USDA affiliation: Plant Molecular Biologist, USDA-ARS Robert W. Holley Center email@example.com
The focus of research in the Giovannoni laboratory is molecular and genetic analysis of fruit ripening and related signal transduction systems with emphasis on the relationship of fruit ripening to nutritional quality. We are also involved in development of tools for genomics of the Solanaceae including participation in the International Tomato Sequencing Project. We employ several experimental systems but the majority of our work involves the use of tomato. The broad objectives of the lab include deciphering the underlying molecular basis of components of ripening regulation conserved through evolution and how these regulatory networks coordinate ripening events including those related to quality and nutritional content.
Experimental approaches include: 1) positional cloning of loci known via mutation to harbor genes necessary for normal fruit development and ripening, and 2) isolation of candidate ripening regulatory genes based on expression pattern or relationship to ripening-related signal transduction systems (e.g. ethylene, light), and functional analysis in transgenic plants.
- Thousands of years ago, people in the region now known as South America began domesticating Solanum pimpinellifolium, a weedy plant with small, intensely flavored fruit. Over time, the plant evolved into S. lycopersicum – the modern cultivated tomato. Although today’s tomatoes are larger and easier to farm compared with their wild ancestor, they also are […] Read more »
- Tomato breeders have traditionally emphasized traits that improve production, like larger fruits and more fruits per plant. As a result, some traits that improved other important qualities, such as flavor and disease resistance, were lost. Researchers from Boyce Thompson Institute and colleagues from partnering institutions have created a pan-genome that captures all of the genetic […] Read more »
- Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) professor Jim Giovannoni has been appointed as the Director of the USDA-ARS Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture and Health (RHCAH), effective April 15, 2018. Read more »
- Researchers at BTI, Cornell and USDA published a spatiotemporal map of gene expression across all tissues and developmental stages of the tomato fruit – the genetic information underlying how a fruit changes from inside to out as it ripens. Their data is available in the new Tomato Expression Atlas (TEA). Read more »
- Many BTI researchers will present their latest research at the 13th annual SolGenomics Conference, Sept. 12-16 in Davis, California. Read more »
- Jim Giovannoni, BTI professor, USDA-ARS research molecular biologist and Cornell University adjunct professor, is recognized by the National Academy of Sciences for his significant contributions to plant science. Read more »
- Giovannoni and Kochian both ranked in the top 1 percent of researchers publishing in plant and animal science. Read more »
- BTI researchers will present current research on the Sol Genomics Network, using CRISPR to edit genomes, the whitefly genome and others. Read more »
- Professor James Giovannoni, "There’s a great deal of diversity that’s still available from these varieties that potentially have a lot of useful traits, including tolerance to stresses and important fruit traits.” Read more »
- The Boyce Thompson Institute starts off 2015 with a generous gift from the Triad Foundation and researchers are about to open their most exciting present: a high-resolution mass spectrometer. The instrument, which can determine the chemical formula – and possibly even the structure – of unknown molecules, isn’t on everyone’s wish list. But scientists at […] Read more »
- This study pinpoints regions of the tomato genome where extra DNA has hitchhiked along with desirable DNA; regions breeders can now target for crop improvement. Read more »
- BTI researchers led team that pioneered international tomato gene sequencing and genetic basis of fruit ripening. Congrats to Vrebalov, Van Eck, Mueller, Giovannoni, Fei. Read more »
- Are juicier, sweeter, more disease-resistant watermelons on the way? Read more »
- For the first time, the genome of the tomato, Solanum lycopersicum, has been decoded. Read more »
- Jim Giovannoni was one of four ASPB members to be honored by awards from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS). Read more »
Ripening is a process by which the texture, color, flavor, and nutritional content of fruit is enhanced. These traits contribute to the healthfulness and desirability of the fruit as a food source. Clearly, understanding the processes behind fruit ripening are important in terms of nutrition, but also for commercial applications such as transportation and shelf-life. Thus, the focus of research in the Giovannoni lab is molecular and genetic analysis of fruit ripening and related signal transduction systems, using tomato as the model system. Recently, researchers in the lab isolated two genes, RIN and NOR, that are part of the master switch to induce ripening in tomatoes. In addition to identifying important regulatory components of ripening, the lab also investigates lycopene production. Lycopene is the pigment that gives tomatoes their red coloring and which is also suggested to inhibit degenerative diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Using a genomics approach, the lab is investigating the regulatory mechanisms behind accumulation of this important compound in different tomato varieties.
For more information about the Giovannoni lab, please visit the Plant Biology website. Additionally, the Giovannoni lab, in conjunction with other labs on campus has developed a resource for tomato genomics, the Tomato EST Database. Additional resources and information resulting from tomato genomics activities on the Cornell campus can be found at the Solanaceae Genomics Network site.
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