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

We 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. We 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. We use a combination of traditional plant breeding techniques combined with genomics and bioinformatics tools.

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.
  • Engaging farmers and chefs in the breeding process through participatory plant breeding.
  • Breeding vegetables for improved human health, taste and quality.
  • Evaluating and selecting for disease resistance in vegetable crops.


Courses taught

  • Hort 433/533, Systematics and Adaptations of Vegetable Crops, offered fall term.
  • Hort 505, Crop Domestication, offered spring of odd numbered years.
  • Hort 505, Plants and Patents, offered spring of even numbered years.
  • I have provided guest lectures on organic plant breeding, intellectual property issues and plant biotechnology, breeding beans and broccoli, and vegetables and grain legumes of the world.

Extended Education
I provide talks to growers, and master gardener meetings upon invitation. Selected examples of recent invited presentations include:

Graduate Students Advised (since 1996)

  • Major Professor or co-Advisor to 8 Ph.D., 11 M.S. and 1 M.Ag. students (2 M.S. and 2 Ph.D. in progress)
  • Committee Member for 7 Ph.D., 7 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 1996)

  • 19 students (16 senior thesis, 3 honors college) at OSU.

Postgraduate training

  • 2 post-graduate 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.
  • My graduate students and I were the first to create high anthocyanin tomatoes using conventional breeding approaches. The first release of this kind – ‘Indigo Rose’ has been available in the U.S. since 2012 and is now moving into global markets. New Indigo cultivars are in the pipeline.
  • The green bean cultivar, OSU 5630, is the predominant bush blue lake green bean grown by Oregon processors on about 13,000 acres each year.
  • I am project director for the Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative II (NOVIC II), a 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. NOVIC II follows the original four-year NOVIC program.
  • I have been working on dry bean genetic improvement projects in Eastern and Southern Africa for more than 25 years. Current efforts involve working with researchers at Sokoine University of Agricuture in Morogoro Tanzania to incorporate resistance to bean seed weevils (bruchids) into African adapted dry bean cultivars. The effort is supported by McKnight. This form of resistance was originally transferred from wild tepary bean into common bean with support from the US-AID funded Bean/Cowpea CRSP.

Grants and Program Support

  • My support total at OSU (1996-2015) has been $2,082,837 in noncompetitive funds and $6,861,209 (my portion only) in competitive peer reviewed grants.
  • My program is supported by the Baggett-Frazier endowment established by the Oregon processed vegetable industry.

Participation in Major International, National, and Regional Meetings

  • American Society of Horticultural Science meetings
  • Bean Improvement Cooperative
  • Crop Science Society of America
  • Crucifer Crop Germplasm Committee
  • International Sweet Corn Development Association
  • North American Pulse Improvement Association
  • North Willamette Processed Vegetable Grower meetings
  • Pacific Northwest Vegetable Growers Association
  • Phaseolus Crop Germplasm Committee
  • Pisum Crop Germplasm Committee
  • Oregon Horticulture Society
  • Seeds and Breeds for the 21st Century
  • W-3150 Genetic Improvement of Beans

Honors and Awards

  • ASHS Outstanding Cross-Commodity Publication Award winner as coauthor on paper “Trait Diversity and Potential for Selection Based on Variation among Regionally Adapted Processing Tomato Germplasm” [J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 137(6):427–437] (2013).
  • Awarded a Clifbar Family Foundation Seed Matters Graduate Research Fellowship (2012).
  • Award for Excellence for Outstanding Contributions to Western Region Multistate Research as a member of the W-1150 technical committee. (Western Assn. Agric. Exp. Sta. Directors). (2009)
  • Bean Improvement Cooperative Distinguished Achievement Award (1999)
  • First holder of the Baggett-Frazier Vegetable Breeding Endowed Professorship (1996-present)

Professional and Honorary Society Memberships

  • North American Pulse Improvement Association
  • Bean Improvement Cooperative, Board of Directors, 1995 -present
  • American Society of Horticultural Science
  • International Society for Horticultural Science

I accept graduate students for Horticulture with emphasis on Plant Breeding and Genomics.

I accept graduate students for Horticulture


Peer Refereed publications last five years (59 total)
Renaud, Erica N.C., Edith T. Lammerts van Bueren, James R. Myers, Maria João Paulo, Fred A. van Eeuwijk, Ning Zhu, John A. Juvik. 2014. Variation in broccoli cultivar phytochemical content under organic and conventional management systems: Implications in breeding for nutrition. PLoS ONE 9(7): e95683. doi:  10.1371/journal.pone.0095683.

Renaud, Erica N.C., Edith T. Lammerts van Bueren, Maria João Paulo, Fred A. van Eeuwijk, John A. Juvik, Mark G. Hutton, James R. Myers. 2014. Broccoli cultivar performance under organic and conventional management systems and implications for crop improvement. Crop Science 54:1539-1554. doi:10.2135/cropsci2013.09.0596.

Feng, X., A.R. Poplawsky, O.V. Nikolaeva, J.R. Myers, and A.V. Karasev. 2014. Recombinants of Bean common mosaic virus (BCMV) and genetic determinants of BCMV involved in overcoming resistance in common beans. Phytopathology 104:786-793. http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/PHYTO-08-13-0243-R.

Miklas, P.N., L.D. Porter, J.D. Kelly, and J.R. Myers. 2013. Characterization of white mold disease avoidance in common bean. Eur J Plant Pathol DOI 10.1007/s10658-012-0153-8.

Merk, H.L., S.C. Yarnes, A. Van Deynze, N. Tong, N. Menda, L.A. Mueller, M.A. Mutschler, S.A. Loewen, J.R. Myers, and D.M. Francis. 2012. Trait Diversity and Potential for Selection Indices Based on Variation among Regionally Adapted Processing Tomato Germplasm. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 137:427–437.

Sim S-C., A. Van Deynze, K. Stoffel, D.S. Douches, D. Zarka, M.W. Ganal, R.T. Chetelat, S.F. Hutton, J.W. Scott, R.G. Gardner, D.P. Panthee, M. Mutschler, J.R. Myers, D.M. Francis. (2012) High-Density SNP genotyping of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) reveals patterns of genetic variation due to breeding. PLoS ONE 7(9): e45520. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0045520

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. 1:12-18.

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.

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).

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.

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)

Scott, J.W., J.R. Myers, P.S. Boches, C.G. Nichols and F.F. Angell.  2013. Classical genetics and traditional breeding. pp. 37-68. In: B.E. Liedl, J.A. Labate, J.R. Stommel, A. Slade and C. Kole (eds.) Genetics, Genomics, and Breeding of Tomato. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

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.

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.

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.

Kean, D., J. Myers, J. Stang, P. Boches, M. Barrett, S. Zimmerman, and T. Dalotto.  2009.  Vegetable Variety Trials 2008.

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.

Boches, P., P. Kuslowa, Kean, D. and J. Myers.  2007.  Vegetable Variety Trials 2006.

Boches, P., P. Kuslowa, Kean, D., J. Stang, and J. Myers.  2006.  Vegetable Variety Trials 2005.

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 (190 total)
Myers, Jim. 2014. Arrested Development: Intellectual property and regulations hinder research, Terra. http://oregonstate.edu/terra/2014/10/arrested-development/

Bello, M.H., C.H. Hagerty, J.R. Myers, L. Porter, and P.N. Miklas. 2014. QTL analysis for fusarium root rot resistance in snap bean under greenhouse conditions. Ann. Rep. Bean Impr. Coop. 57:185-186.

Arkzwazee, H., J. Davis, Phil Miklas, S. Moghaddam, P. McClean, and J.R. Myers. 2014. Analysis of variation for white mold resistance in the bean CAP snap bean panel. Ann. Rep. Bean Impr. Coop. 57:175-176.

Davis, J.W., J.R. Myers, D. Kean, N. Al Bader, B. Yorgey, P. Cregan, Q. Song, and C. Quigley. 2014. A SNP-based linkage map of snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). Ann. Rep. Bean Impr. Coop. 57:119-120.

Al-Bader, Noor and James R. Myers. 2014. Rogues for pod traits in snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). Ann. Rep. Bean Impr. Coop. 57:117-118.

Feng, Xue, Alan R. Poplawsky, Olga V. Nikolaeva, James R. Myers, and Alexander V. Karasev. 2014. Molecular and biological characterization of the Ru1-OR strain of bean common mosaic virus. Ann. Rep. Bean Impr. Coop. 57:77-78.

Hagerty C.H., and J.R. Myers.2014. Mapping QTL for root rot resistance, root traits, and morphological traits in a common bean recombinant inbred population. Ann. Rep. Bean Impr. Coop. 57:73-74.

Myers, J.R. 2014. New Cooperative Models in Plant Breeding. Proceedings of the 2014 Summit on Seeds and Breeds for the 21st Century Agriculture, Washington D.C. Mar. 5-7, 2014. (http://rafiusa.org/docs/2014SummitProceedings.pdf)

Myers, J.R. 2014. Status of Cytoplasmic Male Sterility (CMS) in Vegetable Brassicas 7th Organic Seed Growers Conference, Corvallis, OR Jan. 30 – Feb. 1, 2014. pp. 134–143.

Myers. J., C. Will and J. Davis. 2013. Can the negative association between yield and white mold resistance for NY6020 bean resistance be broken? National Sclerotinia Initiative Meetings, 23-25 Jan., Minneapolis, MN.

Myers, J., J. Davis, P. Miklas and P. McClean. 2013. Preliminary evaluation of the Bean CAP snap bean panel for white mold resistance. National Sclerotinia Initiative Meetings, 23-25 Jan., Minneapolis, MN.

Miklas, P., J. Myers, and P. McClean 2013. White mold resistance‐QTL: Identification, interactions, and fine mapping in common bean. National Sclerotinia Initiative Meetings, 23-25 Jan., Minneapolis, MN.

Kusolwa, P.M., M.W. Mwatawala, S. Mwaitulo, S.N. Msolla, E.R. Mgembe, Tryphone G.M. and J.R. Myers. 2014. Inheritance and performance of bruchid resistance into farmers’ preferred common bean (P. vulgaris) varieties in Tanzania. Ann. Rep. Bean Impr. Coop. 57:7-8.

Hagerty C.H. and J.R. Myers 2012. Phenotypic evaluation of root rot resistance in an intra-Mesoamerican Phaseolus vulgaris recombinant inbred population. Ann. Rep. Bean Impr. Coop. 55:101-102.

Feng, X., A.R. Poplawsky, O.V. Nikolaeva, J.R. Myers, and A.V. Karasev. 2012. Genome sequences of two field isolates of Bean common mosaic virus. Phytopathology 102(Suppl. 6):S6.9.

Myers, J.R., S. Zimmerman, J.E. Haggard, J. Davis and D. Kean. 2011. Synthesis of white mold QTL efforts in Phaseolus coccineus x P. vulgaris backcross inbred populations.  National Sclerotinia Initiative meeting, Minneapolis MN, Jan 19-21.

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.