Monday, February 18, 2019 at 12:20pm to 1:10pm
Horticulture, Cornell University
Lailiang Cheng is a Professor in the Horticulture Section in the School of Integrative Plant Science. He received his Doctorate from Oregon State University in 1999 and has published numerous journals since then.
All pome and stone fruits of the Rosaceae family, such as apple, pear, peach and cherry, synthesize, transport, and utilize both sorbitol and sucrose, with sorbitol being predominant. This contrasts with most other plants where sucrose is the only sugar translocated from source leaves to sink organs. The presence of sorbitol in these tree fruits raises an interesting question as to its role in carbohydrate metabolism, tree growth and development, and stress tolerance. We are taking physiological, biochemical and molecular approaches to understand the function of sorbitol as both a carbon substrate and a signaling molecule in apple. We are also very interested in malate metabolism and accumulation in addition to carbohydrates during apple fruit growth and development as well as their responses to nutrient stress and other environmental stresses in the context of fruit quality improvement. On the more applied side, our research addresses uptake, translocation, and utilization, and demand-supply relationship of nitrogen, calcium, and potassium in apple trees to provide basis for optimizing nutrient inputs into yield- and labor-efficient high density apple orchards.