609-726-1590, ext. 4411
Nick is Director at the Marucci Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension Center. Research interests include the areas of plant breeding, germplasm utilization, interspecific gene transfer, genetics, genomics, and fruit phytochemistry and natural products.
A major emphasis of his research program is directed towards broadening the genetic base for the genetic improvement of cranberry and blueberry. Specific research areas include: germplasm evaluation and utilization, interspecific and heteroploid gene transfer. Traits of interest include adaptation, disease and insect resistance, and fruit phytochemistry.
Germplasm and breeding population analyses include: GBS, QTL analysis, SSRs, genomic sequencing and molecular marker development. Areas of his research also include: polyploid cytogenetics, 2n gametes, chromosome pairing behavior, trait introgression, and MAS.
Impacts of his research include:
- Genome sequencing and genetic map development of cranberry
- Genetics of fruit rot resistance in cranberry, and fruit organic acids and flavonoids in cranberry and blueberry.
- Identified A-type proanthocyanidins as E. coli bioactive compounds from cranberry3. Developed high yielding cranberry varieties with modified fruit chemistry attributes.
- Identified QTLs (SNPs and SSR) for fruit rot resistance, organic acids, and flavonoids
- Developed a PCR based DNA fingerprinting method and DNA fingerprint database for cranberry varietal identification.