IFAS News

University of Florida

Jatropha tree could be a biodiesel boon for Florida farmers, UF researcher says

Topic(s): Biofuels, Crops

By:
Mickie Anderson (352) 392-0400

Source(s):
Roy Beckford fbeck@ ufl.edu, 239-461-7512

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Growing plants for fuel might be an engine-revving idea for some South Florida farmers who feel their crops have stalled, a University of Florida researcher says.

Jatropha curcas, a plant native to Mexico that is being widely grown for fuel and medicine in some parts of the world, is a tree that produces golf ball-sized fruit. Inside each fruit are three seeds full of oil that can be pressed to make biodiesel. (more …)

Genetic phonetics could be the trick to sounding out DNA’s meaning

Topic(s): New Technology, Research

By:
Stu Hutson 352-392-0400

Source(s):
Rongling Wu rwu@ufl.edu, 352-392-3806
Wei Hou whou@biostat.ufl.edu, 352-265-8035 ext. 86565

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Most modern attempts to decipher how portions of genetic code are translated into physical characteristics are akin to a first-grader trying to sound out a word letter by letter — or, in this case, base pair by base pair.

But University of Florida researchers have developed a computational method that’s more like reading whole words at a time. (more …)

Florida could soon wake up to caviar dreams, UF researcher says

Topic(s): Agriculture, Aquaculture, Economics

By:
Stu Hutson 352-392-0400

Source:
Frank Chapman fchapman@ufl.edu, 352-392-9617, ext. 247, http://fishweb.ifas.ufl.edu/

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Mention sturgeon to a Floridian these days, and they might flinch. The armor-plated fish have made news this summer by body-checking boaters, but the animals might soon develop a new reputation — as cash cows.

Sturgeon farmers across the Sunshine State say marketable yields of caviar could begin within the next year. (more …)

Largest butterfly in Western Hemisphere needs help to avoid extinction, UF experts say

Topic(s): Conservation, Entomology and Nematology

By:
Tom Nordlie (352) 392-0400

Source(s):
Tom Emmel tcemmel@ufl.edu, 352-494-7402
Matt Lehnert mlehnert@ufl.edu, 352-870-4002
Eric Garraway eric.garraway@uwimona.edu.jm, 876-977-7470

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Homerus swallowtail is the Western Hemisphere’s largest butterfly, but University of Florida researchers say its numbers are so small that conservation and captive breeding efforts are needed to save the insect, found only in two parts of Jamaica.

A UF study published last month in The Journal of Insect Conservation was the first to estimate the population found in western Jamaica’s remote “Cockpit Country.” Author Matt Lehnert, a graduate student with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, found about 50 adults in the area. (more …)

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