Dr. Rebecca Grumet's research focuses on fruit development and disease resistance

Dr. Rebecca Grumet has been with the Horticulture Department for over 30 years and appreciates the size, intellectual breath, and diversity MSU provides.

Rebecca Grumet with student.

Dr. Rebecca Grumet received her bachelor's degree in Plant Science/Vegetable Crops at Cornell University. She continued her education at Michigan State, where she completed her Master's in the Department of Horticulture working on ripening of tomato as well as PhD in the Plant Research Laboratory working on salt stress tolerance in barley. She then received a North Carolina Plant Biotechnology Fellowship to do post-doctoral research at Duke University where she worked on genetic engineering of virus resistance.

While doing post-doctoral research at Duke, a new position opened up in the Horticulture Department to bring molecular biology approaches to vegetable crop improvement. She jumped at this opportunity as this was exactly what she was hoping to do after completing her post-doc. In addition, MSU is a wonderful place for Horticulture and Plant Science.

Dr. Grumet has an 84% research and 16% teaching appointment. She currently teaches two classes part of the undergraduate minor in Plant, Animal, and Microbial Biotechnology including HRT/PHL 486 (Biotechnology in Agriculture: Applications and Ethical Issues) and HRT/ANS/CSS/BSE 461 (Seminar in Plant, Animal, and Microbial Technology.

The Grumet Lab primarily studies fruit development and disease resistance in cucumber using a combination of molecular genetic, genomic and transgenic approaches. The lab is especially interested in early stages of fruit growth and factors influencing fruit size, shape, cuticle and surface properties and resistance to infection by the pathogen, Phytophthora capsici, which can cause devastating losses for farmers.

Dr. Grumet is also the lead for a multi-institutional USDA-NIFA-SCRI project, CucCAP: Leveraging applied genomics to increase disease resistance in cucurbit crops. This project has developed genomic and bioinformatic breeding tools for accelerated crop improvement for watermelons, melons, cucumbers and squashes. Her and her colleagues use these tools to help breed for resistance to critical diseases that affect these crops.

A second, long-term area of interest for Dr. Grumet is biotechnology biosafety. Activities in this area include research, teaching, and international development work, including participation in MSU, USAID, Borlaug, and Gates Foundation-based projects that have given me the opportunity to travel to and interact with colleagues in numerous countries such as Turkey, Indonesia, Philippines, Mexico, Ghana, Uganda, Burkina Faso, and South Africa.

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