Early Career Scientist Spotlight | Andrea P. Landrón García

andrea next to a squash field

Andrea P. Landrón García

What is the name of your institution and academic department or section? 

University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez Campus, Department of Agro-Environmental Sciences

What is your position? What type of degree program are you enrolled in?

Graduate Student – Masters candidate

Who is your major professor?

Dr. Angela Linares Ramirez

What is your hometown? 

San Juan, Puerto Rico


Introduce yourself—your background, where you are now, and your current research focus.

Through Fall 2015-Fall 2020 I completed a B.S. degree in Agricultural Sciences in Horticulture. Since Spring 2021, I’ve started my M.S. degree in Agricultural Sciences in Horticulture with a specialty in Plant Breeding. My research is focused in the first steps towards creating a resistance line to powdery mildew through breeding resistant materials with local materials in Puerto Rico.

What is the focus of your work? 

plant breeding, plant pathology, and genomics

vine with squash

Cucurbita moschata

Why did you choose to work with Cucurbits, plant breeding, plant pathology, and genomics?

Since the beginning of my bachelor’s degree, I’ve had great interest in plant breeding and genomics in horticultural crops. As time went by, I was also intrigued with plant pathology and its importance in plant breeding. So, when I had the opportunity to work in an investigation related to plant breeding and plant pathology with squash, I took the opportunity in a heartbeat.

What do you hope to accomplish during your time working on the CucCAP grant, and what do you most look forward to in this position?

I hope to accomplish a selection of local squash lines that have certain resistance to powdery mildew. In addition, I hope to acquire the essential skills to participate or carry out similar investigations in plant breeding/plant pathology future programs. Furthermore, I mostly look forward to the combined experiences that come in field and lab work.

Please provide a brief description of your research.

My research is focused on classifying the powdery mildew species that mostly affect squash in Puerto Rico, screening squash material for susceptibility/resistance to powdery mildew and begin the process of creating a powdery mildew resistant line with local materials. Currently, I have a field and greenhouse with Waltham squash plants to induce the natural occurrence of powdery mildew and a field with local and foreign material that will be screened and utilized for the creation of future resistant lines.

disease symptoms on leaf

Powdery mildew symptoms on a squash leaf.

What are your favorite crops and pathogens? 

My favorite crops are tropical horticultural crops such as squash, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, etc. which are of economic importance in Puerto Rico. On another note, my favorite pathogens are fungi given that I’m fascinated with their interaction with plants and their diverse phenotypes.