Monthly Archives: May 2013

Dr. Paul Lyrene, “Father of Florida Blueberry Industry”


UF Horticultural Sciences Professor Dr. Paul Lyrene has been compared to the Florida blueberry equivalent of Henry Ford or Bill Gates.   A recent story in The Ledger explains his contributions.

Dr. Lyrene holds over 30 patents in blueberry, breeding new varieties that thrive in Florida’s climate, filling a distinct niche in national markets.   In the 1980’s the Florida blueberry industry was a few small farms and u-pick operations.  With Lyrene’s cultivars as an anchor, the industry has exploded to over 5,000 acres and a value of $62 million.



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Hort Science Strawberry Breeder Earns Prestigious Award


Dr. Vance Whitaker and a new strawberry selection.

Horticultural Sciences strawberry breeder Vance Whitaker is the 2013 recipient of the Richard Jones Outstanding New Faculty Research Award .  The award is presented to untenured faculty who have demonstrated exceptional impacts during their time in IFAS.

Dr. Whitaker advances new lines of strawberry using traditional breeding techniques.  He’s currently using the exceptional Florida strawberries as a basis to add flavor, yield and disease resistance.

Whitaker is an assistant professor at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center. 


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Mitigating Flooding Effects with Oxygen

ImageUF researchers led by Assistant Professor Dr. David Liu utilized a new technology to minimize flooding damage in commercial vegetable production.  Using basil, the group treated flooded plants with fast or slow-release oxygen compounds to alleviate hypoxic stress.

The use of oxygen release compounds increased nitrogen use efficiency, along with other beneficial parameters.  The work was published in the International Journal of Vegetable Sciences. 

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Teaching Tools for Water Movement in Plants

natureeducat130513Water movement in plants is a complex process that involves mechanisms of uptake from the roots, then loss through transpiration in the leaves.

UF Horticultural Sciences professor Dr. Craig Brodersen describes the processes of uptake, loss and factors that can inhibit the process.

The dynamics of the process are described in a recent article in Nature Education Knowledge.  In a collaboration with researchers from UC Davis, UF Horticultural Science

The work provides a basis for study in the area as well as teaching tool.  Dr. Brodersen is an Assistant Professor at the UF Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred.

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