Thomas M. Gradziel

Exotic genes for solving emerging peach production challenges

Thomas M. Gradziel is the LD Davis Professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA. He completed his BS degree
in Plant Science at the University of Massachusetts in 1977 followed by a MS degree in Plant Breeding at Cornell University in Ithaca New York in 1980. Following international development work in the Philippines, is Ph.D.
degree was awarded in 1987 from Cornell University and involved
the transfer of virus resistance from a wild potato species to cultivated tomato. After post-doctoral research at New York State Agricultural Experimental Station in Geneva, New York on the development
of the 'Biolistic' particle gun for gene delivery into plant cells, he joined the Department of Pomology at UC Davis. He is responsible for the genetic improvement of almond and processing clingstone peach. Dr. Gradziel
is Chair, International Society of Horticultural Sciences Almond Working Group, member of the Rosaceae Genomics, Genetics, and Breeding Executive Committee, member of the American Pomological Society,
the American Society of Horticultural Sciences and the Group de Recherches et d’Etudes Mediterraneen pour le Pistachier et l’Amandier. He is co-convener of the 8th International Symposium on Almond and Pistachio,
to be held in Davis California in 2021. Breeding methods employed
in his program include wild germplasm characterization, preservation
and introgression, epigenetic selection, intra-and inter-specific
hybridization and marker assisted breeding. The breeding program
has released 8 peach varieties, 3 almond varieties and one rootstock.
He has authored numerous research papers and book chapters on peach and almond genetic improvement and is co-Editor, (with Rafael Socias I Company) of the 2017 CABI book Almonds: Botany Production and Uses.