US National Arboretum

 
 

Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit

SCIENTISTS AND THEIR SPECIALTIES

Image of germplasm nursery block Mr. Kevin Conrad
Curator, Woody Landscape Plant Germplasm Repository
{Beltsville, MD}

Kevin.Conrad@ars.usda.gov

Responsible for the conservation of 182 genera (over 5000 taxa) of woody landscape plants of diverse wild-origin; to establish a viable repository (Woody Landscape Plant Germplasm Repository - WLPGR) for the long term preservation of this germplasm in the form of seeds and clonal material; to transfer technology and associated information for use in research and crop improvement; and, to establish, manage, and make available collections information by electronic links between U.S. National Arboretum, National Plant Germplasm System, and the public sector. Click here for more details

April Remembered Camellia Dr. Donna Fare
Research Horticulturist
{McMinnville, TN}

Donna.Fare@ars.usda.gov

Conducts a research program in nursery crop production with emphasis on identifying plant physiological constraints with nursery crops, developing improved production methods with field and container systems, and evaluate germplasm of ornamental trees and shrubs for landscape value. Click here for more details


Picture of Dr. Hammond examining virus-infectd leavesDr. John Hammond
Research Plant Pathologist
{Beltsville, MD}

John.Hammond@ars.usda.gov

Conducts research on virus diseases of ornamental crops, including identification and characterization of newly occurring viruses, resistance to virus infection and replication in transgenic plants, and virus detection and strain differentiation by serology and nucleic acid hybridization. Development of a Universal Plant Virus Microarray for detection and identification of plant viruses. Click here for more details

Picture of Xylella-infected bonsai Dr. Qi Huang
Plant Pathologist
{Beltsville, MD}

Qi.Huang@ars.usda.gov

Identifies, detects, and gains a better understanding of genetic relationships and molecular basis of pathogenicity of selected bacterial pathogens to facilitate effective control of bacterial diseases of major significance to ornamental and agronomic crops. Current research interests include: conducting research on Xylella fastidiosa including genome characterization and specific detection and identification of ornamental strains, as well as genetic relationships among ornamental and non-ornamental strains of X. fastidiosa; and improving current detection and identification methods for the select agent pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum race 3 biovar 2. Click here for more details

Composite picture of geranium viruses research project Dr. Ramon Jordan
Research Plant Pathologist 
{Beltsville, MD}

Ramon.Jordan@ars.usda.gov

Conducts research on the biochemical and biological nature of plant viruses, their genomes, and their gene products. Develops and utilizes serological and nucleic acid-based reagents and technologies for improved detection, differentiation and identification of new and emerging viruses; determines the genome organization of selected important ornamental viruses; and, develops methods and new strategies to confer virus resistance in plants through expression of antibody proteins or replicase-binding peptides in transgenic plants. Click here for more details

Picture of lily Dr. Kathryn K. Kamo
Plant Physiologist 
{Beltsville, MD}

Kathryn.Kamo@ars.usda.gov

Identifies biochemical events associated with cell division and differentiation. Studies cell, tissue and organ development and correlates biochemical changes with morphological changes leading to formation of the whole plant. Applies biotechnology to the development of floral bulb plants to make them resistant to viruses and nematodes. Click here for more details

Picture of Joeseph Kirkbride Dr. Joseph H. Kirkbride, Jr.
Research Plant Taxonomist 
{Washington, DC}

Joseph.Kirkbride@ars.usda.gov

Conducts taxonomic research on the cigar tree, the genus Catalpa of the trumpet-creeper family, and the fringe tree, the genus Chionanthus of the olive family. Leads and joins domestic and foreign plant explorations. Responsible for, assists in identification of fruits and seeds, and contributes to the proper curation of the U.S. National Seed Herbarium. Click here for more details

Picture of fungal culture and fungal dsRNAs Dr. Dilip K. Lakshman
Research Plant Pathologist 
{Beltsville, MD}

Dilip.Lakshman@ars.usda.gov

Conducts research on important soil-borne fungal pathogens of ornamental plants, including Rhizoctonia solani. Current research interests include: characterization and utilization of hypovirulent isolates of R. solani for biological control and/or growth promotion of ornamental plants in the greenhouse; characterization of fungal double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs), fungal genes and biochemical processes affecting virulence; transformation and transfection of R. solani with fungal dsRNAs; and, exploration and development of biorationals and composts as disease suppressive alternatives to methyl bromide. Click here for more details

(Left) Chilopsis linearis flower, with open stigma, ready for pollination; (Right) Catalpa bignonioides pollen germinating on a Chilopsis linearis stigma (epifluorescence microscopy with analine blue). Dr. Richard Olsen
Research Geneticist
{Beltsville, MD}

Richard.Olsen@ars.usda.gov

Lead scientist for the urban tree breeding and germplasm research programs at the U.S. National Arboretum.  Tree breeding focuses on the development of stress-, disease-, and pest-tolerant cultivars of important landscape trees, with particular attention to native germplasm and shade trees suitable for restricted planted spaces. Over sees germplasm research that utilizes accessions in the Woody Landscape Plant Germplasm Repository (WLPGR). Objectives include the identification of important woody ornamental taxa relevant to the nursery industry, its collection, evaluation, and distribution to academic and industry research programs, and release of novel germplasm that benefits the nursery industry. Click here for more details

Picture of newly released 'Old Glory' lilac cultivarDr. Margaret Pooler
Research Geneticist
{Beltsville, MD}

Margaret.Pooler@ars.usda.gov

Conducts basic and applied research on breeding and genetics of ornamental shrubs and small trees, including flowering cherries, redbuds, and crapemyrtles, in order to develop new cultivars that are disease and pest resistant, tolerant of environmental stresses, and have superior ornamental qualities. Breeding methodologies include traditional crosses, ploidy manipulation, in-vitro techniques, as well as using molecular markers to identify hybrids or assess genetic diversity. Click here for more details

Picture of turfgrass evaluation plot Dr. Scott Warnke
Research Plant Geneticist/Physiologist
{Beltsville, MD}

Scott.Warnke@ars.usda.gov

Conducts research on the genetics of plants used as turfgrasses.  Identifies and develops enhanced germplasm from wild species that express improved biotic and abiotic stress resistance.  Develops improved turfgrasses through the use of new technologies such as molecular markers and genomics. Click here for more details

Picture of Dr. Whittemore during plant exploration trip Dr. Alan Whittemore
Research Plant Molecular Taxonomist
{Washington, DC}

Alan.Whittemore@ars.usda.gov

Responsible for original molecular, biosystematic, taxonomic, and nomenclatural research on cultivated woody plants and their wild-occurring allies of potential scientific, economic, and landscape utility. Leads and joins domestic and foreign plant explorations. Responsible for, provides oversight of, and contributes actively to the growth and proper curation of the U.S. National Arboretum Herbarium. Click here for more details

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Last Updated   February 5, 2013 10:07 AM
URL = http://www.usna.usda.gov/Research/sy-info.html

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