TCU Place 35 -22nd St. East, Saskatoon, SK    

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Dennis Gonsalves
U.S. Pacific Basic Agricultural Research Center,
Hilo, Hawaii
Biotic Resistance
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
2:30 - 3:00 pm

Abstract:  Development of transgenic plants with virus resistance via the approach of 'pathogen-derived resistance' is well established for numerous crops and viruses.  However, only two commercial virus resistant transgenic crops have been developed in the US.  I will the examine the commercialization and impact of the public sector developed virus resistant transgenic papaya that saved Hawaii's papaya industry.

Importantly, I address the question:  Why aren't more transgenic biotic resistant crops commercialized?
Dennis Gonsalves was born and raised on a sugar plantation in Hawaii. He has been the Director of the USDA Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center in Hilo, Hawaii since 2002. He received his BS in Horticulture (1965) and MS in Plant Pathology (1968) from University of Hawaii, and his PhD in Plant Pathology (1972) from the University of California at Davis. He worked at the University of Florida from 1972-77 and at Cornell University from 1977 to 2002, rising to the endowed position of Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor in 1995. Gonsalves does fundamental and applied research to control plant viruses. Gonsalves was selected to the Agriculture Research Service Science Hall of Fame in 2007 and received the Presidential Distinguished Rank Award in 2009. He is recognized world wide for his work plant viruses and virus resistant transgenic crops. He led the team that developed through the public sector the virus resistant transgenic papaya that saved the papaya industry in Hawaii. For this work, they received the Alexander Von Humbolt Award in 2002 for the most significant accomplishment in American Agriculture in the past five years.