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    Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

    Vineyards, wines, and viruses

    Agrobacteria

    Dr. Kai Blaisdell in a California vineyard.

    A high quality crop of grapes is fundamental to creating quality wine. Diseases that affect grapes can reduce grape and wine quality. Grapevine leafroll disease has been known for over a century, but was not found spreading in established vineyards until recently. Several insect species known as mealybugs are the primary culprits in disease spread. Dr. Kai Blaisdell will discuss ongoing research to understand grapevine leafroll disease and other pathogens that affect wine grapes in Napa Valley.

    Dr. Blaisdell grew up in rural Maine, received her BS at Cornell University, her PhD at the University of Oregon, and is currently a postdoctoral scholar in UC Berkeley's Department of Environmental Science, Policy, & Management.

     

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