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Srdan Acimovic

Srdan Acimovic
Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology
Hudson Valley Research Laboratory, 3357 US Highway 9W, Highland, NY

The Acimovic lab is located at the Cornell's Hudson Valley Research Laboratory (HVRL), in Highland, NY. As a branch of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section within School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell University our program involves research and extension focused on diseases of fruit tree crops with emphasis on apple, pear, peach and grapevines. We investigate all components of the disease triangle: pathogen, plant, and the environment in order to better understand their interactions that serve as a necessary basis to develop new disease management strategies. As a part of the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY, HVRL is a valuable source of cutting edge research-based information that is constantly provided to New York farmers through extension meetings, educational programs and field days organized by Cornell Cooperative Extension and participating associations. Some of the key foci of applied and basic research conducted in Acimovic lab are fungicide and bactericide efficacy trials in the field and in vitro, evaluation of management options for post-harvest apple pathogens, plant defense responses, and survival, physiology, and population dynamics of fire blight bacterium Erwinia amylovora under different stresses. Our goal is to provide new tools for plant disease management and reach new knowledge in the areas of plant pathogen biology, epidemiology, and ecology that will serve as basis to improve existing disease prediction models, develop new management strategies, and allow more accurate and precise application of different control options thus securing high efficiency. Our program is designed to help farmers maintain both the fruit quantity and quality while using disease management options that are environmentally friendly and at the same time acceptable for consumer markets. Finally, since every growing season is different, along with the climate type specific differences in NY regions, HVRL has an important role to provide valuable time sensitive and year-specific information on disease and insect pest occurrence to the agricultural community.

Research Interests: 
Disease Pathogenesis
Molecular Biology
Research Activities in Which Undergraduates Participate: 
I have not had students yet but I would like to host them. Types of research activities or techniques undergraduates could be involved in when working my laboratory: fruit disease diagnostics and sampling, plant pathogen isolation and identification, classic PCR, spectrophotometry for CFU determination, colony plate counting, plant pathogen collection and culture formation, inoculation with plant pathogens, Koch's postulates (pathogenicity tests), hypersensitive reaction (HR), plant pathogen propagule quantification with digital (d)PCR in plant tissues, screening for plant pathogen resistance to fungicides and bactericides, Erwinia amylovora population quantification and survival in plant tissues, gene expression (qPCR), identification and characterization of Colletotrichum fungi causing bitter rot on apple fruit, CRISPR for characterization of Erwinia amylovora strains, Characterization of Pseudomonas syringae pv. papulans (cause of Blister Spot on apple fruit), Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae (cause of Blossom Blast on apple flowers), Marssonina coronaria (cause of Marssonina Leaf Blotch on Apple), fungicide/ bactericide and biocontrol efficacy trials on apples and grapes.
Approximate Number of Students in the Lab per Semester: 
Is There a Minimum Number of Hours per Week: 
If So, How Many?: