Fruit growers and Cornell Cooperative Extension personnel, whose training preceded the explosive growth in our understanding of biology, particularly molecular aspects, were baffled by current research on fire blight at Cornell. This target audience needed a primer to relate current research to the practical problems of fire blight management and to understand its relevance to future control of the disease.
impact statement response
“The Science of Fire Blight” was developed by an inter-campus team of faculty members and an undergraduate and a graduate student. The DVD will be distributed to Cornell Cooperative Extension personnel, who will be encouraged to make it available to their stakeholders in the fruit industry in New York state.
impact statement summary
“The Science of Fire Blight,” a 16-minute DVD, introduces the basics of a critical disease that has plagued apple and pear growers in New York state from their earliest days, more than two centuries ago. It describes and illustrates the disease and some of the current fundamental research on the disease under way at Cornell, which is aimed at generating next-generation approaches to disease management. Basic concepts in molecular biology are presented in an introductory manner suitable for those not well versed in modern biology. Through time-lapse photography and viewing real researchers at work, the diverse roles of several genes of the pathogen in causing fire blight are illustrated. Finally, the relevance of current research to alleviating fire blight problems in the future is projected.