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NFREC Fruit Physiology Lab

NFREC Fruit Physiology Lab


The sunshine state has very diverse climate and soils supporting the cultivation of wide range of horticultural and agronomic crops. Fruit Physiology Lab at North Florida Research and Education Center Florida strive to lead teaching, extension, and cutting-edge research programs to advance sustainable and profitable fruit and nut production particularly for the state of Florida, and in general for the nation. We focus on plant-genotype-environment interaction, scion-rootstock compatibility, nutrient and water best management practices (BMPs), soil fertility and health and high-quality & nutrient-rich produce. We train and educate next generation food producers, extension agents, crop advisors and crop consultants to fulfill the demand of food and feed supplies that contribute so much to the prosperity of sunshine state and our nation.


Our research program is divided into two areas, Basic Research and Applied Research:

Basic Research:

  • Fundamental approaches to understand mechanisms of plant abiotic stress tolerance with the aim of addressing long-term problems such as low and high temperature, freezing, flooding and drought.
  • High-throughput approaches like proteomics and metabolomics to decipher stress tolerance in citrus and other tree fruits.
  • Investigate the physiological and molecular basis of trace elements (Si & Se) in improving disease and stress tolerance.
  • Collaborative work with geneticists and plant pathologists to investigate then physiological and molecular basis of disease resistance in fruit crops with special focus on cold hardy citrus.

Applied Research:

  • Root/scion evaluation for disease resistance and cold tolerance particularly in citrus for fresh market.
  • Diversification by introducing new crops and cultivars.
  • Bio-stimulants to improve fruit quality and yield while reducing the input cost.
  • Nutrient and water management using smart-agricultural practices.
  • New products (PGRs, silicon fertilizers, nanoparticles, plant-growth-promoting microbes) testing for improving growth and productivity.
  • Optimization of fertilizer application rates and irrigation in cold hardy citrus production and other fruit crops.
  • Standardization of cultural practices to minimize input cost.