Gerald Berkowitz

Professor of Horticulture

Professional Credentials

  • PhD, Plant Physiology, 1983, Brandeis University, Institute for Photobiology of Cells and Organelles
  • MS, Crop Physiology, 1979, Texas Tech University
  • BS, Agronomy, 1977, Cornell University

    Areas of Interest

    • Cannabis plant molecular biology
    • Cell signaling
    • Calcium signaling

    Research Projects/Interests

    Cannabis projects: We study enzymes of the cannabinoid and terpene biosynthetic pathways and identify rate-limiting steps for the formation of these commercially important secondary metabolites. We also identify genes that are involved in the formation of trichomes; these are multicellular ‘hairs’ on the flowers and leaves of cannabis plants that are the ‘factories’ for cannabinoid and terpene production. We also study environmental conditions that impact cannabinoid synthesis.

    Cell signaling projects: We study how the perception of extracellular signals at the cell membrane activate receptors that translate perception of the signal (associated with pathogen infection, or external environmental cues) into altered cell function. We identify how cytosolic secondary messengers function to link perception of external factors into altered cell responses to maintain fitness.

    Currently accepting graduate students.

    Courses taught

    • Undergraduate: biotechnology, agricultural technology & society, organic and sustainable vegetable production, organic agriculture, agriculture & environment
    • Graduate: plant physiology, plant water relations, plant analysis techniques, seminar


    Contact Information
    Lab: 860-486-1604
    CV CV Berkowitz 6-23
    Mailing AddressAgricultural Biotechnology Laboratory 1390 Storrs Rd., Unit 4163 Storrs, CT 06269
    Office LocationAgricultural Biotechnology Laboratory (ABL) 302C