Charles Krasnow conducts plant research to find solutions for growers. Beginning with his PhD in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, he improved the management of Phytophthora, a destructive pathogen that causes significant economic losses in vegetable production. After presenting his research to growers’ groups, he saw firsthand how farm success correlates with university research on challenging agricultural problems.
Dr. Krasnow spent the next five years working for Syngenta Flowers as a plant pathologist, researching and testing fungicides and biological solutions to help growers increase yields and improve quality of flowers and ornamental plants. He obtained a patent for a novel use of a fungicide, demonstrating commercially acceptable performance against bacterial blights, which are difficult to control without the use of antibiotics or heavy metals.
Dr. Krasnow conducts his postdoc research in the laboratory of Postharvest Disease Control of Vegetables at the Volcani Institute, Israel’s Agricultural Research Organization, in collaboration with The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He investigates the fungal pathogen Alternaria alternata, that causes blights and leaf spots on peppers and other crops important to Israeli vegetable growers.
Using electron microscopy and genetic methods, and a model test system developed by a fellow researcher at the Volcani Institute, Dr. Krasnow will determine the applicability of induced resistance in a disease management program. With increasing public demand to reduce the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, he hopes to improve pepper quality by increasing their resistance to postharvest diseases, improving their ability to withstand prolonged storage conditions, reduce post-harvest losses that Israeli growers routinely undergo, and limit consumer vegetable waste at market.
Dr. Krasnow collaborates with researchers in the US and Israel, and involves growers and other stakeholders to maintain public trust and stay relevant to industry needs.