Early Career Scientist Spotlight | Luis Rivera-Burgos

As a post doctoral candidate in the Wehner Lab at NC State University, Luis Rivera-Burgos worked on breeding watermelon for gummy stem blight resistance with Dr. Todd Wehner on the first CucCAP project. Their research focused on the evaluation of resistance to Gummy Stem Blight in a population of recombinant inbred lines of watermelon x Citron. After working with Dr. Wehner and the cucurbit breeding program in the NC State Department of Horticultural Science, Luis joined the NC State Department of Crop and Soil Science where his research focuses on wheat genomic breeding. His current project is led by Drs. Gina Brown-Guedira and Paul Murphy. The focus of his work includes plant breeding, plant pathology, genomics, and integrated disease management.

Luis chose to work with Cucurbits because of their worldwide importance as a crop. In his time working on the CucCAP grant, Luis’ accomplishments with the Wehner lab included an improved germplasm and the publication of five articles. Luis’ favorite crops are watermelon and wheat. His favorite genes are R-genes. His favorite plant diseases are Gummy stem blight and stem rust.

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Find Luis on Twitter at @LuchoRiveraB:

Gummy stem blight poster

In November 2021, Luis presented results of his research on breeding watermelon for resistance to Gummy Stem Blight and good fruit quality