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Keith Perry

Keith Perry

Associate Professor

303C Plant Science Bldg.
(607) 254-8243

My training is in Plant Pathology, having worked and trained at U.C. Berkeley, U.C.Davis, Chevron Chemical Company, Cornell University, University of Adelaide (Waite Institute), and Purdue University. I worked for six years on bacterial plant pathogens, and for the past 18 years on plant viruses. A common thread in my work has been in the diagnosis of plant diseases and the detection of plant pathogens. Teaching responsibilities have included graduate courses in plant pathology and plant virology, an undergraduate laboratory course in molecular biological techniques, and a general interest microbiology course for undergraduates. For the past seven years, I have had administrative oversight of the foundation potato seed program for New York State.

Research Focus

There are three foci in my work: i) oversight of the NY State Foundation Seed Potato Program and Cornell Uihlein Laboratory and Farm, ii) research on plant viruses and their aphid vector transmission, and iii) the diagnostic detection of plant viruses and other pathogens. My objectives in the potato program are: to ensure the successful operation and financial viability of the Uihlein Farm, to address the needs of the NY seed potato growers and industry, and to facilitate the development of golden nematode resistant potato varieties at Cornell for NY State. My primary area of research is the vector transmission of plant viruses. Aphids are the most common plant virus vector and my goal is to understand, at the molecular level, how an aphid is able to acquire virus from an infected plant and deliver it to a new site of infection. The specificity of interactions between a virus and its vector is determined to a large extent by the properties of the virus capsid protein. I have collaborated to obtain an atomic structure for cucumber mosaic virus and this structure is being used to understand how the surface architecture and physical properties of the virus affect and determine its vector transmission. A third major emphasis in my research is the development of multipathogen detection systems for diseases of solanaceous crops (potato, tomato, pepper, eggplant). In this cooperative project, nucleic-acid based methods are being utilized in a macroarray format for the detection of virus, fungi and oomycete pathogens. The same technology is being applied for the detection of grapevine viruses to facilitate the propagation of healthy nursery stocks in NY State

Outreach and Extension Focus

Foundation seed potato production for New York State seed potato growers- My work in the potato program has a large service component and overlaps with my research program. Foundation potato seed is produced at the Uihlein Farm of Cornell University to address the needs of the NY seed potato growers and industry, and to facilitate the development of golden nematode resistant potato varieties at Cornell for NY State.

Teaching Focus

PLPA 4020 The Biology of Plant Pathogens

PLPA 6020 The Biology of Plant Pathogens

Selected Publications

Journal Publications