IFAS News

University of Florida

Bacterial Gene Could Help Crops Beat the Heat of Global Warming, Say UF Researchers

Topic(s): Uncategorized


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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Though E. coli bacteria are notorious for making people sick, a University of Florida study shows that a gene found in the microbes can keep plants healthy by improving their resistance to heat stress – a discovery that may help researchers develop food crops that withstand harsh climates and global warming.

Tobacco plants carrying the gene thrived after spending a week in nonstop 95-degree heat, said Bala Rathinasabapathi, an associate professor of horticultural sciences with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. The gene poses no threat to human health. (more …)

Reptile Chic: UF Wildlife Ecologist Says Florida Alligator Farmers Cashing in on Fashion Trend

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Chuck Woods (352) 392-0400

Source(s):
Perran Ross rossp@wec.ufl.edu, (352) 392-7137
Allen Register allen@gatorama.com, (863) 673-6158
Christy Plott Redd cpr@amtan.com, (770) 228-4433 ext. 205

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — While some agricultural producers are facing tough times, Florida alligator farmers are cashing in on reptile chic – the growing worldwide demand for alligator skins on everything from belts and boots to $10,000 designer handbags.

“The market for high-end alligator leather products is very strong right now, and farmers are getting top dollar for their gator skins,” said Perran Ross, a wildlife ecologist with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. “Florida alligator farming has had its ups and downs in recent years, but it’s definitely a good time for those who are already established in the business.” (more …)

Jim Chen to Speak April 6 in UF’s Wershow Distinguished Lecture Series

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Chuck Woods (352) 392-0400

Source(s):
Jim Chen chenx064@umn.edu, (612) 625-4839
Michael Olexa olexa@ufl.edu, (352) 392-1881 ext. 327

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Jim Chen, a professor and associate dean in the University of Minnesota’s Law School, will be the 2006 Wershow Distinguished Lecturer April 6 at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law.

His presentation – “There’s No Such Thing as Biopiracy…And It’s a Good Thing, Too” – will be at 4 p.m. in the Ceremonial Classroom (Room 180A). The lecture is free and open to the public. (more …)

New UF Economic Report Forecasts Future of Florida’s $9.3 Billion Citrus Industry

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Chuck Woods (352) 392-0400

Source(s):
Tom Spreen thspreen@ufl.edu, (352) 392-1846 ext. 209, cell: (352) 284-7564, (352) 392-1846 ext. 209
Alan Hodges awhodges@ifas.ufl.edu, (352) 392-1845 ext. 312
Ron Muraro rpm@crec.ifas.ufl.edu, (863) 956-1151 ext. 1203

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LAKELAND, Fla. — Citrus canker and greening will reduce the volume of fruit produced in Florida over the next 15 years, and the state may never return to the level of fruit harvested in 2003 before hurricanes spread canker around the state, according to a new University of Florida report.

“In addition to these disease problems, rising land values will affect the willingness of investors to commit capital to citrus production in Florida, and we expect that orange and grapefruit production will decline before it begins to rebound,” said Tom Spreen, a professor with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. (more …)

New UF Program Helps Children Avoid Snakes

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Tom Nordlie (352) 392-0400

Source(s):
Steve Johnson johnsons@wec.ufl.edu, (813) 757-2273

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PLANT CITY, Fla. — Spring is in the air and snakes may be underfoot, so two University of Florida experts have developed a free program to protect children from potentially dangerous encounters with the reptiles.

“Snakes become more active this time of year, and children need to know what to do if they see one,” said Steve Johnson, an assistant professor with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. “With Florida’s rapid growth there are many areas where homes and schools are close to snake habitat.” (more …)

Ann Bartuska to Speak March 28 About Biomass at UF’s John Gray Distinguished Lecture Series

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Chuck Woods (352) 392-0400

Source(s):
Ann Bartuska abartuska@fs.fed.us, (202) 205-1665
Timothy White tlwhite@ufl.edu, (352) 846-0850

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Ann Bartuska, deputy chief for research and development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, will speak March 28 at the University of Florida’s John Gray Distinguished Lecture Series. The topic of her presentation will be “Why Biomass is Important – The Role of the Forest Service in Managing and Using Biomass for Energy and Other Uses.”

Bartuska’s lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be at 10:30 a.m. in the grand ballroom of the Paramount Plaza Hotel in Gainesville (2900 Southwest 13th Street). (more …)

UF Student Teams Score Top-Five Finishes in Turf Competition

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Tom Nordlie (352) 392-0400

Source(s):
Grady Miller glmi@ufl.edu, (352) 392-1831 ext. 375

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida Turfgrass Club teams have taken second and fourth place in a national sports-turf knowledge competition, the Student Collegiate Challenge.

The event was held at the annual meeting of the Sports Turf Managers Association Jan. 18-21 in Orlando. It was the first time UF entered the competition, said Grady Miller, an associate professor with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and the club’s faculty adviser. (more …)

McLellan Named Chair of FDA Food Advisory Committee

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Tom Nordlie (352) 392-0400

Source(s):
Mark McLellan mrm1@ufl.edu, (352) 392-1784
Jimmy G. Cheek jgcheek@ufl.edu, (352) 392-1971

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Mark McLellan, dean for research and director of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, has been named chair of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Advisory Committee, the nation’s top consultants for food issues.

The appointment became effective Feb. 21 and will continue through June 2008. (more …)

E.T. York Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from Auburn University Alumni Association

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Chuck Woods (352) 392-0400

Source(s):
E.T. York york@ifas.ufl.edu, (352) 392-6545
Jeanice Hammock hammoje@auburn.edu, (334) 844-1150

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AUBURN, Ala. — E.T. York, chancellor emeritus of the State University System of Florida, has been honored with the 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Auburn Alumni Association at Auburn University in Alabama.

The award, which is the highest honor presented by the alumni association, recognizes York for outstanding achievements and service to the university. It was presented to him by William Muse, former president of Auburn University, during March 4 ceremonies in Auburn. (more …)

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