Cornell University

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"Virus Discovery in the Vineyards of Chilean Valle Central" by Lucy Romero Romero

Friday, November 3, 2017 at 12:15pm to 1:10pm

Uris Hall, 153 109 Tower Road, Ithaca, NY 14853


The world’s vineyards face a continual threat from disease. Although seemingly isolated from the rest of the world, Chile’s world famous wines are no exception. There are more viruses known to infect grapevine than any other plant and yet to-date there have been only limited surveys done to determine which viruses are infecting Chilean grapevine populations. Using both well-established and novel techniques the aim is to maximize the depth and breadth of grapevine molecular diagnostics so as to provide growers and nurseries with the necessary information to mitigate the effects of viruses and provide a framework for a more sustainable production.


Originally, from Sinaloa, Mexico, Lucy Romero studied biochemistry at the Technical Institute of Los Mochis during which she worked on plant-infecting geminiviruses. For the next two years she continued studying viruses but switched from plants to marine organisms, like shrimp and tilapia. Tired of fish, she returned to studying viral diseases of Sinaloan crops while taking on additional extension and teaching responsibilities. Her most recent venture has taken her south of the equator to Santiago, Chile, and the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, where she is completing her doctorate degree in molecular biology of woody plants.