IFAS News

University of Florida

UF researchers identify citrus cultivars that show promise in battle against greening

Topic(s): Agriculture, Citrus, Crops, Cultivars, Economics, IFAS, New Technology, Pests, RECs, Research

Click above for video about citrus breeding and citrus greening research.

citrus root stocks

Click here for photo. Caption at bottom.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida researchers have some encouraging results in the battle against citrus greening.

They have identified citrus cultivars, in this case 16 citrus rootstocks, most of which show a lower rate of infection and more tolerance to citrus greening – the dreaded disease that has wreaked havoc through Florida’s citrus industry since its arrival in the state in 2005.

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UF/IFAS research: termite ‘poop’ nest material creates natural antibiotic

Topic(s): Pests, RECs, Research, Uncategorized

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — For some 50 years, scientists have tried — but failed — to find a way to use microbes as a means of biological control for destructive subterranean termites.

University of Florida researchers have now discovered why termites have proven to be so disease resistant. Termites use their own feces as nest-building material. The fecal nest promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria, which in turn suppress pathogens — or in plainer words: termite poop works as a natural antibiotic.

Besides improving termite control, the findings could help pave the way for new human antibiotics.

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UF/IFAS receives $1.5 million grant for Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program

Topic(s): Announcements

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation has announced $4.5 million in grants to launch the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at universities across the country – including a $1.5 million grant to the University of Florida.

The program will provide undergraduate students with training and mentored research activities in conservation biology and other disciplines relevant to land, water and wildlife conservation.

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New UF/IFAS survey: Floridians strongly support endangered species protections

Topic(s): Research, Uncategorized

panther

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Floridians are ardent fans of endangered species and want to see them protected, even if it means fines for violators or restrictions on personal freedoms, a new University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences survey finds.

In conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, an online survey of 499 Floridians last month found that survey respondents ranked the importance of endangered species as 11th out of 15 public issues, well behind topics such as the economy, health care and food safety.

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UF/IFAS faculty named ASA, SSSA Fellows

Topic(s): Announcements, Honors and Appointments, IFAS

he_nair_balser

Caption below.

The American Society of Agronomy and the Soil Science Society of America will honor three members of the Soil and Water Science Department with the title of Fellows in November.

This title is the highest honor given by these professional societies, and is received by only a few select scientists and educators each year.

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UF/IFAS faculty named ASHS Fellows

Topic(s): Announcements, Honors and Appointments, IFAS

Jude Grosser and Bob Stamps

Caption below.

The American Society for Horticultural Science bestowed its highest honor upon two IFAS faculty at their annual meeting in July.

The professional association named Jude Grosser and Robert Stamps as Fellows of the Society, an honor given to only a few outstanding scientists and educators each year.

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New UF-developed strawberry varieties are bred with a focus on flavor

Topic(s): Agriculture, Crops, Cultivars, IFAS, Nutrition, RECs, Research

Vance Whitaker

Click here or image above for video about UF/IFAS’ strawberry breeding program.

Vance Whitaker

For high-resolution version of above photo, click here. Caption below.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — With the time for Florida growers to plant strawberries right around the corner, it won’t be long before Florida-grown strawberries appear in grocery aisles.

And for some of the best-tasting strawberries on the market according to multiple taste panels and tests, shoppers can simply look for those grown in the Sunshine State, thanks to work by the University of Florida.

Researchers with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences have continued to improve the quality and flavor of Florida-grown strawberries, as evident in their latest releases of the cultivars Winterstar and Florida Sensation.

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UF study helps quantify biodiversity decrease around farmland

Topic(s): Agriculture, CALS, Conservation, Crops, Economics, Environment, IFAS, Pests, Research

elephant_shrew

Click here for photo. Caption at bottom.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Animal biodiversity suffers near conservation areas that border big farms, and the effects can spread for miles, according to a new study by University of Florida researchers and their colleagues.

Maintaining animal biodiversity is important as it can lead to greater control of agricultural pests and increased pollination around farmland as well as help maintain the health of an area’s ecosystem, said Robert McCleery, a study co-author.

The researchers studied small mammal populations across large-scale sugarcane production areas and adjacent to isolated pockets of conservation land in Swaziland, Africa. The study was published Monday in the online journal PLOS ONE and can be viewed here: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0074520.

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