Horticultural Sciences Department

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Dr. Kevin M. Folta

 Professor and Chairman

Areas of Research

  • Functional genomics of small fruit crops
  • Plant transformation
  • Photomorphogenesis and flowering
  • Genetic basis of flavors
  • Science communication and outreach

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. – 1998; Molecular Biology, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • M.S.  – 1992; Biology, Northern Illinois University
  • B.S. – 1989; Biology, Northern Illinois University

Teaching Responsibilities

  • FRC1010- Fruit for Fun and Profit
  • PCB6528- Plant Cell and Developmental Biology

Work and International Experiences

  • December 2012- Present: Department Chair, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
  • May 2012- May 2017: Visiting Scientist, Shanghai Academy for Agricultural Sciences, Shanghai China
  • July 2011 – December 2012:  Graduate Coordinator, Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
  • July 2008- present: Associate Professor, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
  • November 2002-June 2008: Assistant Professor, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
  • March 2000- November 2002:  Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

Honors and Awards

  • University of Florida Postdoctoral Mentoring Award
  • University of Florida Foundation Research Professor, 2010
  • Northern Illinois University LA&S Golden Alumni Award (top 50 distinguished graduates) 2009
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2008
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute Distinguished Mentor of Undergraduate Research, 2007.

Program Personnel

  • Postdoctoral Research Associates
    • Dr. Sofia Carvalho
    • Dr. Kevin O’Grady
    • Dr. Raquel Fonseca Carvalho
  • Senior Biological Scientist
    • Maureen Clancy
  • Graduate Students
    • Christopher Barbey
    • Fadhli Mad Atari

Edited Books

  • Folta, K.M., Gardiner, S.E.(2009) Genetics and Genomics of Rosaceae.  R. Jorgensen Series Ed. Springer, New York, 600 pp.
  • Folta, K.M., (2011) Genetics, Genomics and Breeding of Berries. In Genetics and Genomics of Crop Plants. C. Kole Series Ed. Science Publishers, Manchester NH, 207pp.

Selected Publications

  • Carvalho, S.D. Folta, K.M. (2014) Sequential light programs to affect kale sprout appearance and nutrition. Horticultural Research 1: 8.Wang, Y., Folta, K.M. (2013) Contributions of green light to plant growth and development.  Am. J. Bot. 100: 70-78
  • Carvalho, S.D., Folta, K.M. (2014) Environmentally-modified organisms: Expanding plant genetic potential with light. Critical Reviews in Plant Science. 33:486-508
  • Chambers, A.H.,  Plotto, A., Bai, J., Whitaker, V.M.,Folta, K.M.(2014) Identification of a strawberry flavor gene using an integrated genetic-genomic-analytical chemistry approach.  BMC Genomics  15: 217
  • Zhang, Q., Folta, K.M., Davis, T.M. (2014) Somatic embryogenesis, tetraploidy, and variant leaf morphology in transgenic diploid strawberry (Fragaria vesca subspecies vesca ‘Hawaii 4’) BMC Plant Science  14: 14-232
  • Chambers, A.H., Evans, S.A., Folta, K.M. (2014) Methyl anthranilate and γ-decalactone inhibit strawberry pathogen growth and achene germination. Journal of Agricultural and Food Science 61: 12625-12633.
  • Chambers, A., Carle, S., Njuguna, W., Chamala, S., Bassil, N., Whitaker, V., Barbazuk, W.B., Folta, K.M. (2013) A genome-enabled, high-throughput, and multiplexed fingerprinting platform for strawberry (Fragaria L.). Molecular Breeding : 1-15
  • Wang, Y., Maruhnich, S.A., Mageroy, M.H., Justice, J.R., Folta, K.M. (2013) Phototropin 1 and cryptochrome action in response to green light in combination with other wavelengths.  237:225-237. 
  • Folta, K.M. (2012) Functionalizing the Strawberry Genome.  Int'l J. Fruit Science 13: 162-174
  • Chambers, A., Whitaker, V.M., Gibbs, B., Plotto, A., Folta, K.M. (2012) Detection of the linalool-producing NES1 variant across diverse strawberry (Fragaria spp.) accessions.  Plant Breeding  131, 437-443.
  • Jung,S., Cestaro, A., Troggio, A., Main, D., Zheng, P., Cho, I., Folta, K.M., Sosinski, B., Abbott, A., Celton, J-M., Arus, P., Shulaev, V., Verde, I., Morgante, M., Rokhsar, D.S., Velasco, R., Sargent, D.J. (2012)  Whole genome comparisons of Fragaria, Prunus and Malus reveal different modes of evolution between Rosaceous subfamilies. BMC Genomics  13:
  • Colquhoun, T.A., Levin, L.A., Moskowitz, H.R., Whitaker, V.M., Clark, D.G., Folta, K.M. (2012)  Framing the perfect strawberry: An exercise in consumer-assisted selection of fruit crops Berry Res. J. 2: 45-61.
  • Rahemi, A., Fatahi, R., Ebadi, A., Taghavi, T., Hassani, D., Gradziel, T., Folta, K.M., Chaparro, J. (2012) Genetic diversity of some wild almonds and related Prunus species revealed by SSR and EST-SSR molecular markers.  Plant Systematics and Evolution. 298:173-192.
  • Zhang, T., Folta, K.M. (2012) Green light signaling and adaptive response. Plant Signaling and Behavior. 7: 1-4.
  • Chatterjee M., Bermudez-Lozano, C.L., Clancy, M.A., Davis, T.M., Folta, K.M. (2011) A Strawberry KNOX Gene Regulates Leaf, Flower and Meristem Architecture PLoS One. 9:e24792.
  • Zhang, T., Maruhnich, S.A., Folta, K.M. (2011) Green Light Induces Shade Avoidance Symptoms. Plant Physiol. 157: 1528-1536.
  • Sargent, D.J.,  Kuchta, P., Lopez-Girona E., Zhang, H., Davis, T.M.,  Celton, J-M,  Marchese, A., Korbin, M., Folta, K.M.,  Shulaev, V. and Simpson, D.W. (2011) Simple Sequence Repeat Marker Development and Mapping Targeted to Previously Unmapped Regions of the Strawberry Genome Sequence.  Plant Genome.  4:165-177.
  • Gao, J., Wang, Y., Folta, K.M., Krishna, V., Bai, W., Indeglia, P., Georgieva, A., Nakamura, H., Koopman, B.,  Moudgil, B. (2011) Polyhydroxy Fullerenes: Beneficial effects on growth and lifespan in diverse biological models. PLoS One.
  • Shulaev V. et al., (75 authors, Folta contributing) (2011) The genome of woodland strawberry (F. vesca). Nature Genetics 43:109-U51
  • Rivarola, M, Chan, A.P., Liebke, E.D., Melake-Berhan, A., Quan, H., Cheung, F., Ouyang, S., Folta, K.M., Slovin, J.P., Rabinowicz, P.D. (2011). Abiotic stress related sequence tags from the dipoid strawberry Fragaria vesca. The Plant Genome 4: 12-23.
  • Wu, JA, Zhang, YL, Zhang, HQ, Huang, H, Folta, K.M., Lu, JA, (2010) Whole-genome wide expression profiles of Vitis amurensis grape responding to downy mildew using Solexa sequencing technology.  BMC-Plant Biology 10: article 234
  • Hamner-Mageroy, M., Hemmingway, C., Folta, K.M., Shinkle, J. (2010) Physiological evidence of phototropin action in response to UV-C irradiation. Plant Signaling and Behavior 5:10-20
  • Folta, K.M., Clancy, M.A., Chamala, S., Dhingra, A., Brunings, A.M., Gomide, Leandro, Kulathinal, R.J., Peres, N.A., Davis, T.M., Barbazuk, W.B. (2010) A Transcript Accounting from Diverse Tissues of a Cultivated Strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa). The Plant Genome 3: 2: 90-105
  • Davis, T.M., Shields, M.E., Zhang, Q., Tombolato-Terzic, D., Bennetzen, J.L., Pontaroli, A.C., Wang, H., Yao, Q., SanMiguel, P., Folta, K.M. (2010) An examination of targeted gene neighborhoods in strawberry. BMC Plant Biology, 10:81+
  • Brunings, A., Moyer, C., Peres, N., Folta, K.M. (2010) Implementation of simple sequence repeat markers to genotype Florida strawberry varieties. Euphytica 173:63-65.
  • Stewart, P.J., Folta, K.M. (2010) The history of photoperiodic flowering research in   strawberry (Fragaria spp.). Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences 1:1-13