Fruit Development & Quality

Background | Research Program | Publications

Susceptibility to infections by fungal pathogens that cause rotting is a significant problem for the production of high quality, nutritious and marketable fruit and vegetables. The fruit ripening process is coincident in many cases with increased susceptibility. By enhancing and promoting the processes that limit the decomposition of unripe fruit and identifying and then limiting the ripening processes that facilitate the breakdown of ripe fruit, we are endeavoring to improve the quality of harvested fruit. We have focused on the interaction between Botrytis cinerea and tomato fruit but also investigate rotting caused by pathogens known to infect tomato products in California. We are examining non-traditional approaches to improving resistance by the delivery of antipathogenic compounds from transgenic rootstocks to nontransgenic fruit-producing scion for the prevention of other diseases, such as Pierce’s Disease.