Horticultural Sciences Department

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Dr. James W. Olmstead

Office:2211 Fifield Hall
For more information, visit Dr. Olmstead's website

Associate Professor

Areas of Research

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Plant Breeding and Genetics, Michigan State University (2006)
  • M.S., Horticulture, Washington State University (1999)
  • B.S., Horticulture, Washington State University (1997)

Teaching Responsibilities

Work and International Experiences

  • Assistant Professor, Blueberry Breeding & Genetics, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, (2009-current)
  • Yakima County (WA) Extension, Area Extension Educator, Washington State University, Yakima, WA, (2007-2009)
  • Post-doctoral Research Associate, Sweet Cherry Breeding, Washington State University, Prosser, WA, (2006-2007)

Program Personnel 

  • David Norden, Research Coordinator I
  • Werner Collante, Biological Scientist
  • David Friedman, Ph.D. Student
  • Doug Phillips, M.S. Student
  • Elliot Norden, M.S. Student

Refereed Publications 

  • Blaker, K.M. and J.W. Olmstead.  2015.  Cell wall composition of the skin and flesh tissue of crisp and standard texture southern highbush blueberry genotypes.  Journal of Berry Research 5:9-15.
  • Gilbert, J.L., M.J. Guthart, S.A. Gezan, M. Pisaroglo de Carvalho, M.L. Schwieterman, T.A. Colquhoun, L.M. Bartoshuk, C.A. Sims, D.G. Clark, and J.W. Olmstead. 2015. Identifying breeding priorities for blueberry flavor using biochemical, sensory, and genotype by environment analyses. PLOS ONE 10(9):e0138494. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0138494.
  • Kovaleski, A.P., J.G. Williamson, J.W. Olmstead, and R.L. Darnell.  2015.  Inflorescence bud initiation, development, and bloom in two southern highbush blueberry cultivars.  Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 140:38-44.
  • Olmstead, J.W., R.A. Itle, S.R. Marino, D.E. Norden, and W.E. Collante.  2015.  Floral bud chill requirement of low-chill southern highbush blueberry germplasm.  Journal of the American Pomological Society 69:4-10.
  • Nunez, G.H., J.W. Olmstead, and R.L. Darnell.  2015.  Rhizosphere acidification is not part of the strategy I iron deficiency response of Vaccinium arboreum and the southern highbush blueberry.  HortScience 50:1064-1069.
  • Blaker, K., A. Plotto, E. Baldwin, and J.W. Olmstead.  2014.  Correlation between sensory and instrumental measurements of standard and crisp texture southern highbush blueberries.  Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 94:2785-2793.
  • Blaker, K.M. and J.W. Olmstead.  2014.  Stone cell frequency and cell size variation of crisp and standard texture southern highbush blueberry fruit. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 139:553-557.
  • Gilbert, J.L., J.W. Olmstead, T.A. Colquhoun, L.A. Levin, D.G. Clark, and H.R. Moskowitz.  2014.  Consumer-assisted selection of blueberry fruit quality traits. HortScience 49:864-873.
  • Marino, S.R., J.G. Williamson, J.W. Olmstead, and P.F. Harmon.  2014.  Vegetative growth of three southern highbush blueberry cultivars obtained from micropropagation and softwood cuttings in two Florida locations.  HortScience 49:556-561.
  • Olmstead, J.W. and C.E. Finn.  2014.  Breeding highbush blueberry cultivars adapted to machine harvest for the fresh market. HortTechnology 24:290-294.
  • Williamson, J.G., J.W. Olmstead, G.K. England, and P.M. Lyrene.  2014.  Southern highbush blueberry cultivars from the University of Florida. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1245.
  • Wright, A.F., P.F. Harmon, and J.W. Olmstead.  2014.  Screening southern highbush blueberry genotypes for Botryosphaeria stem blight.  Journal of the American Pomological Society 68:209-213.
  • Colquhoun, T.A., M.L. Schwieterman, J.L. Gilbert, E.A. Jaworski, K.M. Langer, C.R. Jones, G.V. Rushing, T.M. Hunter, J.Olmstead, D.G. Clark, and K.M. Folta.  2013.  Light modulation of volatile organic compounds from petunia flowers and select fruits.  Postharvest Biology and Technology 86:37-44.
  • Gilbert, J.L., M.L. Schwieterman, T.A. Colquhoun, D.G. Clark, and J.W. Olmstead.  2013.  Potential for increasing southern highbush blueberry flavor acceptance by breeding for major volatile components.  HortScience 48:835-843.
  • Olmstead, J.W., H.P. Rodriguez-Armenta, and P.M. Lyrene.  2013.  Using sparkleberry as a genetic source for machine harvest traits for southern highbush blueberry.  HortTechnology 23:419-424.
  • Sargent, S.A., A.D. Berry, J.G. Williamson, and J.W. Olmstead.  2013.  Postharvest quality of mechanically and hand-harvested southern highbush blueberry fruit for fresh market.  HortTechnology 23:437-441.
  • Takeda, F., G. Krewer, C. Li, D. MacLean, and J.W. Olmstead.  2013.  Techniques for increasing machine harvest efficiency in highbush blueberry.  HortTechnology 23:430-436.
  • Volk, G.M., C.E. Finn, J.W. Olmstead, and J. Janick.  2013.  The outstanding fruit cultivar award: A 25 year retrospective.  HortScience 48:4-12.
  • Du, X., J. Olmstead, and R. Rouseff. 2012. Comparison of fast gas chromatography - surface acoustic wave (FGC-SAW) detection and GC-MS for characterizing blueberry cultivars and maturity. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 60:5099-5106.
  • Lyrene, P.M.and J.W. Olmstead.  2012.  The use of inter-sectional hybrids in blueberry breeding. International Journal of Fruit Science 12:269-275.
  • McCallum, S., M. Woodhead, L. Jorgensen, S. Gordon, R. Brennan, J. Graham, C.A. Hackett, L.J. Rowland, D.J. Bell, J.F. Hancock, J.W. Olmstead, and N.V. Bassil.  2012.  Developing tools for long term breeding of blueberry germplasm for UK production.  International Journal of Fruit Science 12:294-303.
  • Rowland, L.J., N. Alkharouf, N.V. Bassil, L. Beers, D.J. Bell, E.J. Buck, F.A. Drummond, C.E. Finn, J. Graham, J.F. Hancock, S. McCallum, and J.W. Olmstead.  2012.  Generating genomic tools for blueberry improvement.  International Journal of Fruit Science 12:276-287.
  • Williamson, J.G., J.W. Olmstead, and P.M. Lyrene.  2012.  Florida’s commercial blueberry industry. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ac031.
  • Williamson, J.G., J.W. Olmstead, and P.M. Lyrene.  2012.  Reproductive growth and development of blueberry.  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs220.
  • Williamson, J.G., P.M. Lyrene, and J.W. Olmstead.  2012.  Blueberry gardener’s guide. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg359.
  • Williamson, J.G., P.M. Lyrene, and J.W. Olmstead.  2012.  Protecting blueberries from freezes in Florida. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs216.
  • Du, X., A. Plotto, M. Song, J. Olmstead, and R. Rouseff.  2011.  Volatile composition of four southern highbush blueberry cultivars and effect of growing location and harvest dates.  Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 59:8347-8357.
  • Olmstead, J.W., M.D. Whiting, G.A. Lang, D. Ophardt, and N.C. Oraguzie.  2011.  ‘PC7064-3’ (SelahTM) sweet cherry.  HortScience 46:123-124.
  • Olmstead, J.W., M.D. Whiting, G.A. Lang, D. Ophardt, and N.C. Oraguzie.  2011.  ‘PC7146-8’ (BentonTM) sweet cherry.  HortScience 46:121-122.
  • Zhang, G., A.M. Sebolt, S.S. Sooriyapathirana, D. Wang, M.C.A.M. Bink, J.W. Olmstead, and A.F. Iezzoni.  2010.  Fruit size QTL analysis of an F1population derived from a cross between a domesticated sweet cherry cultivar and a wild forest sweet cherry Tree Genetics and Genomes 6:25-36.
  • Olmstead, J.W., A.M. Sebolt, A. Cabrera, S. Sooriyapathirana, S. Hammar, G. Iriarte, D. Wang, E. van der Knaap, and A.F. Iezzoni.  2008.  Construction of an intra-specific sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) genetic linkage map and synteny analysis with the Prunus reference map.  Tree Genetics and Genomes 4:897-910.
  • Olmstead, J.W., A.F. Iezzoni, and M.D. Whiting.  2007.  Genotypic differences in sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) fruit size are primarily a function of cell number.  Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 132:697-703.
  • Ransom, C., C. Particka, K. Ando, and J. Olmstead.  2006.  Report of breakout group 1. What kind of training do plant breeders need, and how can we most effectively provide that training?  HortScience 41:53-54.
  • Olmstead, J.W., and G.A. Lang. 2002.  Pmr1, a gene for resistance to cherry powdery mildew. HortScience 37:1098-1099.
  • Olmstead, J.W., G.A. Lang, and G.G. Grove.  2001.  Inheritance of powdery mildew resistance in sweet cherry.  HortScience 36:337-340.
  • Olmstead, J.W., G.A. Lang, and G.G. Grove.  2001.  Assessment of severity of powdery mildew infection of sweet cherry leaves by digital image analysis.  HortScience 36:107-111.
  • Olmstead, J.W., G.A. Lang, and G.G. Grove.  2000.  A leaf disk assay for screening sweet cherry genotypes for susceptibility to powdery mildew.  HortScience 35:274-277.

Non-refereed Publications

  • Blaker, K.M. and J.W. Olmstead.  2014.  Effects of preharvest applications of 1-methylcyclopropene on fruit firmness in southern highbush blueberry.  Acta Horticulturae 1017:71-75.
  • Finn, C.E., J.W. Olmstead, J.F. Hancock, and D.M. Brazelton.  2014.  Welcome to the party! Blueberry breeding mixes private and public with traditional and molecular to create a vibrant new cocktail.  Acta Horticulturae 1017:51-62.
  • Olmstead, J.W. 2014. Indigocrisp promises to deliver plenty of pop. Florida Grower 107(10):4.
  • Olmstead, J.W. 2014. UF blueberry variety update. The Blueberry News 4(1):16-18.
  • Olmstead, J.W. 2012. New Blueberry Varieties Taking Flight. Florida Grower 105(10):4-5.
  • Williamson, J. and J. Olmstead. 2012. Update on Different Blueberry Cultivars for Diversifying Crops. The Blueberry News 1(4):20-22.
  • Williamson, J., J.W. Olmstead, and R.L. Darnell. 2012. Bright Idea for Bolstering Your Berry Crop.  Florida Grower 105(10):6-7.
  • Olmstead, J.  2011.  Banking on Berries With Bite.  Florida Grower 104(10):32-33.
  • Olmstead, J. and J. Williamson.  2011.  Don’t Hedge Your Bets.  Florida Grower 104(10):28-29.
  • Olmstead, J.W., M.D. Whiting, A.M.Sebolt, and A.F. Iezzoni.  2011.  Selecting and fingerprinting the next generation of size-controlling rootstocks for sweet cherry.  Acta Horticulturae 903:235-240.
  • Haldar, S., S. Haendiges, D.A. Edge-Garza, N.C. Oraguzie, J. Olmstead, and C.P. Peace.  2010.  Applying genetic markers for self-compatibility in the WSU sweet cherry breeding program.  Acta Horticulturae 859:375-380.
  • Olmstead, J.W., J.G. Williamson, S.A. Sargent, A.D. Berry, and K.M. Blaker.  2010.  Mechanical Harvesting Research for Fresh Packed Florida Blueberries.  The Blueberry News Winter 2010.
  • Williamson, J. and J. Olmstead.  2010.  Blueberry Report: Counting on Cultivars.  Florida Grower 103(10):6-8.
  • Hoheisel, G. and J. Olmstead.  2008.  WSU Fruit School on Competitive Orchard Systems.  The Good Fruit Grower 59(2).
  • Iezzoni, A. and J. Olmstead.  2006.  Agricultural biology in the 21stcentury: It’s about the genes.  The Compact Fruit Tree 39:12-15.
  • Olmstead, J.  2006.  WA-OR sweet cherry breeding and genetics program.  Proceedings of the Washington State Horticultural Association 102:106-108.
  • Lang, G.A., J.W. Olmstead and M.D. Whiting.  2004.  Distribution of fruit and leaves in sweet cherry: new methods of management and control of the tree.  Rivista di Frutticoltura e di Ortofloricoltura (in Italian) 66:40-45.
  • Lang, G.A., J.W. Olmstead and M.D. Whiting.  2004.  Sweet cherry fruit distribution and leaf populations: modeling canopy dynamics and management strategies.  Acta Horticulturae 636:591-599.
  • Olmstead, J.W., D.R. Ophardt, and G.A. Lang.  2000.  Sweet cherry breeding at Washington State University.  Acta Horticulturae 522:103-110.
  • Lang, G., D. Ophardt, and J. Olmstead.  1998.  Sweet cherry breeding at Washington State University. Acta Horticulturae 468:97-104.