Cornell University InsigniaCornell University New York State Agricultural Experiment 


Bruce Reisch

Bruce I. Reisch
Department of
Horticultural Sciences

Address, Phone, Fax


B.S. 1976 Horticulture & Plant Breeding, Cornell University
M.S. 1978 Plant Breeding & Genetics, Univ. of Wisconsin Madison
Ph.D. 1980 Plant Breeding & Genetics, Univ. of Wisconsin Madison

Current Position:
Grapevine Breeding and Genetics
   Program Overview

Program objectives focus on the genetic improvement of grapevines while integrating traditional and novel techniques. In the traditional portion of the project, interspecific hybridization is used to select wine grapes with cold hardiness, high yield, disease resistance and high wine quality. Our 1996 release, 'Traminette', a cold-hardy, disease resistant white wine grape which makes a wine reminiscent of Gewürztraminer, has been extremely well received by the premium wine industry. In 2003, the program introduced 'GR 7', a productive, winter-hardy red wine grape with very desirable attributes for table wine production. In 2006, three high quality varietal wine grapes were introduced for commercial production: 'Corot noir', 'Noiret', and 'Valvin Muscat'. Also, table grapes with pleasing flavors, cold hardiness, seedlessness, storage potential, and large berry and cluster size are under development. Disease resistance is a high priority objective. Our best accessions, usually derived from native American species, are used as parents to impart high levels of disease resistance to table and wine grape progenies. Promising varieties and selections are tested across New York State and with University cooperators across the United States.

Novel techniques in plant breeding are being studied for potential contributions to grapevine improvement. These studies currently focus upon two major areas: 1. We have demonstrated that biolistic bombardment using embryogenic Vitis cultures is an effective process for genetic transformation. Genes encoding anti-fungal compounds are now being transferred to important commercial cultivars.The hypothesis that transgenic rootstocks can be used to transmit gene products to scions via the graft union is being tested in ongoing research. 2. An assortment of molecular markers are being used for genotype identification and for the development of genetic linkage maps in Vitis. Our present efforts focus on use of these maps for marker-assisted selection.



Program Information
Grower Links
Research Links
Graduate Study Opportunities
List of Publications


   Professional Experience
1976 to 1980 Research Assistant, Department of Agronomy, University of Wisconsin, Madison.
1979 Teaching Assistant, Introductory Agronomy Laboratory, University of Wisconsin, Madison.
1980 to 1986 Assistant Professor, Cornell University.
1986 to 1994 Associate Professor, Cornell University.
1995 to present Professor, Cornell University.
   Professional Activities

Professional Societies
American Society for Horticultural Science
American Society for Enology and Viticulture
International Association for Plant Tissue Culture and Molecular Biology
Sigma Xi
Phi Kappa Phi

Honors and Awards

    Phi Kappa Phi
    Sigma Xi
    Pi Alpha Xi
    Gamma Sigma Delta
    Listed in American Men and Women of Science
    1987 Invited Speaker, NATO Advanced Study Institute on Plant Cell Biotechnology, Portugal.
    1996 Research Award for contributions to the grape and wine industry, from New York Wine & Grape Foundation
    1998 Invited Speaker, 7th International Symposium on Grapevine Genetics and Breeding, Montpellier, France.

Graduate Field Memberships

    Plant Breeding
    Horticultural Sciences

Research Responsibilities

Project Leader:  Genetic Studies for Vitis Improvement, Hatch Project 32487

Regional and International Activities; Professional Organizations

    1980-present Ad hoc Reviewer: JASHS, HortScience, Plant Cell Rept., Plant Cell, Tissue & Organ Culture, Fruit Varieties Journal, BARD, USDA competitive grants, Scientia Horticulturae, J. Amer. Soc. Enol. Vitic., Plant Growth Regulation, Genome, Theoretical and Applied Genetics, Nature Genetics, Vitis, National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council of Canada
    1981-present Member, New York State Wine Grape Grower's Association
    1986 Peer Review Panel, USDA-Competitive Research Grants Office, Small Business Innovations Research Program.
    1987-88 Chair, Fruit Breeding Working Group of the American Society for Horticultural Science, and organizer of a colloquium on Breeding Fruit Crops for Cold Climates for the 1988 ASHS Annual Meeting.
    1988-89 Chair, Germplasm Priorities Subcommittee of Grape Commodity Advisory Committee
    1988-91 Chair, Evaluation Subcommittee of Grape Commodity Advisory Committee
    1988-present Member, New York Wine & Grape Foundation
    1989-present Chair, American Society for Enology and Viticulture- Eastern Section Library Committee
    1990 Visiting Scientist in plant molecular biology, University of California, Riverside.
    1991 Member of Germplasm Review Team, to evaluate diversity in repository grape collections at Davis, CA and Geneva, NY
    1992-present Chair, Grape Crop Germplasm Committee of the National Plant Germplasm System.
    1992-present Member of Vinelink, international grape and wine coordinating organization
    1992 ASHS Fruit Publication Award Screening Committee
    1995-present Member of VITIS journal Editorial Review Board
    1997-1998 Scientific Committee, 7th International Symp. Grapevine Genetics and Breeding, Montpellier, France
    1999-Visiting Scientist, Institute of Horticulture, ARO-The Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel
    2002-Scientific Committee, 8th International Symp. Grapevine Genetics and Breeding, August, 2002, Keckskemet, Hungary
    2005-2006 Scientific Committee, 9th International Symp. Grapevine Genetics and Breeding, Udine, Italy
    2006-2010 Convener, 10th International Conference on Grapevine Breeding and Genetics, Geneva, New York

College and University Service

    1980-present Fruit Breeding Committee
    1991 Dept. Award Nominations Committee
    1991-92 Search Committee for Hudson Valley Pomologist
    1992 Space Allocation Committee ( 2nd Floor, Hedrick Hall lab space)
    1998 Chair, Search Committee, Asst. Professor of Small Fruit Breeding
    2002-present member of Chairman's Advisory Committee

    1987 Communications Committee, Geneva Employee Council
    1990-1992 Nominations and Elections Committee
    1991 Fruit Testing Association Reorganization Committee
    1995-98 Communications Committee
    2002-2005 Station Library Committee
    2001-2002 Search Committee, Asst. Professor of Plant Genomics
    2002 Chair, Ad-hoc Tenure Review Committee
    2003 Ad-hoc Tenure Review Committee

    1985-present Cornell Statewide Viticulture Work Group
    1991-97 Member, Fruit IPM Committee
    1992 Ad-hoc Tenure Review Committee
    1996 Ad-hoc Tenure Review Committee
    1998-99 Member, Search Committee for Library Director, Geneva Experiment Station
    2006-2007 - Member, Plant Sciences Task Force

    1981-1984 Faculty Council of Representatives
    1996 Intellectual Property Task Force

Industry/Public Service

    1986-87 Consultant with General Foods, project on natural food colorants from grapevines
    1992-95 Member, Foundation Plant Material Service Importation Facility Advisory Committee