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Environmental Horticulture

Environmental Horticulture

Plant Breeding & Biotechnology


Florida is among the largest producer of ornamental plants in the nation. Ornamental plant breeding has been a major programmatic area in the Environmental Horticulture Department. The present program focuses on genetic improvement of several major tropical foliage plants, caladium, coleus, gerbera, and foliage plants for landscape use. Over the past 10 years, the breeding team has released 85 varieties. Many varieties have been licensed for large-scale commercial production and generated over $532,000 in royalty returns to support breeding and research activities during this period. The strengths of the program include the wide diversity of crops being improved and a critical mass of faculty members with experience in an array of genetic improvement approaches. The laboratory and production facilities on the main campus in Gainesville and two research and education centers allows us to screen new varieties for superior performance in a range of production and landscape environments. In response to industry needs, the breeding program will focus on improving numerous horticultural traits in plants that are critical for Florida growers and consumers.

Faculty

Kevin Begcy portrait

Kevin Begcy

Plant Biochemistry / Plant Physiology
352-273-4528
kbegcy.padilla@ufl.edu 

 
Jianjun Chen

Jianjun Chen

Plant Physiology
407-814-6161
jjchen@ufl.edu 

 
Dave Clark portrait

David Clark

Floriculture, Biotechnology
352-273-4577
geranium@ufl.edu

 
Thomas Colquhoun portrait

Thomas Colquhoun

Plant Biotechnology
352-273-4584
ucntcme1@ufl.edu

 
Zhanao Deng

Zhanao Deng

Breeding and Genetics of Ornamental / Landscape Plants
813-633-4134
zdeng@ufl.edu

 
Rosanna Freyre portrait

Rosanna Freyre

Ornamental Plant Breeding
352-273-4575
rfreyre@ufl.edu

 

Wagner Vendrame

Wagner Vendrame

Ornamental Horticulture & Biofuels
786-217-9236
vendrame@ufl.edu