IFAS News

University of Florida

Newly Discovered Plant Gene Could Give Boost To Ornamentals, Crop Plants, Trees

Topic(s): Uncategorized

Source:
Tim Lockette

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida researchers have found a gene that controls branching in plants, a discovery that could lead to a wide variety of applications, from fuller-flowering plants to better-tasting ears of corn.

A team of researchers found a genetic mutation in Arabidopsis plants that produce more branches than others of the same species. (more …)

New National Animal ID System Will Guard Against Mad Cow Disease And Other Animal Health Problems

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Chuck Woods (352) 392-1773 x 281

Source(s):
Todd Thrift thrift@animal.ufl.edu, 352-392-8597
Mike Milicevic lykesranch@okeechobee.com, 863-763-3041

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GAINESVILLE, Fla.—To fight mad cow disease and other deadly animal illnesses, a new computerized animal identification system will allow state and federal officials to quickly track potential disease threats from farm to plate.

“The first phase of the National Animal Identification System starts later this year, and will eventually allow officials to trace and monitor all animal diseases, particularly those that originate in foreign countries,” said Todd Thrift, an assistant professor of animal sciences with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. (more …)

Butterflies Can “Talk,” UF Research Suggests

Topic(s): Uncategorized

Source(s):
Mirian Hay-Roe MMHR@ufl.edu, 352-392-5894
Richard Mankin rmankin@gainesville.usda.ufl.edu, 352-374-5774
Jayne Yack Jayne_Yack@carleton.ca,613-520-3887

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Butterflies may seem like the quietest of creatures, but a University of Florida researcher has uncovered new evidence that many of the colorful insects actually spend much of their time “talking” to each other.

UF researcher Mirian Hay-Roe found that blue-and-white longwing butterflies emit a barely audible series of clicks when they come into contact with other butterflies. The finding adds to a small but growing number of studies suggesting that some butterfly species use sound to communicate. (more …)

New Tame Melaleuca Project Attacks Invasive Tree In South Florida

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Chuck Woods (352) 392-1773 x 281

Source(s):
Ken Langeland kal@ifas.ufl.edu, 352-392-9614
Michael Meisenburg mjmeisenburg@ifas.ufl.edu, 352-392-6894
Paul Pratt prattp@saa.ars.usda.gov, 954-475-0541 ext. 105

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.—In Florida where invasive plants account for as much as 31 percent of all plant species, state and federal officials are ratcheting up their fight against the melaleuca tree, which is one of the most significant threats to the stability of the Everglades ecosystem.

The new TAME Melaleuca project, short for The Area-wide Management and Evaluation of Melaleuca, was recently established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in cooperation with the University of Florida and the South Florida Water Management District. (more …)

Florida’s Expanding Clean Marina Program Protects Water Quality

Topic(s): Uncategorized

Source(s):
Maia McGuire mpmcguire@ifas.ufl.edu, 904-824-4564
Linda McDonald linda.mcdonald@dep.state.fl.us, 850-245-2846
George Wakefield 386-671-3600

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.—It’s a sign of change for boaters — a pelican on a blue and green flag that identifies a Clean Marina.

“Boaters are starting to recognize the flag that denotes a Clean Marina,” said Maia McGuire, Sea Grant extension agent with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. “This is exciting because a big part of the program is educating boaters on what a Clean Marina is and why they should use them.” (more …)

York To Receive NACAA Award For Service To U.S. And World Agriculture

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Chuck Woods (352) 392-1773 x 281

Source:
E.T York york@ifas.ufl.edu, 352-392-6545

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ORLANDO—E.T. York, chancellor emeritus of the State University System in Florida, will receive the 2004 Service to American and World Agriculture Award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents at the organization’s annual conference in Orlando, July 10-16.

York, who served as interim president of the University of Florida and UF vice president for agriculture and natural resources, is being recognized for his many contributions to agriculture in the United States and the world. The award will be presented July 15 in Orlando. (more …)

Two CALS Students Receive Fulbright Fellowships

Topic(s): Uncategorized

Source(s):
Jimmy Cheek jgcheek@ifas.ufl.edu, 352-392-1961
Jeffrey Luzar jluzar@ufl.edu, 352-846-1634
Christine Browne-Nunez ndovu@ufl.edu, 352-846-0643

GAINESVILLE, Fla.—Two graduate students in the University of Florida’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences — Christine Browne-Nunez majoring in wildlife ecology and conservation, and Jeffrey Luzar majoring in interdisciplinary ecology — have received Fulbright Fellowships for 2004-2005.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the one-year fellowships provide students with the opportunity for research and graduate education in a foreign country. (more …)

Everglades Mercury In Sharp Decline, UF Researchers Say

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Tim Lockette

Source(s):
Peter Frederick pcf@ifas.ufl.edu, 352-846-0565
Tom Atkeson thomas.atkeson@dep.state.fl.us, 850-245-8305

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — By analyzing nearly a century of data, University of Florida researchers have been able to prove definitively that mercury levels in the Everglades have dropped dramatically during the last decade after reaching dangerously high levels in the early 1990s.

The researchers say the study confirms what earlier findings had suggested: that controls on emissions from waste incinerators, combined with a reduction in the use of mercury in household items, are helping eliminate the toxin from the massive wetland. They say their findings may also shed light on the ongoing debate over expanding emissions controls to other industries. (more …)

UF Researchers Test Vaccine To Protect Tropical Fish From Streptococcus

Topic(s): Uncategorized

Source(s):
Roy Yanong rpy@ifas.ufl.edu, 813-671-5230 ext. 104
Riccardo Russo rrusso@ifas.ufl.edu, 813-671-5230

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RUSKIN, Fla.—Fear of needles will not be a problem for tropical fish receiving a new vaccine being tested by University of Florida researchers.

Carefully injected into the body of fish, the vaccine will prevent and treat streptococcus infections in two popular species — the Rainbow Shark and the Redtail Black Shark. (more …)

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