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Plant Root Biology Lab

Plant Root Biology Lab


The long-term goal of Dr. Rossi’s Lab is to improve sustainable agricultural practices, with emphasis on citrus, while improving and developing research and teaching tools to monitor plant root health and structure. The obtained results will facilitate the development of healthy agroecosystems, profitable agricultural production systems, and food security. Overall there will be tangible benefits to the community and improve living standards locally, nationally and internationally.

The main objectives of our research projects are:

  • Determine optimal nutrient concentrations for multiple citrus varieties and rootstocks under HLB-endemic conditions to improve root health and increase tree productivity.
  • Develop new natural approaches to improve citrus root health and function using greenhouse and field trials.
  • Define the extent to which progression of HLB may involve changes in the relationship between the plant and the soil microbial community.
  • Identify and quantify the potential impact of emerging contaminants on rhizosphere ecology, root physiology and root anatomy.

Team Members

  • Lorenzo Rossi, Ph.D. – PI
  • Laura Muschweck - Biological Scientist I
  • Guilherme Locatelli - Postdoctoral Associate
  • Ricardo A. Lesmes-Vesga – Postdoctoral Associate
  • John M. Santiago – Ph.D. Candidate
  • Jonathan Clavijo Herrera– Ph.D. Candidate
  • Lukas M. Hallman – Ph.D. Student
  • Neus Alcón Bou – Ph.D. Student
  • J. Martin Zapien Macias – MSc Student
  • John-Paul Fox – Research Technician
  • Julio Quinones – Undergraduate Intern
  • Marco Arnoldi - Visiting Scientist

Contact Information

Dr. Rossi accepts interns, graduate students and visiting scholars to conduct research projects in his Plant Root Biology Laboratory, as well as in the greenhouse and in the field.

Lorenzo Rossi, Ph.D.
Horticultural Sciences Department
University of Florida
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Indian River Research and Education Center
2199 South Rock Road
Fort Pierce, FL 34945-3138

Phone: (772) 577-7341


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