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UF/IFAS Plant Breeding

UF/IFAS Plant Breeding

Who We Are


The UF/IFAS plant breeders oversee and manage one of the most active and innovative plant breeding programs in the world. No other institution genetically improves such a large variety of crops which can be grown not just in Florida, but also around the world. Our breeders use next-generation science to improve more than 50 crops for food, feed, fiber, fuel, shelter, landscape beautification, eco-systems services, and a variety of other human activities.

Our 27 faculty members are strategically-located throughout Florida and breed 50 diverse plant species. Plant varieties developed by our breeders dominate the Florida blueberry, strawberry, peanut, forage, and other industries. These crops are grown in more than 60 countries worldwide. We have successfully trained more than 60 plant breeders in the last 10 years with excellent job placement.

map of Florida showing various crops grown in designated parts of the state

Statewide Plant Breeding Efforts | UF/IFAS graphic

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MEET OUR FACULTY

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Whether you wish to work in the field, the forest, the greenhouse,
or the laboratory, plant breeding will provide a stimulating, fulfilling career.

Graduate Program


male student researcher inspecting a crop sample in the laboratory

Outstanding Ph.D. Training

We focus on training outstanding Ph.D. plant breeding students who will be well-rounded and career-ready for the industry, academia, non-profit, or other sectors. Our integrated curriculum equips students with traditional and contemporary breeding methodologies, including field-based breeding evaluation, quantitative genetics, modern molecular techniques, and phenotyping technologies.

IFAS building

Top-Notch Research

UF/IFAS is the land-grant university with the largest plant breeding faculty in the nation, and one of the largest in cultivars developed and cultivars licensed. Our state-of-the-art facilities, strong partnership with industry, research support and emphasis, and active breeding programs in 50 different crop species make UF the top choice to study modern plant breeding.

close up of hands holding three ripe mangoes in the orchard

Unique Focus on Specialty Crops

Florida’s unique climate offers the best opportunity to grow and breed specialty crops (such as blueberries, citrus, papaya, peach, strawberry, sweet corn, lettuce, tomatoes, and others) that are not grown anywhere else in the country. As the demand for specialty crops rises rapidly, UF/IFAS has become the leading university in training graduate students to work with these unique crops.

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