Jim  Myers


Vegetable breeding
Organic seed
Plant breeding and genetics
Human nutrition
Disease resistance
Germplasm conservation
International agriculture
Jim Myers
Professor, Vegetable Breeding and Genetics

I develop improved vegetable varieties with the main focus being to support gardeners, growers and processors in the Pacific Northwest (PNW).  This region of the United States has a unique growing environment, and varieties developed elsewhere may not necessarily be optimally adapted to the PNW. I have breeding programs on snap beans, snap peas, broccoli, tomatoes and cucurbits. My academic interests include breeding for disease resistance, enhanced human nutrition, and adaptation to organic production systems.


OSU Campus
Department of Horticulture
4017 Ag and Life Sciences Bldg
Corvallis, OR 97331-7304
United States
(541) 737-3083


  • Breeding and trialing vegetable varieties for organic systems.
  • Increase the availability of organically produced vegetable seed by identifying and breeding varieties adapted to organic systems.


Courses taught

Hort 433/533, Systematics and Adaptations of Vegetable Crops, offered fall of even numbered years.

Hort 505X, Crop Domestication, offered winter of odd numbered years.

Hort 512, Plants and Patents, offered in spring alternate years.

I have provided guest lectures on organic plant breeding, intellectual property issues and plant biotechnology, breeding beans and broccoli, and grain legumes of the world.

Extended Education

I provide talks to growers, and master gardener meetings upon invitation.

Graduate Students Advised (since 1988)

Major professor or co-Advisor to 7 Ph.D. and 10 M.S. students (4 M.S. in progress)

Committee Member for 7 Ph.D., 6 M.S., and 1 M.Ag. students

External Examiner for three students (2 Ph.D., 1 M.S.; Canada and Malawi)

Undergraduate Students Directed Research (since 1988)

3 special projects at UI.

16 students (14 senior thesis, 2 honors program) at OSU.

Postgraduate training

2 post-gradaute scholars (supported by Borlaug Fellowship Program, and UNESCO Biotechnology Program)


Most Significant Service, Professional Activities, and Accomplishments (since 1988)

I have developed and released 13 dry bean, one green bean,  and two tomato cultivars. One tomato cultivar (co-released with Dr. J.R. Baggett) is ‘Legend’, an early, large fruited, parthenocarpic, determinate slicer with late blight resistance. The other tomato cultivar is the high anthcyanin fruit tomato - the first commercial release of this kind.  The green bean cultivar is OSU 5630 and is the predominant bush blue lake green bean grown by Oregon processors. 

I am project director for the Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative (NOVIC), an USDA-NIFA-OREI funded project to breed and trial vegetable varieties adapted to organic production systems across the northern U.S. The project uses a farmer participatory research model through techniques such as mother-daughter trials.

For 17 years (1990-2007) I worked in the the Bean/Cowpea CRSP which supported research to develop improved dry bean cultivars for Eastern and Southern Africa.  Much of the research was focused on developing lines with multiple resistance to the diseases prevalent in that region. We also transferred resistance to bean seed weevils (bruchids) from wild tepary bean into common bean.

Grants and Program Support

I generated $405,152 from 1987 to 1995 while at the University of Idaho.
My support total at OSU (1997-2011) has been $1,401,966 in non peer reviewed funds and $2,590,866 in peer reviewed grants.
My program is supported by the $500,000 Baggett-Frazier endowment established by the Oregon processed vegetable industry.

Participation in Major International, National, and Regional Meetings 

Bean Improvement Cooperative
North American Pulse Improvement Association
Crop Science Society of America
American Society of Horticultural Science meetings
Sigma Xi National meeting (1990)
Oregon Horticulture Society
North Willamette Processed Vegetable Grower meetings
Pacific Northwest Vegetable Growers Association
W-150 Genetic Improvement of Beans
NE-124 Genetic manipulation of sweet corn
International Sweet Corn Development Association
Phaseolus Crop Germplasm Committee
Pisum Crop Germplasm Committee
Crucifer Crop Germplasm Committee

Honors and Awards

First holder of the Baggett-Frazier Vegetable Breeding Endowed Professorship
Bean Improvement Cooperative Distinguished Achievement Award (1999)

Professional and Honorary Society Memberships

North American Pulse Improvement Association
Bean Improvement Cooperative, Board of Directors, 1995 -
Oregon Horticultural Society
American Society of Horticultural Science

I accept graduate students for Horticulture


Peer Refereed publications last five years (53 total)

Kusolwa, P.M. and JR. Myers. 2012. Peptide sequences from seed storage proteins of tepary bean Phaseolus acutifolius accession G40199 demonstrate the presence of multiples variants of APA proteins. Int. J. Biochem. Biotech. (Accepted for publication).

Kusolwa, P.M., and J.R. Myers. 2011. Seed storage proteins ARL2 and its variants from the APA locus of wild tepary bean G40199 confers resistance to Acanthoscellides obtectus when expressed in common beans. Afr. Crop Sci. J. 19:255-265.

Boches, P., B. Peterschmidt and J.R. Myers. 2011. Evaluation of a subset of the Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme core collection for horticultural quality and fruit phenolic content. Hortscience 46:1450-1455.

Kusolwa, P.M., and J.R. Myers. 2011. Seed storage proteins arl2 and its variants from the APA locus of wild tepary bean G40199 confers resistance to Acanthoscellides obtectus when expressed in common beans. African Crop Science Journal 19:255-265.

Chataika, B. Y. E., J.M. Bokosi, M.B. Kwapata, R.M. Chirwa, V.M. Mwale, P. Mnyenyembe, and J.R. Myers. 2010. Performance of parental genotypes and inheritance of Angular Leaf Spot (Phaeosariopsis griseola) resistance in the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). African Journal of Biotechnology 9:4398-4406.

Lammerts van Bueren, E.T., S.S. Jones, L. Tamm, K.M. Murphy, J.R. Myers, C. Leifert and M.M. Messmer. 2011. The need to breed crop varieties suitable for organic farming using wheat, tomato and broccoli as examples: A review. Netherlands Journal of Agricultural Sciences.  58:193–205. (DOI: 10.1016/j.njas.2010.04.001).

Mbogo, K. P, J. Davis, and J.R. Myers. 2009. Transfer of the arcelin-phytohaemagglutinin-alpha amylase inhibitor seed protein locus from tepary bean (Phaseolus acutifolius A. Gray) to common bean (P. vulgaris L.). Biotechnology 8:285-295.

Mes, P.J., P. Boches, R. Durst and J.R. Myers. 2008. Characterization of tomatoes expressing anthocyanin in the fruit. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 133:262-269.

Book (peer reviewed)

Lammerts van Bueren, E., and J.R. Myers (editors). 2012. Organic Plant Breeding. Wiley-Blackwell.

Book Chapters (peer reviewed)

de Milliano, Walter A.J., Edith T. Lammerts van Bueren, Roeland E. Voorrips, and James R. Myers. Resistance and resistance breeding. In: Maria Finckh (ed.) Plant Disease Management in Organic Agriculture. (in press)

Lammerts van Bueren, E.T. and J.R. Myers. 2012. Organic crop breeding - integrating organic agricultural approaches and traditional and modern plant breeding methods. In: Lammerts van Bueren, E., and J.R. Myers (eds.) Organic Plant Breeding. Wiley-Blackwell pp. 3-13.

Horneburg, B. and J.R. Myers. 2012. Tomato: Breeding for improved disease resistance in fresh market and home garden varieties. In: Lammerts van Bueren, E., and J.R. Myers (eds.) Organic Plant Breeding. Wiley-Blackwell pp. 239-249.

Myers, J.R., L.McKenzie, and R.E. Voorrips. 2012. Brassicas: Breeding cole crops for organic agriculture. In: Lammerts van Bueren, E., and J.R. Myers (eds.) Organic Plant Breeding. Wiley-Blackwell pp. 251-262.

Boches, P.S. and J.R. Myers.  2012. Classical genetics and traditional breeding: Classical mapping efforts.  In: B. Liedl, A. Slade, S. Hurst, J.A. Labate, and J.R. Stommel (eds.)Tomato. Genomics of Fruits and Vegetable Crops series. Science Publishers Ltd. (In press.)

Miles, C., D. Granatstein, D. Huggins, S. Jones, and J. Myers. 2010. Pacific Northwest (U.S.): Diverse ,movements toward sustainability amid a variety of challenges. (p. 91-116). In: Gliessman, S.R. and M. Rosemeyer (Eds).  The Conversion to Sustainable Agroecosystems: Principles, Processes, and Practices. CRC Press Taylor and Francis Group, Advances in Agroecology Series., Boca Raton, FL.

Myers, J.R.  2003.  Cabbage and crucifer plants.  In:  S.H. Katz (ed.) Encyclopedia of Food and Culture.  Charles Scribner's Sons.

Myers, J.R., J.R. Baggett and C. Lamborn.  2001.  Origin, history and genetic improvement of the snap pea (Pisum sativum L.).  Plant Breeding Reviews.  21: 93-138.

Myers, J.R.  2000.  Tomorrow’s snap bean cultivars.  P. 39-52.  In:  Singh, S. (ed.)  Bean Research, Production and Utilization.  Proceedings of the Workshop on 75 Years of Bean Research and Development.  University of Idaho Press.  Moscow.

Myers, J.R., and J.R. Baggett.  1999.  Improvement of snap beans.  P. 289-329.  In:  Singh, S. (ed.)  Common Bean Improvement for the 21st Century.  Kluwer Acad. Publ., Boston.

Extension Publications - 13 total

Chozinski, A., S. Zimmerman, D. Kean, J. Myers, L. McKenzie, and C. Hagerty.  2011.  Vegetable Variety Trials 2010. OSUES EM8777-10. http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/20930/em87....

Hart, J.M., D.M. Sullivan, J.R. Myers, and R.E. Peachey. 2010. Nutrient Management Guide Sweet Corn (Western Oregon) OSUES EM 9010-E. http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/19064/em90....

Kean, D., J. Myers, J. Stang, P. Boches, M. Barrett, S. Zimmerman, and T. Dalotto.  2009.  Vegetable Variety Trials 2008.  OSUES. http://horticulture.oregonstate.edu/system/files/u6/Veg%20Var%20Trials%2....

Colley, M.R. and J.R. Myers. 2007. On-farm variety trials: A guide for organic vegetable, herb, and flower producers.  Organic Seed Alliance, Port Townsend, WA. http://www.seedalliance.org/uploads/pdf/OVTguide.pdf.

Boches, P., P. Kuslowa, Kean, D. and J. Myers.  2007.  Vegetable Variety Trials 2006.  OSUES http://eesc.oregonstate.edu/agcomwebfile/EdMat/em8777E-06.pdf.

Boches, P., P. Kuslowa, Kean, D., J. Stang, and J. Myers.  2006.  Vegetable Variety Trials 2005.  OSUES http://eesc.oregonstate.edu/agcomwebfile/EdMat/em8777E-05.pdf.

Myers, J.R. 2006.  Outcrossing Potential for Brassica Species, and Implications for Vegetable Crucifer Seed Crops of Growing Oilseed Brassicas in the Willamette Valley.  OSUES SR 1064.

Newsletter articles & Proceedings last 5 years (118 total)

Kusolwa, P.M. and James R Myers 2010. Phylogenetic relationship of lectin-like proteins expressed in tepary and common bean. Aspects of Applied Biology Agriculture: Africa's "engine for growth" - Plant science and biotechnology hold the key. 96:297-302.

Renaud, E.N.C., E.T. Lammerts van Bueren, J. Jiggins C. Maliepaard, J. Paulo, J.A. Juvik, and J.R. Myers. 2010. Breeding for specific bioregions: a genotype by environment study of horticultural and nutritional traits integrating breeder and farmer priorities for organic broccoli cultivar improvement. In: Goldringer, I., J. Dawson, F. Rey, and A. Vettoretti (eds.) Breeding for resilience: a strategy for organic and low-input farming systems? EUCARPIA 2nd Conference of the "Organic and Low-Input Agriculture" Section. 1-3 December 2010, Paris, France. pp.127-130. (https://colloque.inra.fr/eucarpia2010_organic_li/content/download/1163/1...).

Davis, J., J.R. Myers, P. McClean and R. Lee. 2009. Staygreen (sgr), a candidate gene for the persistent color phenotype in common bean. International Symposium on Molecular Markers in Horticultural Species, 7/29-8/1, Corvallis, OR.  Acta Hort 859:99-102.

Myers, J.R., D. Kean, and R. Brown 2008-2009. Performance of zucchini yellow mosaic virus resistant ‘golden delicious’ type pumpkin hybrids. Cucurbit Genet. Coop. 31-32:129-24.

Brick, M.A., M.A. Newell, P.F. Byrne, H.F. Schwartz, J.B. Ogg and J. Myers. 2008. Introgression of QTL for white mold resistance from common and scarlet runner bean. Bean Ann. Rept. Bean Impr. Coop. 51:212-213.

Nchimbi-Msolla, S., R. Misangu, R. Mabagala, F. Magayane, S. Kweka, L. Michael Butler, and J.R. Myers 2008. ‘Mshindi’ Kablanketi Dry Bean. Ann. Rept. Bean Impr. Coop. 51:278-279.

Nchimbi-Msolla, S., R. Misangu, R. Mabagala, F. Magayane, S. Kweka, L. Michael Butler, and J.R. Myers 2008. ‘Pesa’ Large Red Dry Bean Ann. Rept. Bean Impr. Coop. 51:280-281.

Myers, J.R., B.S. Gilmore and J.E. Haggard. 2008. Progress in the characterization and transfer of white mold resistance from runner to common bean. Ann. Rept. Bean Impr. Coop. 51:80-81.

Kusolwa, P.M. and J.R. Myers. 2008. Phylogenetic relationship of lectin-like proteins expressed in tepary bean and common bean. Ann. Rept. Bean Impr. Coop. 51:78-79.

Kusolwa, P.M. and J.R. Myers. 2008. APA locus proteins from tepary accession G40199 confers resistance to Acanthoscelides obtectus in common bean interspecific backcross lines. Ann. Rept. Bean Impr. Coop. 51:16-17.

Myers, J.R. 2008. BIC - the next 50 years: A public breeder’s perspective Ann. Rept. Bean Impr. Coop. (in press) (also at http://www.css.msu.edu/bic/PDF/2007%20BIC%20Workshop.pdf.)

Myers, J.R. 2008. Isolation and Contamination Issues in Organic Seed Production: Crops and testing methodology. Organic Seed Growers Conference. Salem, OR. Feb 13-15. (http://www.seedalliance.org/uploads/pdf/MyersIsolContamIssues.pdf).

Myers, J.R. 2008. University-based Public Plant Breeding: Past, present and future roles of public institutions in crop improvement. . Organic Seed Growers Conference. Salem, OR. Feb 13-15. (http://www.seedalliance.org/uploads/pdf/MyersUnivPubPltBreed.pdf).

Myers, J.R., B.S. Gilmore, J.E. Haggard, M. Barrett, S. Zimmerman, & J. Davis. 2008. Transfer of Sclerotinia resistance from Phaseolus coccineus to P. vulgaris: An assessment.  National Sclerotinia Initiative meeting, Minneapolis MN, Jan 23-25.

Boches, P.S. and J.R. Myers. 2007. Occurrence of Anthocyanin in Cultivated Tomato. Tomato Genet. Coop. 57:14-19.

J.E. Haggard and J.R. Myers. 2007. Interspecific hybrid derived-lines developed by Herbert Lamprecht: A source of disease resistance for common bean. Annu. Rep. Bean Impr. Coop. 50:7-8.