Coker Genetics Chair named

By Peter Kent

Bert AbbottBert Abbott, an internationally respected fruit geneticist, has been named as the Coker Chair in Molecular Genetics. A professor in genetics and biochemistry, he has been on the Clemson faculty since 1984.

Because of his leadership, Clemson is now recognized as one of the top research groups in the world for the Rosaceae family of fruits, particularly peach. Other members of this family include plum, apricot, nectarine, cherry, apple, and almond. The Clemson team led development of an international genome database:

“The Coker Chair was created in 1987 as a result of the extensive plant-based genetics research that has been conducted here over the years,” said Calvin Schoulties, dean of the college. “Dr. Abbott exemplifies the expertise and imagination needed to lead this initiative.”

Clemson scientists are creating genetic maps of crop plants important to South Carolina and the world. These maps are vital references to identify the molecular controls to produce more food and fiber crops on less farmland as world population continues to grow.

For information: Bert Abbott, 864-656-3060,