Academic Venture Fund - 2011

Sustainable Disease Management for Emerging Bioenergy Crops

Rust on willow leaf

A successful biofuel industry in the eastern United States will require sustainable, integrative disease management for plant pathogens that could threaten expected yields. Cornell researchers will use DNA data to identify geographically separate populations of fungi affecting bioenergy crops and determine the genetic diversity within populations of each fungus. This research will set a foundation for effective management of leaf pathogens, ensuring predictable futures for feedstock crops and improving economic returns for these crucial bioenergy resources.

Investigators: George Hudler, Gary Bergstrom, Kathie Hodge, Larry Smart