Assistant Research Professor
Division of Plant Sciences
The Hall lab conducts research in viticulture, and primarily wine grapes. The program is diverse in its emphases, but is focused on three main areas: the study into the biology of the late-season bunch rot sour rot, the characterization of the grape microbiome, and the impact of micronutrient deficiencies on grapevine performance.
Until recently, sour rot was a poorly understood disease, but recent research has led to our understanding of it as a four-way interaction between a wounded grape, yeast, acetic acid bacteria and fruit flies. Research in the Hall lab is currently focused on the key role of Drosophila fruit flies in the sour rot disease complex. Our understanding is that the fruit flies must be present in the complex in order for disease symptoms to develop, and that their contribution is non-microbial, but the exact role they play is still poorly understood. Partnered with benchtop work, we also work with grape growers across Missouri in spray trials in an attempt to reduce the number of sprays and fine-tune the timing of pesticide sprays. While good control methods have been developed, timing of the pesticide sprays requires further research.
A significant aspect of the research conducted in the Hall lab is focused on characterizing the grape berry epiphytic and endophytic microbiomes. We seek to understand more about the roles being played by the organisms, how they change over the course of the season, and what effect they have on grape physiology and wine quality. Characterization of these communities primarily takes place using qPCR and Illumina sequencing technology.
Lastly, in partnership with growers here in Missouri, we are looking at the effect of molybdenum deficiency on grapevine and wine quality, and the ability to adjust molybdenum through foliar applications.
The viticulture research program is a collaborative partnership between the Grape and Wine Institute (GWI) and the Division of Plant Sciences.
- President’s Award for Viticulture, American Society of Enology and Viticulture, 2017
- Best Student Presentation, Northeastern Division – American Phytopathological Society, 2016
- Best Student Viticulture Presentation, American Society of Enology and Viticulture, 2015
- Frederick Dreer Award for Horticulture, $10,000 Award for International Research, 2015
- Best Student Viticulture Poster, American Society of Enology and Viticulture, 2014
- Best Student Viticulture Presentation, American Society of Enology and Viticulture – Eastern Section, 2014
- American Society of Enology and Viticulture Student Scholarship, 2015-2016
- American Society of Enology and Viticulture – Eastern Section Student Scholarship, 2015-2016
- American Wine Society Educational Fellowship, 2015
- American Society of Enology and Viticulture Eastern Section Student Scholarship, 2014-2015
- American Wine Society Educational Fellowship, 2014
Hall, M.E., Loeb, G. and Wilcox, W.F. 2018. Control of Sour Rot via Chemical and Canopy Management Techniques. Am. J. Enol. Vit. Published ahead of print May 07, 2018: doi: 10.5344/ajev.2018.17091 Cover of October 2018 Issue.
Hall, M.E., Loeb, G. and Wilcox, W.F. 2018. Grape Sour Rot: A Four-Way Interaction Involving the Host, Yeast, Acetic Acid Bacteria, and Insects. Phytopathology. doi:10.1094/PHYTO-03-18-0098-R.
Hall, M.E. and Wilcox, W.F. 2019. Identification and Frequencies of Endophytic Microbes within Healthy Grape Berries. Am. J. Enol. Vit. 70:2. In press.
Hall, M.E., Loeb, G. and Wilcox, W.F. August 2017. Sour Rot: Etiology, Biology and Management. Infowine. Available online: https://www.infowine.com/intranet/libretti/0/libretto16557-01-1.pdf
Hall, M.E., Loeb, G. and Wilcox, W.F. August 2017. Defining and Developing Management Strategies for Sour Rot. Appellation Cornell. Research Focus. Available online.
Hall, M.E., Loeb, G. and Wilcox, W.F. January 2018. Fruit Flies Play Role in Sour Rot Complex. Wines & Vines. Available online: https://www.winesandvines.com/features/article/193818/Fruit-Flies-Play-Role-in-Sour-Rot-Complex (Reprinted in Australian Wine Research Institute June 2018 Technical Review)