Horticultural Sciences Department

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Breeding and Genetics


Our research programs in fruit and vegetable breeding and genetics are world-renowned and are the leaders in development and release of germplasm adapted to sub-tropical and tropical environments. 

Scientists involved in breeding and genetics have found the perfect marriage of new technology with traditional breeding to accelerate new variety releases.  Breeders work closely with geneticists and molecular biologists at the University of Florida and with other university-based breeding programs through the UF Plant Breeding Working Group.

Find out about our breeding and genetics programs below.

  • Christine Chase –molecular genetics; pollen development; organelle genetics biogenesis and function
  • Jose X. Chaparro – Stone fruit and citrus breeding and genetics
  • Fred Gmitter – Citrus breeding and genetics; seedless variety development, genetic transformation research
  • Jude Grosser- Citrus breeding and genetics; scion and rootstock improvement; somatic hybridization; transformation; and stress tolerance
  • Curt Hannah- Maize molecular genetics and physiology; emphasis on the starch biosynthetic pathway
  • Sam Hutton – Tomato breeding and genetics; disease resistance
  • Harry Klee – Genetics of fruit ripening and quality
  • Huangjun Lu – Lettuce breeding; St. Augustine grass cultivar development for disease/insect resistance
  • Donald McCarty – Maize genetics
  • Gloria Moore – Citrus fruit improvement for cold tolerance and disease resistance; genetic transformation
  • James Olmstead – Blueberry breeding and genetics; application of molecular techniques to improve breeding efficiency
  • Bala Rathinasabapathi – Capsicum Breeding and Genetics
  • John “Jay” Scott – Tomato breeding and genetics; disease resistance; developing heat-tolerant and high lycopene varieties
  • Mark Settles – Signaling in seed development; functional genomics in maize
  • Eduardo Vallejos – Bean genetics and genomics
  • Vance Whitaker – Strawberry breeding and genetics; breeding for disease resistance