GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Researchers from the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida are closer to finding a possible cure for citrus canker after identifying a gene that makes citrus trees susceptible to the bacterial pathogen.
Citrus canker, which causes pustules on fruit, leaves and twigs, is a highly contagious plant disease and spreads rapidly over short distances. Wind-driven rain, overhead irrigation, flooding and human movement can spread citrus canker. Human transport of infected plants or fruit spreads the canker pathogen over longer distances. (more …)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Gregg Nuessly, a professor of entomology and nematology at the University of Florida’s Everglades Research and Education Center in Belle Glade, has been named interim director of the center.
Nuessly has worked at the Everglades research center since 1989 and has served as associate center director for the past two years. The center is part of UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
“As interim center director, I will work to broaden statewide cooperative efforts for research and extension while continuing the mission of the EREC and UF,” Nuessly said. “The strength of the EREC lies with the diverse faculty and staff collaborating in interdisciplinary research and extension to solve local and regional agricultural and wildlife issues. Our strong relationships with local growers and groups are also key to past and future successes for the EREC.”
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences this week named Wes Wood, an expert in nutrient management, to head its West Florida Research and Education Center in Jay and Milton, Fla.
Wood is currently a professor of soil science at Auburn University, where he is also the coordinator for the university-wide environmental science undergraduate major. In addition to teaching classes in nutrient management, soils and environmental quality, Wood conducts research on carbon and nutrient cycling in managed and natural ecosystems.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida has released three smart device apps of interest to those in the irrigation business, and for the time being, users can download them for free.
The first three apps to be released were designed for citrus, strawberry and urban turfgrass irrigators, said Kati Migliaccio, an associate professor in agricultural and biological engineering, based at the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead, Fla.
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.
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.
Click here or image above for video about UF/IFAS’ strawberry breeding program.
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.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A Polk County architect-turned-citrus grower’s decision to allow researchers to use 100 acres of land has given the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences a much-needed boost in the battle against deadly citrus greening.
Located around Polk County, the donation – a combination of older and recent gifts from grower Jim Hughes, who died earlier this month – increases the UF Citrus Research and Education Center’s available field-trial research space by about 50 percent, said Jackie Burns, the center’s director.
An Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences faculty member received the 2013 Excellence Award for Assistant Professors from the university in recognition of her outstanding research.
Assistant professor Michelle Danyluk, food science and human nutrition faculty member at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, was awarded for her work this past year on Salmonella and E. coli detection and dispersal.
Danyluk said she was “tremendously excited” to win the award.
“I’m extremely grateful to all the folks who have supported me as I’ve established my program at UF, and think the award recognizes not only me, but all those who have supported me – especially to the technical staff in my laboratory, my current and previous graduate students, county Extension faculty, the business office staff and the leadership at my center, department and IFAS levels.”
The 10 recipients of this year’s award will each receive a $5,000 grant to use toward their continued research. Danyluk said she hasn’t decided how to spend the grant, but said she’s considering spending toward updated computers for her graduate students or another truck for her team’s field work.
Her research interests include microbial food safety and quality, as well as developing standards for maintaining them in different storage and processing conditions. Her research focuses on fruits, vegetables and nuts and looks at how and why foodborne pathogens survive in production environments and the role environments play in food contamination.
UF/IFAS photo of Michelle Danyluk by Tyler L. Jones