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UF/IFAS Event Combines Latest Citrus Varieties with New Breeding Research

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Citrus growers can see if they want to grow the latest varieties from UF/IFAS breeders — and then learn more about commercializing crops – all on Dec. 4 at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Citrus Research and Education Center.

In the morning, people in the industry can sample the latest citrus varieties from UF/IFAS breeders.

“These are new varieties from UF/IFAS that growers can see, and then provide feedback to the plant improvement team about which ones they feel are the best candidates to move toward commercialization,” said CREC director Michael Rogers.

Then, in the afternoon, at the Citrus Breeding Symposium, growers can learn the latest data from international researchers who develop new types of citrus.

“Florida citrus growers can learn about the differences between their industry and others in the world in terms of products, challenges and opportunities, marketing and the ways in which new citrus varieties can impact their business now and in the future,” said Fred Gmitter, a UF/IFAS professor of citrus breeding and genetics at CREC.

Not only can growers learn the newest information, they’ll find out about approaches to commercializing new citrus varieties. The speakers will address the ways in which intellectual property protection, grower access and royalty structure are managed in their respective locations, including UF/IFAS in Florida, Gmitter said. At UF, 70 percent of royalty income is reinvested directly back to support the breeding program, making UF unique in the world.

The symposium will start with lunch at noon and run until 5 p.m. Scheduled to speak at the conference are:

  • Malcolm Smith — DAF Bundaberg Research Station in Australia.
  • Fernando Rivas — National Institute of Agricultural Research in Uruguay.
  • Kwan Jeong Song — (South Korea) Jeju National University in South Korea.
  • Pablo Aleza — IVIA in Spain.
  • Marco Caruso — Research Centre for Citrus and Mediterranean crops in Italy.

In addition to the global breeders, Gmitter and Jude Grosser — a UF/IFAS professor of citrus breeding and genetics, also at CREC — also will present some information on new varieties. For instance, they’ll briefly highlight a few recently released citrus varieties including sweet oranges and other fresh fruit, including LB8-9 Sugar Belle®, ‘UF 950’ and some others, as well as the so-called UFR rootstock releases.

“The citrus breeding symposium is an excellent opportunity for Florida citrus growers who are interested to learn more about the major global citrus-breeding programs,” Rogers said. “Having the leading citrus breeders from around the world in one room will provide a unique opportunity to gain a better understanding of how breeding programs operate in other countries and what the global trends are — besides citrus greening — that are driving breeding programs globally.”

To register for the symposium, click here.

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By: Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, bradbuck@ufl.edu

The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS works to bring science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents. Visit the UF/IFAS web site at ifas.ufl.edu and follow us on social media at @UF_IFAS.

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