Courtney Weber

Courtney Weber

Associate Professor

226 Hedrick Hall-Geneva
(315) 787-2395

The primary goal of my program is to develop improved berry varieties to better serve the needs of the New York industry. I'm integrating new technologies with traditional breeding practices to investigate the fundamentals of disease and insect resistance and fruit quality. Through collaborative projects with food scientists and human health specialists, we are identifying superior varieties containing beneficial phytochemicals. Cooperation with pathologists and entomologists are providing insights into important pest problems in New York to allow us to develop strategies for dealing with growers' problems. Increasing consumer demand for berries by developing new varieties that have enhanced health benefits combined with superior eating quality are as important as increasing yield and pest resistance. Improved strawberries and raspberries that consumers recognize as delicious, nutritious and attractive will keep New York growers competitive in the changing marketplace.

Research Focus

The primary goal of my program is to develop improved berry varieties to better serve the needs of the New York industry by integrating new technologies for investigating the fundamentals of disease and insect resistance, and fruit quality characteristics with traditional breeding practices. My breeding program has six variety development categories: short day strawberries (June-bearing), day-neutral strawberries (everbearing), floricane-fruiting red raspberries, primocane-fruiting red raspberries, new market raspberries including black and purple and primocane-fruiting blackberries. New varieties in any of these categories must have superior fruit quality including excellent flavor, large size, firm texture, attractive color, and extended shelf life relative to what is currently available to growers. New varieties that possess growth and yield characteristics suitable for New York growing conditions are being developed with the expectation that they will be successful in other regions of similar climate.
Through collaborative projects with food scientists and human health specialists superior varieties containing beneficial phytochemicals are being identified. Cooperation with pathologists and entomologists are providing insights into important pest problems in New York to allow us to develop strategies for dealing with growers' problems. Increasing consumer demand for berries by developing new varieties that have enhanced health benefits combined with superior eating quality are as important as increasing yield and pest resistance. Improved fruit varieties that consumers recognize as delicious, nutritious and attractive will keep New York growers competitive in the changing marketplace.

Outreach and Extension Focus

My extension and outreach focus is on providing New York growers information on strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry varieties suitable for New York growing conditions. Towards that end, trials of varieties are conducted to provide science-based information. I provide up to date information on fruit varieties to growers in a multitude of settings so they can make informed decisions about what to plant and expected performance. I present to national and regional audiences at extension conferences, which have included the Empire State Fruit and Vegetable Expo (including the New York State Berry Growers Assoc.), the Illinois Fruit School, the New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference, the Mid-Ohio Produce Growers Conference, the North American Strawberry Growers Annual Conference, the North American Raspberry and Blackberry Association Annual Conference and the Eastern NY Fruit School. I also participated in outreach to elementary and college students about genetics, plant breeding and berry crops.

Selected Publications

Journal Publications

  • Ward, J. A., Ponnala, L., & Weber, C. A. (2012). Strategies for transcriptome analysis in nonmodel plants. American Journal of Botany. 99:267-276.
  • Hall, H. K., Hummer, K., Jamieson, A. J., Jennings, S. N., & Weber, C. A. (2009). Raspberry Breeding and Genetics. Plant Breeding Reviews. 32:1-290.
  • Samuelian, S., Baldo, A., Pattison, J., & Weber, C. A. (2008). Isolation and linkage mapping of NBS-LRR resistance gene analogs in red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) and classification among 269 Rosaceae NBS-LRR genes. Tree Genetics Genomes. 4:881-896.
  • Pattison, J. A., Samuelian, S. K., & Weber, C. A. (2007). Inheritance of Phytophthora Root Rot Resistance in Red Raspberry Determined by Generation Means and Molecular Linkage Analysis. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. 115:225-236.
  • Pattison, J. A., & Weber, C. A. (2005). Evaluation of Red Raspberry Cultivars for Resistance to Phytophthora Rot Root. Journal of American Pomological Society. 59:50-56.
  • Weber, C. A., Maloney, K. E., & Sanford, J. C. (2005). Performance of eight primocane fruiting red raspberry cultivars in New York. Small Fruits Review. 4:41-47.
  • Weber, C. A., Maloney, K. E., & Sanford, J. C. (2005). Performance of eleven floricane fruiting red raspberry cultivars in New York. Small Fruits Review. 4:49-56.

Book Chapters

  • Swanson, J., Weber, C. A., Finn, C. E., Fernandez-Fernandez, F., Sargent, D., Carlson, J. E., & Graham, J. (2011). Breeding, Genetics and Genomics of Rubus. p. 64-113 Genetics, Genomics and Breeding of Berries. K. Folta and C. Kole (ed.), Science Publishers, Manchester, NH, USA

Conference Proceedings

  • Weber, C. A., Perkins-Veazie, P., Moore, P., & Howard, L. (2008). Environmental Effect on Antioxidant Content of Ten Raspberry Cultivars. Acta Hort. P. Banados and A. Dale (ed.), Proceedings of the 9th International Rubus Ribes Symposium, 499-504 p.