Ann Powell’s research focuses on understanding the roles of transcription factors, enzymes

and proteins in maturing and ripening fruit. She investigates mechanisms in developing fruit in order to understand how ripening processes, especially those related to events in the fruit cell wall, influence susceptibility to rot-causing pathogens and losses of harvested fruit.  Her group uses tomato because of the wealth of resources for this model fruit and Botrytis cinerea because it ubiquitously infects ripening fruit. Her research has identified transcription factors in the Solanaceae (tomato, pepper and potato) that determine how green fruit regulate chloroplast development. She investigates the impacts of enhanced chloroplasts on ripe fruit quality characteristics, such as sugar and metabolite accumulation. Her research program works on improving grapevine resistance to Pierce’s Disease caused by Xyllela fastidiosa, reducing the damage caused to alfalfa by Lygus, and delivering anti-pathogen compounds from tomato rootstocks expressing pathogen inhibitors to scion tissues producing fruit. She collaborates on projects to develop biofuels by modifying cell wall polysaccharides in wheat and rice stubble and by improving starch and lipid production by green algae. Email for further information.