved the understanding of the relationship between begomoviruses and the whitefly vector, resulted in the first immortal cell line of a whitefly, produced highly resistance tomatoes to TYLCV, and published one of the only studies of the spatial and temporal distribution of a begomovirus in a vegetable crop. The results of her research have been used to develop and improve begomovirus management strategies in vegetable crops in the tropics and subtropics.


Moshe Lapidot, Ph.D.

Dr. Lapidot is a Senior Scientist in the Dept. of Vegetable Research, Volcani Center, in Bet Dagan, Israel.  His research focus for the last 15 years has been the development of resistance to viruses in vegetable crops.  His work includes evaluation and development of screening methods, identification and introgression of the desired traits fro wild species into domesticated plants, breeding for viral resistance, as well as research aimed at understanding the genetic and molecular control of resistance.  Dr. Lapidot is considered one of the top experts in whitefly-transmitted viruses, and is specifically recognized for his work with Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV).  His research program has produced tomato lines that express very high levels of TYLCV resistance, as well as studies describing the molecular mechanisms responsible for the resistance. He developed a TYLCV-resistance scale, along with new methods to assess viral resistance. He has conducted studies with other whitefly-transmitted viruses, such as the begomoviruses, such as TYLCV, Watermelon chlorotic stunt virus and Squash leaf curl virus, as well as criniviruses such as Cucumber yellow vein virus, Cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus, and Tomato chlorosis virus.  Dr. Lapidot’s work also includes the development of IPM methods, such as the use of UV-absorbing screens, to inhibit whitefly spread and consequent virus transmission.


Bill Wintermantel, Ph.D.

Dr. Wintermantel is a Research Plant Pathologist and Project Leader for the Virology Research Program at the USDA-ARS in Salinas, CA. His research program focuses on epidemiology, disease etiology, vector transmission, molecular and biological characterization of viruses affecting vegetable and sugarbeet crops. Dr. Wintermantel is one of the world’s leading experts on criniviruses, with ongoing research on identification, biological and molecular characterization, epidemiology, and vector specificity of a wide array of criniviruses affecting vegetable production throughout the world. He has published nearly 40 refereed papers, 25 book chapters, and numerous popular publications.  Dr. Wintermantel has specialized in the study of crinivirus diseases of vegetables for the past decade, and has ongoing projects on the identification of factors that influence the transmission of criniviruses by different whitefly species, as well as those that affect virus-vector interactions. His research has resulted in improvements in the management of criniviruses and to the identification of potential new sources of resistance to criniviruses in tomato and melon. Current studies are examining the epidemiology, host range and management of Cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus, a recently emerged crinivirus affecting melons in the southwestern US and more recently, Florida. 


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