Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Consolidated center
 Evil weevil
 Putting the bite on biting...
 Aquaculture for the aquarium
 Setting new standards
 Bountiful fields
 Extension in the city
 Updates: The world of work
 UF/IFAS resources
 Back Cover

Title: Impact
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00044207/00009
 Material Information
Title: Impact
Uniform Title: Impact (Gainesville, Fla.)
Abbreviated Title: Impact (Gainesville, Fla.)
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: University of Florida -- Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Publisher: The Institute
Place of Publication: Gainesville FL
Publication Date: [1984-
Frequency: three no. a year
Subject: Agriculture -- Research -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Agriculture -- Research -- Periodicals -- United States   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: IFAS, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.
Dates or Sequential Designation: Spring 1984-
Numbering Peculiarities: Vol. 2, no. 2 misnumbered as v. 2, no. 22.
General Note: Title from caption.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00044207
Volume ID: VID00009
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001107412
oclc - 10908183
notis - AFK3775
lccn - sn 84006294
issn - 0748-2353

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 3
    Consolidated center
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Evil weevil
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Putting the bite on biting insects
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    Aquaculture for the aquarium
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
    Setting new standards
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
    Bountiful fields
        Page 24
        Page 25
    Extension in the city
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
    Updates: The world of work
        Page 30
    UF/IFAS resources
        Page 31
    Back Cover
        Page 32
Full Text
- i 1'6. A 1

I ..


.4i i

Persp ective
By Michael V. Martin

Florida FIRST Report to the People :Year One

During the initial phase of the Florida FIRST (Focusing IFAS Resources on Solutions for
Tomorrow) strategic planning effort, the UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
(UF/IFAS) has launched a special initiative, followed through on several organizational
commitments, and expanded activity in research and education program "imperatives."
Under the mandates of the Florida FIRST program, 47 positions have been approved and
will be filled this year by departments. Diversity in the workplace is being pursued, including
five targeted "excellence through diversity" positions.
Mk M The positions, along with $387,000 in program mini-grants, represent the first installment
of the resource allocation process under the Florida FIRST program. Thirty-six mini-grants
are targeted for accomplishing specific tasks under the goal of "Putting Florida FIRST." The
mini-grant allocations, ranging from $5,000 to $20,000, cover a wide spectrum of subjects.
An additional $40,000 has been awarded to five projects that are part of a Florida FIRST
commitment to launch an institutional marketing program to improve the linkage and
visibility of UF/IFAS research and education programs in different areas of the state.
UF/IFAS also has initiated a detailed analysis of the economic impact of Florida's natural
resource sectors (agriculture, forestry, fisheries, etc.) on the state's economy.
During the first year, our faculty and staff also began making a number of internal adjust-
ments to maximize the potential for accomplishing goals and objectives. Generally, those
adjustments include new and strengthened partnerships with federal and other state agencies,
other State University System (SUS) institutions, private universities and nongovernmental
organizations; streamlined administrative functions with funds and savings redirected to
faculty salaries and program support; improved program efficiencies and reduced costs
through space and facilities consolidation; out-sourcing services as appropriate and redirecting
savings to program support; and improved internal cost controls with resulting savings in
utilities, service contract costs and software licenses redirected to programs.
As we move forward with this strategic planning initiative, it will continue to have a
positive impact on the lives of all Floridians -- putting Florida FIRST.
This issue of IMPACT, the second in a series on different regions of the state, focuses on
UF/IFAS research and education programs in Central Florida. A previous issue focused on
South Florida; future issues will focus on North Florida and Northwest Florida.


IMPACT is published by the
University of Florida's Institute of
Food and Agricultural Sciences
(UF/IFAS). For more informa-
tion about UF/IFAS programs,
contact Donald W. Poucher, as-
sistant vice president of external
relations and communications:
(352) 392-0437, or e-mail: Volume 16, No. 1 Fall 2000
IMPACT is produced by
IFAS Communication Services, Consolidated Center
Ashley M. Wood, directNew facilities at the Mid-Florida Research and
News Coordinator Education Center are part of a major consolidation program.
Chuck Woods
Cindy Spence 1 0
Jean Feingold Evil W eevil
Ed Hunter vi l Wee il
Ami Neiberger Scientists at the Citrus Research & Education Center are developing new
Serya Yesilcay ways to combat the Diaprepes citrus root weevil, one of the state's most
Photographers troublesome pests.
Thomas S. Wright
Eric Zamora
Tara iasio Putting the Bite on Biting Insects
Designer 1 2 Researchers at the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory work at keeping mosqui-
Katrina Vitkus
toes and other little biters in check.
Change of address, requests for
extra copies and requests to be
added to the mailing list should
be addressed to Chuck Woods, 16 Aquaculture for the Aquarium
PO Box 110025, Research is colorful in the underwater world of the Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory.
University of Florida,
Gainesville, FL 32611-0025,
or e-mailed to
ctw@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu Setting New Standards
Impact is available in alternative
formats; visit our home page at At the Indian River Research and Education Center, best
impact.ifas.ufl.edu management practices have been designed to protect the environment
UF/IFAS is putting Floridawhile producing bumper crops of citrus.
UF/IFAS is putting Florida
FIRST in developing
knowledge in agricultural,
human and natural resources Bountiful Fields
and the life sciences and 24
making that knowledge Fruits, flowers and vegetables abound at the Gulf Coast Research and Education
accessible to sustain and Center.
enhance the quality of human
life. Visit the Florida FIRST
(Focusing IFAS Resources on
Solutions for Tomorrow) Web Extension in the Ci 2 6
page at: floridafirst.ufl.edu
Urban residents find solutions at counrv ci ension
On the cover: Clayton McCoy, offices just as rural rcsidint dc,. J.
professor of entomology at the
UF's Citrus Research and
Education Center in Lake Updates
Alfred, examines citrus foliage 0f
for feeding injury caused by the 3U The World of Work
Diaprepes weevil. In June, ri
McCoy received a U.S.une Interns from the College of Agricultural and
Department of Agriculture Life Sciences gain valuable experience.
Honor Award for his work.
Photograph by Thomas Wright.
IT..,. F d A,,.... S,... Copyright 2000 by the University of Florida. All right r.,'cr-\Ud.
Fall 2000 3

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in Apopila open the door tu expanded re
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Robert Stamps, who served as acting director prior to resistance characteristics; more efficient, profitable and
Shilling's arrival, will serve as assistant director of the Apopka environmentally sensitive plant production systems; im-
center. proved pest, disease and nutrient management practices, and
"The consolidation of our programs, including 16 advanced economic analysis and planning.
faculty and 60 staff members, at a single site in Apopka will "Extension programs at the center will be increased to
better serve growers, students and consumers in the mid- better serve various clientele groups," he said. "New educa-
Florida area," Shilling said. "The MREC program will tion and training programs in horticulture, pest management
continue to emphasize biotechnology, horticultural sciences, and other areas will be provided to the mid-Florida commu-
plant pathology, environmental horticulture, crop breeding, nity."
entomology, and food and resource economics." Shilling said consolidation will allow the UF's College of
Shilling, a professor of agronomy, said research will focus Agricultural and Life Sciences to expand teaching programs
on developing new plant varieties with improved growth and for place- and time-bound students in mid-Florida. New
teaching programs, scheduled to begin in January 2001, will
ThomasWright be linked to existing state universities and community
S colleges in the area, similar to UF/IFAS teaching programs
"- in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Pierce and Milton.
The new teaching program, which can accommodate
200 students per semester, initially will offer bachelor of
science degrees in nursery management and landscape

' Left, Richard Henny checksflower quality on Anthurium 'Red Hot,'
which he developed in 1995. The cultivar is one of the most popular
in Florida.

Below, Henny checks Diffenbachia breeding stock for pollen
Thomas Wright


Award-Winning Research and Education
Fern anthracnose a devastating disease that spread
rapidly through Florida's cut foliage and landscape plant
nurseries in the early 1990s was brought under control in
an award-winning project by research and extension faculty.
During the crisis, losses from the disease were as high as 50
Stamps, who coordinated the project with the Florida
Fern Growers Association and other industry officials, said
Florida accounts for about 80 percent of the nation's cut
foliage production. With an annual wholesale value of about
$70 million, leatherleaf fern is the state's most valuable
ornamental crop. Florida growers account for 97 percent of
U.S. production and export it to Europe and Asia as well as
throughout North America.
"Today, largely because of the UF research and extension
"team, growers in Florida, Texas, Central America and
elsewhere are able to protect against, detect and control this
pathogen," said Stamps, professor of environmental horticul- r
ture. New cultural practices, scouting techniques, fungicides
and application methods developed at the center made
control possible. Information was presented to growers at
extension field days, and results were published in a 68-page
fern anthracnose disease management guide.
"Without this successful effort, hundreds of growers
might have gone out of business and Florida's cut foliage
industry might have perished or at least lost significant
market share," said Stamps.
Others working on the fern anthracnose project include
James Strandberg, professor of plant pathology; David
Norman, assistant professor of plant pathology, and Linda
Landrum, Volusia County extension agent.
In other research, Stamps and Richard Beeson, associate Robert Stamps, left, and research assistant Loretta Satterthwaite check
professor of environmental horticulture, are solving irriga- leatherleaffern for signs of insect damage.
tion problems in the ornamental industry.
Stamps, who is developing best management practices
(BMPs) for leatherleaf fern producers to reduce nitrogen horticulture, developed and released 15 new cultivars of
fertilizer leaching into groundwater, said the research also has Dieffenbachias, Aglaonemas, Spathiphyllums and Anthuri-
helped convince growers to reduce water consumption. ums. Twelve more cultivars are currently in trial production.
BMPs are helping them save $180 per acre in fertilizer costs, "In addition to adding bright leaf variegation patterns
or more than $1 million industry wide. and compact growth habits to a class of plants that was
To increase irrigation efficiency, Beeson is developing predominantly plain green, the breeding program is aimed at
precision irrigation systems for the nursery industry. Cyclic developing plants with disease resistance," Henny said.
irrigation applies small volumes of water throughout the day "Spathiphyllum resistance to Cylindocladium root rot,
instead of just one large application. Anthurium resistance to systemic Xanthomonas bacteria and
"This results in less fertilizer leaching below the root Syngonium resistance to Myrothecium fungal leaf spot are
zone and more water being utilized by the plants in land- current goals."
scape nurseries and tree farms," Beeson said. "Depending on Henny also is developing attractive Aglaonema hybrids
species, tree growth rates have been increased by 30 to 100 that withstand chilling temperature changes.
percent through cyclic micro-irrigation compared to apply- Spin-off technolo from the development of new
ing the same volume of water once daily." hybrids has been adapted by the Florida foliage industry, he
said. For example, Spathiphyllum was once sold as a green
Breeding and Biotech crop but now enjoys status as a flowering potted plant due to
The MREC's ornamental foliage breeding program is the routine application of Gibberellic Acid to induce flowers.
adding color and variety to tropical plants. Over the past two Bruce Carle, assistant professor of horticulture, is a plant
decades, Richard "Jake" Henny, professor of environmental breeder who is improving cucurbits such as watermelon,

Fall 2000 7

with Don Maynard, professor of horticulture at the UF's
Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Bradenton.
STw o h y b r i d s e x p e c t e d t o b e p o p u l a r i n F l o r i d a 's b o o m i n g
Hispanic market, may be released this year.
In other biotech research, Dennis Gray, professor of
horticulture, is developing disease-resistant, transgenic grape
varieties that will allow Florida to produce a greater percent-
age of the products consumed in the local market.
"Florida is the third largest consumer of grape products
in the nation after California and New York, but does not
have a competitive grape industry because the humid climate
causes severe disease problems in varieties used for fresh fruit
and wine," Gray said. "Fungal diseases as well as a bacterial
malady called 'Pierce's disease' prohibit the cultivation of
traditional varieties in Florida."

To monitor progress ofgenetic engineering methods on grapes, Gray and
co-workers developed a system that causes cells and tissues toflouresce Milt Putnam
green when transformation has been successful.

squash, cucumber and melon-crops with an annual
wholesale value of $120 million in Florida.
"Although the state's climate is amenable to cucurbit
production, heat and humidity foster many pests and o
diseases," he said. "As a result, we need to incorporate
multiple pest and disease resistance into horticulturally
superior varieties. Currently, we are breeding for Fusarium
wilt and viral resistance in watermelon and transferring
mildew, viral and whitefly silverleaf resistances into summer
Carle said research is aimed developing seedless water-
melon varieties adapted to Florida with elevated sugars,
improved flesh color and distinctive rind patterns. The new
seedless hybrids may be released in 2001 or 2002. Carle also
is working on a tropical pumpkin or calabasa in cooperation
Tara Piasio

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Gray is using genetic engineering and other methods to usage. We also need to increase the use of biorational or 'soft'
produce Pierce's disease-resistant and fungal-resistant pesticides to promote natural control provided by beneficial
versions of traditional grape varieties, species."
"The first step toward these goals was to develop a
genetic engineering system for grapes," he said. "We accom- Economic Effect
polished that by using a unique marker gene that causes Due to the scarcity of economic information on the
successfully genetically engineered or transformed cells environmental horticulture industry, John Haydu, professor
and tissues to fluoresce green. Use of this gene allows results of food and resource economics, is analyzing the industry
of experiments to be analyzed very quickly." from the standpoint of structure and technology, market
He is currently using the system to insert a gene with research and business management programs to improve
antimicrobial properties. Transformed plants then will be financial performance of nursery and turf-related businesses.
tested for Pierce's disease resistance. Gray is using similar "A recent economic impact study of the Florida nursery
strategies to achieve fungal resistance in grapes, industry placed the wholesale value of ornamental plants at
$1.46 billion, second after vegetables with $1.56 billion and
Integrated Pest Management greater than citrus with $1.38 billion," Haydu said. "The
Sustainable production of quality ornamental plants industry employs about 185,000 people, more than all the
requires efficient management of pests, says Lance Osborne, states recreation and theme parks combined, and generates
professor of entomology, who is developing integrated pest $5.42 billion in value-added wealth."
management (IPM) programs for mites and mealybugs. IPM Donn Shilling, dgs@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu
reduces pesticide use and encourages natural predators or Robert Stamps, rhstamps@mail.ifas.ufl.edu
biological controls to manage pests.
"Mites are the No. 1 ornamental pest, requiring applica-
tion of more miticides annually than all other insecticides,"
he said. "While we have found effective natural predators to
control mites, growers often must use pesticides when
mealybugs and aphids become a problem. But pesticides can
interrupt the work of natural predators. As a result, there's an James Standberg examines apetri dish containing different strains of
urgent need to develop effective IPM programs for mealy- the pathogen (Colletotrichum acutatum) that causes fern anthracnose.
bugs and other difficult-to-control pests." The malady was brought under control by disease management
methods developed by scientists at the Mid-Florida Research and
Worse yet, he said, ornamentals are being attacked by Education Center.
different types of mealybugs, and new species are expected to E Thomas Wright
invade the state. Of particular concern is the Pink Hibiscus
mealybug that has devastated agriculture in the Caribbean.
To manage the mealybug pest complex, Osborne is
testing new pesticides and biocontrols, including a new
predator and parasitoid. By combining chemical and -
biocontrols in an effective IPM program for mealybugs, .
biocontrol programs for mites also can be used more widely .
in the industry.
Gary Leibee, associate professor of entomology, is
working on the problem of insect resistance to pesticides
used on landscape ornamentals, cut foliage and vegetables.
Areas of specialization include crops such as cabbage and
collards, trees and shrubs and cut foliage, especially leather-
leaf fern and tree fern.
Leibee helped develop a successful strategy for managing
the leafminer, which threatened the existence of Florida's .
celery industry. His research on insecticide resistance also ".
helped improve management of the diamondback moth, a
troublesome cabbage pest. '
"Dependency on pesticides has resulted in many prob-
lems, particularly the development of resistance in target P
pests and the destruction of beneficial insects," he said. "We '4
need to integrate pesticides with alternative forms of insect : /
control in IPM programs. Development of spray-decision
tools, such as action thresholds, can reduce overall pesticide

With a name like that, it spells trouble for Florida agriculture. But scientists at the UF/IFAS
Citrus Research and Education Center have developed new environmentally compatible
controls for the highly destructive Diaprepes citrus root weevil and other pests.

By Chuck Woods

S ince its accidental introduction into Florida from the microbial agents such as fungi and nematodes that would

Caribbean 35 years ago, the Diaprepes weevil has been kill most root weevil grubs before they injured the plant.
impossible to eradicate and difficult to control. These microbial agents, formulated as bio-pesticides, are less
The exotic weevil has spread through Florida citrus and disruptive to other organisms and appear to be safer for the
ornamental plant industries causing devastation of trees in environment than chemical pesticides.
every producing county of the state. More than 100,000 In his search for soil pathogens that kill the citrus root
acres of citrus alone is estimated to be infested by the weevil, weevil grub, McCoy tested approximately 100 different
Despite the damage, there is some good news. For the strains of fungi from soils in Florida and other parts of the
first time, the Diaprepes root weevil is being controlled with world. He found three fungi that are highly virulent to
new genetically selected microbial agents developed by weevils and stable in Florida soils.
scientists at the UF's Citrus Research and Education Center He successfully gained industry support to produce one
(CREC) in Lake Alfred and private industry, strain of the fungus, Beauveria bassiana, for commercial use
"These new bio-pesticides represent a major step forward in Florida. He developed different methods of applying the
in the development of environmentally compatible compo- Thomas Wright
nents for current citrus integrated pest management (IPM)
systems," said Clayton McCoy, professor of entomology at
the center who coordinates the Diaprepes research project.
"These biorational agents use microbes such as fungi and -
nematodes instead of chemical pesticides to kill damag-
ing pests."
McCoy said the larval or "grub" stage of the weevil feeds
on the roots of citrus trees, opening wounds that are fre-
quently invaded by Phytophthora, a soil-borne pathogen also
capable of killing the tree outright. Combined, the two can
be devastating.
A large infestation of citrus root weevils can begin from
only one female. The adult female lays eggs, typically
numbering in the thousands, between citrus leaves. The
larvae hatch, drop to the ground and then move to tree roots ..
to feed. The larvae can develop into adults in 80 days, so the ThomasWright
emergence of adults can occur sporadically throughout the Above, Ian Jackson, biological
year. scientist, and McCoy harvest
eggs ofDiaprepes abbreviatus
"Growers may be able to suppress adult infestations with from an adult colony confbbreiatu
pesticides during peak adult emergence, but these measures a cage in the greenhoolonyse at Laconfinked t
are costly, unreliable and can upset current citrus IPM a cage in thlfed. greenhouse at Lak
strategies," McCoy said. "In severely infested areas, citrus
growers have been forced out of business." Left, McCoyerors a cro-
Left, McCoy performs a micro-
When traditional chemical pesticides used for grub scopic examination ofa sixth
control were canceled about 10 years ago for environmental instar larva ofDiaprepesfor
reasons, McCoy began an aggressive search for effective new infection by parasitic nematodes.


McCoy inspects a citrus root for larval injury. Deep grooves in
the bark tissue can serve as an entry site for soilborne diseases.

Thomas Wright

Thomas Wright

fungus to the soil using conventional spray equipment and He said nematode and fungal bio-pesticides are compat-
micro-irrigation. He also found that sub-lethal dosages of ible with each other biologically. Continued use of bio-
neurotoxic chemicals in combination with a lesser amount of pesticides for the control of Diaprepes in the future is
bio-pesticide alter weevil grub behavior and, in turn, increase expected to increase the role of other naturally occurring
fungal mortality, beneficial organisms for the control of adult and larval
"This discovery of the synergism of fungal activity has Diaprepes. Although bio-pesticides will cost growers from
important and broad implications for insect pathology and $30 to $50 per acre, this expense is about one half that of
other microbial pest control throughout the world," said chemical pesticides.
McCoy, who received the U.S. Department of Agriculture Research on Diaprepes involves a number of scientists at
Honor Award in June for his research. the center. Jude Grosser and Bill Castle, professors of
His accomplishments also include development of horticulture, are testing new rootstocks resistant to soil-
nematodes as bio-pesticides against citrus root weevil grubs. borne diseases that in combination with grub feeding on the
Working with Larry Duncan, professor of nematology, and roots cause major tree decline. Jim Graham, professor of soil
others at CREC, McCoy field tested two nematodes that microbiology, is examining the Phytophthora/Diaprepes
appear to be effective against all stages of root weevil grubs, interaction in different soils. Herb Nigg, professor of
These nematodes are commercially produced by Thermo- entomology, is studying various aspects of weevil biology.
Trilogy Corporation, Columbia, Md., and Integrated Robin Stuart, research associate, is determining the role of
Biological Controls Systems in Aurora, Ind. ants as predators of weevil eggs and larvae.
McCoy said field tests show grub populations can be Collaborative research is ongoing with other scientists in
reduced by 80 to 90 percent in four weeks in sandy soils. UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and the
Thanks to McCoy's pioneering research, registered U.S. Department of Agriculture. Much of this research is
Thanks to McCoy s pioneering research, registered
being done through funding from citrus growers and USDA.
microbial products are successful and available to commer- being done through funding from citrus growers and USDA.
cial citrus growers. Today, an estimated 60,000 acres of 1ci L.-.n McCoy, cwmy@icon.lal.ufl.edu
commercial citrus receive at least two applications of nema-
todes annually to control root weevil grubs.

N Fall 2000 11

meet their match
at the UF/IFAS Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory

By Cindy Spence

A anyone who has ever been chased indoors on a sunny
day or balmy evening by mosquitoes or other biting o m
insects will be glad that Walter Tabachnick and his .
colleagues are on the job. e
Tabachnick is director of the Florida Medical Entomol- n
ogy Laboratory in Vero Beach, and he and a team of scien- .
tists are dedicated to solving a host of insect problems.
The center has been in place since 1956 and a part of
UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences since 1979.
Its mission: taking the bite out of biting insects.
Tabachnick says there are many ways to do battle with
biting insects but the laboratory's goal is to find the best
ways. Pesticides, for instance, work well, but have side-effects
that sometimes limit their use. So the laboratory focuses on
control methods without side-effects, and that sometimes
calls for high science.
Take researcher Jonathan Day's recent work on an
encephalitis risk map. Biological scientist Lee LeFevre gives a nutritional supplement to
mosquitoes as part of a study on the life span of mosquitoes.

Jonathan Day, right, and laboratory technician Dave Ryden count
mosquitoes that were caught in a trap the previous evening. Using the Day is combining satellite surveillance data from NASA,
traps, they can tell when the mosquitoes are active and in whicheather information from the National Oceanic and Atmo-
Sspheric Administration and a map of North
America to develop a tool that could be made
available nationwide via a Web site.
E The map would change as various indicators
-:- for encephalitis show up or disappear across the
country. The goal is a risk map that will provide
valuable time for officials to educate residents
about the risk of encephalitis and prevent an
Mosquitoes get the encephalitis virus from
infected birds and pass it on to humans. Encepha-
"litis starts as a flu-like illness but can progress to a
fatal inflammation of the brain.
Through his work on the map this year, Day
1- said the risk of a widespread St. Louis encephalitis
LL epidemic in Florida was almost nonexistent. He
also predicted New York City would be spared a
repeat of last summer's epidemic of West Nile
virus, a close relative of St. Louis encephalitis.


Weather conditions were expected to keep both mosquito-
borne diseases in check along the East Coast.
"In Florida, 200 cases of encephalitis is an epidemic,"
Tabachnick says. "There are places in Africa that would
gladly trade for 200 cases a year of encephalitis."

A Diet Pill for Mosquitoes
One new weapon in fighting mosquito-borne diseases is
a "diet pill" developed by Dov Borovsky after 10 years of
research. The diet pill starves mosquitoes to death with a
substance that alters mosquito digestion, making it impos-
sible for them to feed, lay eggs or survive.
"We hope this will be a new tool to stop the advance of
malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases," said Borovsky,
an insect biochemical and molecular biologist. "It is likely to
work on all mosquitoes, all over the world."
There are more than 3,000 species of mosquitoes.
Worldwide, mosquito-borne diseases infect about 700
million people each year and kill 3 million, according to the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
But the diet pill is promising, not only because it is
wickedly efficient but because it has great potential to be
environmentally safe.
To come up with the "pill," Borovsky combined mosqui-
toes' digestive control hormone with two substances, yeast
cells and chlorella, a common alga. The pill can be placed
into any water body where mosquitoes are known to breed. I1''
The larvae feast on the chlorella or the yeast, then die of Ii '
starvation as their digestive process is interrupted.
The mosquitoes that feed on the pill cannot produce i
eggs, so Borovsky first thought he had developed a birth
control pill.

Vector Sucepdhlble

votar 10-21 da

Secondary Octlr
S Host

"But then we found that the reason they were not Day says future applications of the carbon dioxide fence
producing eggs was because they were not digesting, so then range from small-scale use by homeowners to large-scale
we knew we had a diet pill, not a birth control pill," settings such as sports fields and resorts.
Borovsky said. The carbon dioxide fence grew out of a 14-year research
The synthesized hormone is inexpensive, as are yeast cells project to develop environmentally friendly techniques of
and chlorella. Chlorella can be freeze-dried and stored for trapping sand flies.
long periods and then brought back to life as the deadly diet "Historically, we'd treat a marsh like the one near the
pill, while yeast cells can be dried and used as a powder to school with DDT, and that worked great. Later, we'd treat it
feed mosquito larvae, with chlordane, and that worked great. The problem is DDT
Unlike DDT and some other pesticides, the pill does not and chlordane stay in the muck forever, and now they're
alter the environment, and mosquitoes that feed on the banned," Day said. "What we have essentially done is
hormone-laced chlorella or yeast starve to death within 72 remove insecticide from the marsh. We bring the sand flies
hours. to the trap and catch them. So we're not killing butterflies,
"This is a natural bullet that we can use in the environ- fireflies, parasitic wasps or beetles or anything other than
ment because the hormone doesn't stay in the environment," sand flies."
Borovsky said.
Protecting People, and the Economy
Fencing Out Pests The common thread in the laboratory's work,
Other pest controls developed at the laboratory combine Tabachnick says, is finding a control method that is appro-
science with common sense, such as Day's carbon dioxide private, and that means something that kills biting insects
fence to keep biting sand flies away from public gathering without harming people and other animals, including
places, like playgrounds. beneficial insects.
Day field-tested his fence at St. Mark Catholic School in "Certainly there have been control strategies in the past
Boca Raton, where the playground is next to a mangrove that today would not be proper," Tabachnick said. "We are
marsh. Biting sand flies and other blood-sucking insects use getting away from the use of pesticides that affect the
exhaled carbon dioxide to locate a host, so recess for the environment, and to do that we need to understand the
children was like mealtime for the sand flies, also known as biology of these insects better."
no-see-ums and winged teeth. The center is an important resource for mosquito-
The children were like beacons, "flashing 'blood meal, control professionals, county health departments, extension
blood meal, blood meal,'" Day said. agents and graduate students, Tabachnick said. The center
SD u t sn i' hi or b i also is mindful of its role in protecting Florida's economy.
But Day used the sand flies thirst for blood against
them. Between the marsh and the playground he built a "Mosquitoes can have an economic impact," Tabachnick
fence out of a lattice of PVC pipe. The lattice is hung with said. "With a severe encephalitis outbreak, for instance, you'd
mesh panels coated with mineral oil. The pipes carry carbon see a shutdown in recreational facilities and some tourist
dioxide, which draws the flies to the fence, where they get attractions. The impact can be very severe, so we try to get
trapped in the mineral oil on the panels and die. out in front on these things. We want to protect Florida's
abilitr [o eniov irs resources."
A test ,t a similar kcnce on the laboratory grounds liy en i resor
caught 2r-1.)000 sand flies per night. Florida has the premier m.osquito-controfs'ystem in dhe
S* 11 country Tjbachnii k said, and o\\cs much oTits development
)Da said insect repellent: provide limited relle from bachnik said, and much o its dnt
10 past research on controlling th,: peSTs.
sand flies because the insects are so persistent. \\Viih popula- t past r rh n onrlling h ps.
tions in the million, near swampv areas, it is inevtable that "The approach is no longer just to sprav and spray;ro
some sand flies will find little patches of kin not treated control mosquitoes. We're trying to assess the risk mosqui.
with repellent and e\en crawl up under hair. toes pose and mitigate that risk." Tabachnick said. "'\it; all
. the vears,of research in this arE, this laboratories! % herethe
"Their bite is very painful," Day said. "Thev rcallh can ruber' .he rod. "
make life unbearable, sometimes.the road. *
.N \ eer-Tabah.nimk %. [intn ifti.utFl cdu.
a wi

Mosquito family gets new member
A new mosquito is on the scene in Florida and may push its more vicious kin out of one common home
By Cindy Spence

university of Florida entomologist George O'Meara has so many new bromeliads were imported and some may have
discovered a new variety of mosquito. had mosquito passengers.
But the mosquito researcher says that's good news. And to hear O'Meara tell it, what the world needs is
The new mosquito sets up housekeeping in bromeliads, more mosquitoes like this little nectar-feeder.
which means it uses up one of the habitats in which the "The fact that it is in bromeliads is a plus," O'Meara
dreaded Asian Tiger Mosquito breeds. While the Asian Tiger said, "because it takes up habitat that Asian Tiger mosquitoes
can spread disease, the new kid on the block does not even would colonize, and nobody likes Asian Tiger mosquitoes."
feed on humans. The Asian Tiger mosquito arrived in Jacksonville in
The new mosquito was named Culex biscaynensis because 1986. By 1994, it had infested every county in Florida. It's a
it was found near Biscayne Bay while O'Meara was on a vicious biter and the bane of picnics, barbecues and other
mosquito safari of sorts, sampling for the little pests in outdoor activities throughout Florida.
southeastern Miami-Dade County. People think of old, water-filled tires and pails and pots
"Right away, this one looked a little different," said as mosquito habitats but don't usually realize that mosqui-
O'Meara, who is based at the Florida Medical Entomology toes can find other homes in the environment, O'Meara
Laboratory in Vero Beach, a part of UF's Institute of Food said.
and Agricultural Sciences. "But what was it?" "It's not just artificial containers that are a problem,"
O'Meara wasn't all that surprised to find a new mosquito O'Meara said. "Bromeliads and tree holes are natural
in southeastern Miami-Dade. After all, that area of Miami- containers for mosquito production."
Dade was severely damaged by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, George O'Meara, gfo@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu

Fall 2000 15


'I 1 n

Fisy BusiHess
Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory in Ruskin serves Florida's $57-million-a-year industry

By Ed Hunter
he University of Florida's Tropical Aquaculture
Laboratory in Ruskin was founded in 1996
with strong support from the state's tropical fish
"The Florida Tropical Fish Farms Association supported
our operations by funding a veterinarian for two years," said
laboratory Director Craig Watson. "They gave us money to
set up the diagnostic lab and they've funded individual
research projects.


Farm manager Scott Graves, left, and Craig Watson use a net (above)
to coral off-color and diseased fish in a pond at the TropicalAquacul-
ture Laboratory. After a pump lowers the water level in the pond
(below), Watson, left, Graves, right, and research biologist Dan Bury
remove fish.
S ...

Craig Watson shows off a pair of clown loaches. All clown loaches sold
in this country are imported, but Watson hopes to change that by
developing methods to help the fish reproduce in fish farms.

"After two years, the state assumed funding responsibility
for the veterinary position as an assistant professor in the UF
Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences," he said.
Now, just three years later, the facility in a former
National Weather Service building is on the verge of an
expansion that will nearly double its size and capability to
"serve the industry.

Fall 2000 17
Fa#l 2000 17

F addition to area farms would be the clown loach, a brightly
colored orange and black tropical fish found only in the
Rivers of Sumatra and Borneo. The problem, he said, is that
Sclown coaches brought to Florida are not reproducing with
any regularity.
"If we can figure out how to produce the clown loach
- -' Irepetitively and in mass numbers, Florida fish farms could
"potentially start providing clown coaches to pet shops
worldwide," Watson said.
S .. According to Watson, the challenge is to find out why
clown coaches won't or can't have babies away from their
I- native rivers. It seems to researchers that the female coaches
are producing viable eggs, and the males are capable of
fertilizing the eggs, but something is preventing the process
S from going forward.
SWatson said researchers think artificial fertilization
S techniques used with other animals could be used with the
coaches if they could only tell when a clown loach is ready to
lay eggs. To come up with a method of"spawn detection,"
researchers are looking at vitellogenin, a compound that is
found only when fish are getting ready to produce eggs.
"Based on the level of vitellogenin in the blood, we can
Sa r say when a fish is ready to spawn," Watson said. "Hopefully
r -7 she will do it on her own, but if not we can inject her with
"" releasing hormones which cause her to ovulate. Then we can
artificially inseminate the eggs."
Another research project has the goal of breeding the
m e large male swordtails prized by hobbyists. Prior UF research
has shown there is a genetic component for size, and that
Biological scientist Eric Curtis performs a necropsy on a tropicalfish in large male swordtails tend to have large, male offspring, said
the diagnostic lab. Watson.
"Wild populations have more large males present, and
the sword is longer in relation to the body," Watson said. "So
$500,000 grant from the Florida Department of Agriculture we're going to Belize, Guatemala and Mexico to collect the
and Consumer Services. Future plans call for construction of largest males we can find."
a new building with an indoor hatchery, a water quality The researchers plan to breed the large males with
laboratory, space for controlled experiments and 1,200 domestic swordtails to increase the average size of the
square feet of outdoor research space. swordtails sold in pet shops.
The new building will provide the space to perform
research that will be beneficial to the industry, Watson said. Caring for Fish
"It's hard for scientists to report just pond results," Researchers in Ruskin are doing more than just looking
Watson said. "On the other hand, producers find it difficult for new species or ways to improve existing species. They
to take something that just happened in the laboratory and also want to help farmers and hobbyists care for their fish.
try it in their ponds. You have to prove it in the real world. One study will determine the amounts of the antibiotic
"This will give us a controlled environment where we florfenicol to use on tropical fish. Staff veterinarian Roy
can do research and then see what it does in replicated ponds Yanong said florfenicol could be very useful in treating
in a real-life situation," Watson said. tropical fish diseases because it is effective against a wide
variety of bacteria.
New Species Yanong said the project is still in its early stages and is
Florida farms provide 95 percent of tropical fish raised in focused on getting basic information on how antibiotics in
the United States. Because of imports, Watson said American general interact with the metabolism of tropical fish.
producers only control about 30 to 40 percent of the U.S. "The dosages for a lot of the antibiotics used in the past
market. have been based on those used for food fish," Yanong said.
Watson said for Florida farmers to gain a larger market "There have not been many studies involving ornamental
share, they will need new species of fish to breed. One good fish.


"Typically when temperatures are higher, as in warm
water fish, the metabolism of the animal can be a lot quicker,
and the medicine will be flushed out before it can do any
good," he said.
Other studies will determine the levels of the drug
necessary to kill bacteria associated with common fish
diseases, he said. ,,
Craig Watson, caw@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu
Roy Yanong, rpy@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu

,...! ,.


Good, Better, Bestl
Bert Nlanagcmenr Practices, detailed in a new UF/IFAS manual, are helping citrus growers improve
\waer quality in the Indian River area

By Ser)a }esilcaL

A coalition of citruS grower state regulators, environ- concerns and discuss the most efficient ways to promote
mental groups and University of Florida scientists has better grove management, said Jack Hebb, a UF multi-
been working together toward a common goal: county citrus extension agent in St. Lucie County. Hebb
promoting the use of Best Management Practices (BMPs) to helped develop the publication along with researchers Brian
improve water quality in the St. Lucie Estuary and Indian Boman and Chris Wilson at the center.
River Lagoon. "The most important component of this manual was
One result of the work that began in December 1998 is grower input getting them involved to present their
the Indian River Citrus BMP Manual, a 164-page document concerns openly," Hebb said. "There was a lot of exchange
prepared by researchers and extension faculty at UF's Indian between industry groups such as the Indian River Citrus
River Research and Education Center and the St. Lucie League and state agencies such as the Florida Department of
County extension service. Located in Fort Pierce, both Environmental Protection (DEP)."
programs are part of UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences (UF/IFAS). Brian Boman, left, and Chris Wilson organized the BMP manual to
The manual evolved from workshops among groups with include references that citrus growers can use to improve both land and
diverse backgrounds who had a chance to express their crop quality.


".-..,. ,

A series of workshops helped regulators and growers T.a
understand the difficult issues facing both groups, which B
helped them come together to find solutions to some old '
problems, said Boman, an associate professor of agricultural e 'rr
and biological engineering at the research center.
"It was very educational for all of us and also very o wj.
satisfying to see growers take regulators out to visit their
groves showing them, for example, how a speed sprayer
works," he said. "Some people who develop environmental
regulations had never been in an orange grove before.
"Regulators got to understand they were dealing with
real people, that growers were basically there to make a
living," Boman said.
The flip side of the coin was having growers understand
the concerns of regulators and how they could work together
toward some common goals.
When they first started the BMP workshops, a lot of
growers were skeptical, said Wilson, assistant scientist for i ra s
agro-ecology at the research center. "But then they started to
see this was an opportunity for them to be part of the o t
solution instead of the problem. If they didn't do something,
regulators would."
That was when they started to get a lot of positive.
feedback, Boman said. "Growers are typically not always
sharing, even among themselves they can be very indepen-
dent-minded on issues, because what is good for one grower
might not be good for another. They face different issues
depending on the location of their land, the size of the their T- ... i' ,.;..... ;:. ... .'.. i k..,., ...
grove and their management style." ... t ., .. i.', B' .,. .,. ..
"It was all a little overwhelming when we started talk-
ing," said Stan Carter, citrus division manager of McArthur
Farms and one of the 1,200 members of the Indian River as well as chances for self-regulation within the citrus
Citrus League headquartered in Vero Beach. "We soon industry.
realized this was a great opportunity for the league to start The UF's citrus BMP manual addresses five areas that
becoming proactive and really look at the pros and cons of growers, state regulators, researchers and environmental '.
our practices so we could do something to groups agreed to target during -A workshop: :
"change for the better," he said. "And we are off BMPs for water volume or excess water. :edi-
to a running start." ment, pesticides, nutrients and aquatic ,,ccd_.
Nutrient enrichment, for examlplc. %%a.I
BMPs Make A Difference identified as one of the biggest problems_
BMPs refer to those on-farm practices that resulting from fertilizer runoff bo h froi iiUr.
have been tested scientifically and through land and urban areas. "Now gro,, ers can refe
actual industry practice. "These are steps the manual to see how they can decrease
growers can take to help protect the environ- runoff," Wilson said.
ment while improving the way they manage The publication also refers to LF/IFA "
their groves," Boman said. circulars and bulletins on different topics i1i_
The result should be a win-win, because growers can use.
better management practices can be more profitable and "All the steps covered in the manual are interrelatea
environmentally friendly in the long run. Under a BMP Wilson said. "Some are changes in housekeeping, mou dr
program, growers can perform environmental assessments of changes in practices, such as using the right marerial,
their crop management operations, which could improve correctly when dealing with pesticides or fertI Ize r%."
water quality, crop quality and yield, worker safety, and Some of those practices might require expenii e% ne%\
result in more efficient resource allocation and reduced investments, he said, such as building reservoirs. 1i which
environmental impacts. would mean taking land out of use.
Through BMPs, growers also can find opportunities for Although any change is difficult and requires effort. rhe-
cost-sharing incentives and reduced regulatory requirements, stimulus is significant, Boman said. "Instead o gettrring

Fall 2000 21

iinmc red \ ith regulations, the citrus industry has the
nce nov\ to do something to prevent that from happen-

tting the Word Out
b'ork>hop. in the past year have been helpful in teaching th e
ers and w workers more about BMPs, said Hebb, who has
n on-[ice training to more than 700 workers. te r f ro.
"He's been working with operators, tractor drivers that W te r r o n
Sphere hlie change is going to happen, in everyday prac-
"s," Boman said.
STh ro ug hh basic ed u catio n al p ro gram s, h e giv es w o rk ers B y S ery a Y esilcay
s on ho% io deal with issues such as alleviating spills and
B pping chemicals from draining into canals, Hebb said.
e also encourage them to read and understand labels and
mo ho t [o take necessary precautions, such as making h h o
re ranks do not overflow, that there are no chemical spills he humble oyster is hepin scientists at UFs Indian
ng canal, that they take care of leaks, or that they River Research and Education Center find new ways
Sproperly when mixing chemicals." to monitor Florida's environmental health.
ibrate properly when mixing chemicals."
The cirru BMP manual addresses issues that both Liberta Scotto, research program coordinator for estua-
Sgularors and growers need to work on, but it is still up to rine science, has been working on water quality and excess
[he people Eo implement those techniques, said Gary water runoffs from the land that affect the salinity and
Roderick, administrator with the Florida DEP, who also cleanliness of water bodies such as the Indian River Lagoon
participated in BMP workshops and meetings. and the St. Lucie Estuary.
He pointed out that the citrus industry is only one of The American oyster, Crassostrea virginica, was chosen by
Many entities responsible for the quality of Florida's lands the South Florida Water Management District as a Valued
and waters. Urban areas, golf courses and other farm opera- Ecosystem Component to be protected and restored in the
tions all contribute to some of Florida's major environmental St. Lucie Estuary. Scotto says oysters are a good measure of
problems, and all need to be more environmentally con- the general health of the estuary. "When salinity is right,
scious to make sure conservation is successful in the long oysters will be viable, and they will also provide a good
term, he said habitat for other animals such as crabs, mussels and fish."
term, he said.
Brian Boman, bjbo@GNV.IFAS.UFL.EDU Estuaries are a mix of fresh and salt water and receive
Jack Hebb, jwhb@GNV.IFAS.UFL.EDU stormwater runoff from all land uses, including agriculture,
she said. "The quality, amount and timing of freshwater
entering the estuary is critical to the survival of oysters, as
well as other estuarine organisms.
"What comes off the land flows into the waterways, they

S, happens on the uplands eventually affects a downstream
I, lllll~lllll~ll~i(l~llM I~ra water body so we all contribute to the welfare of Florida's
(repr g dif n eviro tlatienvironment."

grops werellil! among the organizatinLsl that[ ThomasWright

iThe health ofoysters can be a good measure of the overall ecological
balance of the St. Lucie Estuary and Indian River Lagoon.



Scotto has been doing weekly water quality samplings Engineers. The study involves "replumbing" an area from the
since April, measuring salinity and temperature, to deter- Kissimmee River to the Everglades.
mine when and where spat baby oysters settle. She also "When waterways were straightened and extensive canal
examines adult oysters for disease, condition and reproduc- systems were built to drain the land, it allowed water to run
tive potential, off the land too fast into Florida's estuaries and other wet-
"Spat settlement depends on many factors, including land systems," she said. "Now we have to go back, replumb,
amount of food, dissolved oxygen, salinity, temperature, and recapture all that water that flows off the land too fast.
total suspended solids and pH," Scotto said. "But people also need to understand that Florida never
"If we know when they spawn, how many are out there, would have developed unless these things were done, so we
and when they go through their reproductive cycle, we can need to stop pointing fingers and start working together to
see where the best spots for survival are," she said. "Then we improve things," Scotto said. "Anyone who lives in Florida
can help rebuild oyster populations by bringing in oyster now has to take responsibility for what has happened,
shells, building bars in appropriate places and providing the otherwise they couldn't have settled here and called it home."
right salinity in the estuary through reservoirs that can hold Liberta Scotto, lscotto@GNV.IFAS.UFL.EDU
runoff water back."
Scotto's research ties in to the Central and South Florida
Restudy being conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of
Thomas Wright
Liberta Scotto,
the only marine
biologist at the
Indian River
center, is
studying oysters
to determine
how populations
may be

Fall 2000 23


Food and ornamental crops get a boost from scientists at the UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center
By Christine Penko
G ulf Coast Research and Education Center (GCREC) Superb Strawberries
scientists study a variety of fruits and vegetables Strawberries grow on just 6,000 acres in Florida, but
vast enough to stock a produce market and an array with annual gross sales of $150 million, the work at Dover is
of ornamentals sufficient to sustain a nursery, critical. It is the only publicly funded research center in the
Entomologists, plant pathologists, horticulturalists and United States dedicated to strawberry production, according
other experts collaborate to help Florida growers yield high- to Dan Legard, a plant pathologist at Dover.
quality products from juicy tomatoes, sweet strawberries Legard works to combat two diseases that plague straw-
and crisp peppers, to flourishing caladiums. berries: Botrytis fruit rot and Colletotrichum. He examines
"The No. 1 reason we're here is to serve producers and causes of diseases and how epidemics develop, then generates
growers," said Jack Rechcigl, associate director of the center, improved control practices that will lead to higher yields and
part of UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. "We decreased pesticide use.
work to develop and share knowledge that will place Florida The fungus that causes Botrytis fruit rot, also known as
agriculture among the most efficient and economically gray mold, can infect petals, flower stalks, fruit caps and
competitive in the world." fruit. It results in problems before and after harvest and
The Gulf Coast center comprises two locations: during storage, where it frequently appears as white or gray
Bradenton in Manatee County and Dover in Hillsborough fuzzy material on the berries.
County. Tomato, pepper, watermelon, cucumber, squash and Colletotrichum diseases, which lead to fruit and crown
other food crops, along with ornamentals such as amaryllis, rot and leaf spots, pose a major preharvest problem, limiting
poinsettia and chrysanthemum, are studied at Bradenton. yield for the Florida strawberry industry.
Efforts at Dover are concentrated solely on strawberry "The first thing growers are interested in is the cultivar,"
production. Legard said. "Disease is the next most important concern
Interdisciplinary researchers focus on plant breeding and and also the hardest thing to manage. Florida's yearly loss
genetics, as well as integrated biological, chemical and due to disease averages $10 million to $15 million."
cultural pest management, according to Rechcigl. Other Among the most perishable fruits, the strawberry is
research areas include characterizing bacteria, fungi and h n n .
viruses that infect vegetables, ornamentals and strawberries; fungic sscepte t te elemes s tra eies c oud not be
developing cultural practices for sustaining commercial grown in Florida.
production; and improving soil and water management and Foda
natural resource protection. The Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 established
national standards for safe pesticide residue levels, with
Dave Schuster, right, watches as laboratory assistant Sandy Thompson special protections for infants and children. Legard says
conducts whitefly repellent trials, growers are beginning to lose some pesticides and fungicides
^as a result and must invest in alternative disease prevention.
Legard is evaluating new fungicides for effectiveness and
determining whether growers can reduce usage rates while
still controlling disease. He combines that with research on
different strawberry varieties and cultural practices, such as
varying spacing between plants and removing old foliage.
In addition, he has found that growing strawberries in
tunnels seems to control Botrytis and eliminates the need for
S..... for example, may reduce loss to 2 percent a cost savings of
approximately $6 million.
"Despite the potential benefits of tunnels," Legard said,
"growers are able to make a living growing in the open.


Bob McGovern, right, checks
the roots ofornamentalplants
with plant breeder q |
Brent Harbaugh.

They're reluctant to switch, in part because of the cost of Fighting Fusarium
tunnels, which is about $10,000 to $20,000 per acre." Plant pathologist Bob McGovern approaches plant
Legard predicts tunnels will become popular only if there disease management holistically. He incorporates strategies
are regulatory reasons, such as water restrictions or Environ- that include chemical and biological control, host resistance
mental Protection Agency bans on certain fungicides, or for and soil solarization to find the most environmentally sound
niche marketing purposes, including organic crops. method.
McGovern and other GCREC scientists recently studied
Stopping the SilverleafWhitefly the origins and spread of Fusarium root, crown and stem rot
Of 11 i ili 1.ia 1,, an ornamental crop v,,orl l i 1 -1. 1 [o k .
A newly hatched silverleaf whitefly attaches itself to a hanth an orna ntal C orth .. to
leaf's underside and begins feeding. The pest sucks nutrients $r ae i
from the plant, resulting in poor growth, defoliation and In 1 '.). Fu sometimes death, became idespread in florida and California lisian.
production areas. Florid grmer\ e\perienced idises. o
David Schuster, an entomologist at the GCREC, is prodition .r-. h ,rida g,-er ic ,. 'i
S* 30' percent[ in 1"),5-96. In 19 0-, mnan\ g 'ro ers" Ims, S :' 'W
seeking ways to curb silverleafwhiteflies and their damage to percent. ., "I s
Florida's tomato crops. .... .
SMcGovern and his colleagues discovered thait.Fus .
"In the case of the tomato, silverleaf whitefly nymphs' r d l in Fia sis and di
r r r -i i r ro did notiurvive well in Florida soils and didriJ'sp to
feeding interferes with normal ripening, Schuster said. "We r n i* *d i and i
be ueed-borne, but E resisted for many months,.on ti ...t"
are looking at ways to apply pesticides that are insect growth an r rofoam trays. ,o
regulators, which interfere with the whitefly's normal and r rofoam transplant rays.Th da so
development." 0
development." be r'i eC n outbre*"K. Fkli~a. and infec'Cl~lants coinit
into [he ,rate from'i sources. The te worke
The heat-loving species, about 1/16 inch long, rapidly ith producers to and stem rot i hu.
reaches high populations. Females lay 80 to 100 eggs in a transplanrs.; Since tin .. ium outbreaks
lifetime; as many as 14 generations can be expected in one and sten ri:have b c" dic in Fl
Iearn ddIh
yer .....I.. addi ...his work with 'u.ari
Schuster is determining when to treat plants with insect e alit.uin- oil f-i ., fr bca..pl.Y
growth regulators to minimize whitefly nymph population begonia annd i use :,br
density, which should then reduce irregular ripening. groers r\picllv ei getablc cr
Schuster also has tried plastic soil mulches that reflect )larizti, n h ;ho siniicant
ultraviolet light, repelling the whitefly. Fewer land on tomato redciinCg dJisa.- ,: lndscape pats." fJi ..
plants and fewer pesticide applications are needed. He nma n(ot h nh magic bullet, buti od be:,:t picture e
cautions that these mulches are effective only as long as v, hcn combinJd I\\ ih o-hdw!n gs." /
tomato plants do not cover them, which is approximately ilacL Rcc cglN.f Ldu
eight weeks.

1. "* !iiii..,ii i:'."

Lile iH tie Big li
Indoors and out, UF/IFAS extension reaches out to
urban residents
By Jean Feingold

Tara Piasio


2 6 V
.K ,I


F lorida's urban residents need information to enhance Sixty acres purchased with the help of state funding are
their lives as much as their rural counterparts do. devoted to native Florida plants, including several endan-
And they can get it from the same place the Florida gered and threatened plant and wildlife species. A creek
Cooperative Extension Service. going through the area, which had been dredged by the
The extension service, a part of the University of Army Corps of Engineers in the 1950s, has been returned to
Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences its natural state, allowing it to meander and flow over into
(UF/IFAS). maintains offices in each of Florida's 67 coun- swamp lands.
ties. In metropolitan ciounrie the offices tailor their pro- A 35-acre former landfill will be restored to botanical
gram, to meet the special need, of urban residents. garden status, Yates said. Research and trial gardens on this
In Pinellas, Ffi.da'. moso densely populated county with site will help determine how best to restore former landfills.
about 4-,OQ&.s'ident, per acre. the extension service helps She said methane could be piped from the site to heat
residents get back to nature. greenhouses and water elsewhere in the gardens. An anony-
The Pinell, (ounr Eten, on Service maintains the mous donor has provided $1 million for the first endowed
The Pne i i i i m t h extension professorship, and plans are under way to hire a
Florida Botanical Gardens on about 180 acres near county extension professorship, and plans are under way to hire a
renowned professor to study urban environmental
government offices. County extension director Judy Yates susrainab y.
j ,sustainability.
explained, "That garden \will be our urban environmental
classroom." The new Gulf Coast Art Center, an art museum with
hen c d in 00 there ill b special sculpture gardens and a history museum, which includes 20
When completed in -'OU2 [here \"lI he Twpeciilr1
ens, 11 o i ill opn o the p lic this fall. Pi historic structures from houses to churches, also are located
gardens, 11 of which will open to the public this fall. Paid
"on the site. Vegetable gardens and historic gardens have been
for largely by the Pinellas County government through a 10- on the site. Vegetable gardens and historic gardens have been
year, 1-cent local option sales tax, the total cot is estimated planted near them.
at $25 million. Technology will help visitors learn more about what they
see. Yates said when people walk up to a garden site and see a
vista, there will be a kiosk with that same vista on a comput-
erized touch screen. When visitors touch an object on the
screen, they will be connected to a database with complete
information about it. They also can print out a fact sheet on
each plant, available for pickup at the welcome center as they
leave, or get a locator map of businesses that can supply the
plant. The information also will be visible in every science
classroom in the county through the Internet, as well as
through interactive on-line classes with extension faculty,
Yates said. But she hopes people who visit on-line will be
inspired to come in person. "It's nice to see a picture, but
there's nothing that substitutes for touching a flower," she
Even though only a few gardens are open now, the
project seems to be a hit. "It definitely has changed our
attendance," Yates said. "We're seeing a lot more young
.. people. families % ith children. It' doubled our number of

Landscape architect lack Siebenthaler, \ho \as the first
president oF- the Fiend of the Florida Botanical Gardens
SLIpport group, is enthu11iatii c lab)t tlie prc iect. '"It a major
attempt to bring to an urban area a composite o\ilhat
exctension and it programs are all abut, hlie said. "The
public % ill ha1 e a place to go to learn, to relax, to ee things
that are ne%. to take people as their guests at no charge, and
really to brag about." Since the gardens are located about
tv. o miles FIrom the beach, Nlites said local hotels are already\
Planning exclursions there as part of their to,-uri't packages.
"This v. hole site v ill shol, people afterr wildlife. plant
-life and an ecosIstem in an urban getting that is thriving,

-' e0e

and, ultimately, how they can do that in their own yard,"
Yates said. "It's extension teaching at its best."

Home Sweet Home
The Orange County Extension Service has several
programs helping low-income people with housing issues.
Since April 1998, extension agent Kathy Bryant has pre-
sented "A Healthy Home: A Guide to Successful Household
Management" as part of the qualification process for people
applying for Section 8 rental housing. The monthly, two-
hour seminar covers money management issues and house-
hold care and maintenance. About 600 people have attended
so far.
Other housing programs focus on low-income
homeowners whose houses have been rehabilitated with
federal Department of Housing and Urban Development
(HUD) funding. In Orange County, homeowners are visited
individually once rehabilitation is completed. Those living
Sirhin tihe Orlando ( min hml r mut attend seminar before
the repair v, ork begill.

--j ---

4PW. ,


Participants are taught how appliances, plumbing, and Stephens said initially, only academically motivated
electrical systems work and how to maintain them. Bryant students were eligible to attend, but it has been expanded to
encourages homeowners to inspect their homes regularly include everyone. "It's been one of those things where it's
inside and out to identify any problems early so they can be kind of prestigious" to participate, she said. About 120
fixed inexpensively. Household care and cleaning informa- students have graduated so far.
tion also is included. Fifth grade teacher Barbara Burrell said the program
Bryant explained that some previous recipients of HUD helps students gain self-confidence. "Children who were
rehab assistance failed to maintain their homes properly and extremely shy are now openly prepared to be part of a
needed additional repairs at federal expense later. These group," she explained. The students were so impressed with
courses are important because HUD no longer does repeat what they learned about leadership, they held new student
rehabilitations. council elections and picked new officers, she said.
Post-purchase training for new home buyers also is Kathy Bryant, kmbr@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu
offered. This provides similar information on financial Glinder Stephens, orange@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu
management and home care, as well as yard maintenance Judy Yates, jyates@co.pinellas.fl.us
and being a good neighbor. These housing classes emphasize
"the whole concept of needs versus wants and differentiating
what the two of those are,"
Bryant said. "If the participants
can manage their money just a
little bit better, they can have T.,,
some of those luxuries in their FLORI DABOTANICAL
lives and still pay their bills." GARDE{N
At two Orange County n b- -
elementary schools, extension
agent Glinder Stephens leads a .......
program for fifth graders from
low income families to develop
leadership and citizenship skills. -
Called "Twelve Keys to Unlock
Your Leadership Potential,". "::
students learn leadership and .. ... -
communication, decision making "
and team building in 12 weekly --..
sessions held during school
hours. -
Lessons include what leader-
ship means, developing listening
and expressive skills, establishing ... ... .
goals based on one's own values, ......
setting priorities, using the ,, .
decision making process to
analyze and evaluate alternatives, ... .
accepting cultural differences, -.
"using conflict resolution strate- ...
gies as opposed to violence,".-- -
getting along with others, and
how to make people feel com- ..
fortable and included in the '-"
group. At the end of each session,
each student is given a key,
Stephens explained. The students .
are awarded medallions at a
graduation ceremony and party "
when the program is completed. .. .
Their pictures are taken with a
county official and these photos
are posted at the school to recruit
future participants.

New internship programs in UF's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences provide real-world experience
By Ed Hunter

M any students realize they need more on their resumes legislative internship program. Steube, who had prior
than just a degree when applying for their first job. experience working in the Florida legislature, interned in
Practical experience obtained through an internship program Rep. Karen Thurman's office.
can be almost as important as an academic transcript. "The most important benefit I received from the legisla-
Now, thanks to three new programs, students in the UF's tive internship program was the contacts I made for my
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences have additional future," Steube said. "I was able to see how the system works
internship choices that are better suited to their academic in Washington. Things work differently in the state legisla-
majors, said Jimmy Cheek, dean of the college, part of UF's ture and the U.S. House."
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Another college program gives students experience in
"In the last two years, we have launched internship extension work.
programs that will be increasingly important as we prepare "Some students may not have a clear understanding of
our graduates for their role in society," Cheek said. "Intern- statewide extension education programs offered by UF in
ships provide a vehicle for students to gain real-world, every county," said Christine Waddill, dean for extension.
professional experience related to their academic programs." Lynne Michaels, a senior food and resource economics
Lynne Michaels, a senior food and resource economics
One program allows students to serve as legislative major, was looking for just such an experience when she
interns in Washington, D.C. According to Cheek, the heard about the program from a friend who works at UF's
legislative internship program benefits both students and Putnam County Extension Service in Palatka. Michaels said
legislators, she was already considering an extension career, but her
"Students gain insight and experience in the develop- experience in the internship program helped.
ment of public policy and laws through legislative intern- "I had already pretty much decided to go into extension
ships," Cheek said. "These internships also allow legislators when the internship came up. I jumped on it, and that made
and their staff to gain a me 100 percent sure," she said.
greater appreciation of Michaels worked with the 4-H program in Putnam
the agricultural and
Sthe agricultural and County attending meetings and writing and mailing news-
II' natural resource issues letters. After her internship experience, she was hired as an
facing our society as
well as a better under- extension agent for Putnam County.
"*"t standing of our college The third internship program allows students to gain
and its programs." research experience on the main campus in Gainesville or
Greg Steube, 22, a statewide research and education centers, said Richard Jones,
SII Greg Steube, 22, a dean for research. Like legislative and extension internships,
or ma en research internships give students a critical real-world
major from Bradenton, perspective, he said.
was one of two stu- perspective, he said.
was one of two stu-
dents who participated "It is important that students appreciate how research
in the first year of the contributes to our knowledge, but it is also important that
they appreciate the uncertainties, caveats and conditions
associated with research findings," Jones said. "The experi-
Devin Yontz, left, a ence enhances their abilities to make decisions that involve
graduate student from interpretation of research. It also allows them to develop
Orange Park and Greg their problem solving, teamwork and observational skills.
Steube, an animal science
major from Bradenton, "Internships offer the opportunity for students to
were the first participants evaluate their interest in research as a profession," he said.
in the College ofAgricul- "This is particularly important for disadvantaged students
tural and Life Sciences' since they might not otherwise have such an evaluative
legislative internship opportunity."
"program in Washington,
D. C. Photo by Capital


Butterflies and More!

Educational Resources from the IFAS-Extension Bookstore

The Butterfly Butterfly expert Jaret Daniels helps species found
Gardening ID Decks you select plants for a yard where in Florida's I
IFAS Communication Servics with UF butterflies can live and return year mild, sub- i
UF/IFAS Communication Services with UF .
after year. It includes planting dia- tropical W. r -
Department ofEntomology and Nematology
grams, easy one-day container projects climate,
SP 273, $10 Butterflies #1 and full garden layouts designed for where
SP 274, $10 Butterflies #2 each of Florida's three major growing mushroom
Can you tell zones, as well as designs suitable for hunting is
a Tiger swallow- the Deep South. enjoyed year-
"tail male from a Full-color photographs, all taken round.
dark-form by the author, show butterflies, the From
female? Can caterpillars from which they develop, basic mush-
you tell a nectar plants, host plants and garden room struc-
Banded hair- designs. Of special interest is a section ture through the classification of
streak from a on conservation that describes how orders, families and species,
Great purple individuals can act locally to improve Kimbrough shares the science of
hairstreak? the quality and biodiversity of their mushroom hunting and identification,
From the photographic collection environment, including information on those that
of butterfly expert Jaret Daniels come are edible and those best left alone.
the ultimate, pocket-sized butterfly Your Florida Guide to Vivid full-color photos assist
references. More than 100 species of identification in this color-tabbed
butterflies and caterpillars become Butterfly Gardening Video reference, which also describes special
larger-than-life in these splendid, full- UF/IFAS Communication Services features and habitats. A section on
color identification decks-perfect for SV 828, $24.95 cooking with mushrooms, complete
use in the garden, in the field or in the This instructional video was with recipes, makes this field guide a
classroom, designed as a complementary piece to necessary addition to any mushroom-
Use them to the Your Florida Guide to Butterfly lover's library.
inspire the Gardening book.
minds of Butterfly expert Jaret Daniels
future ento- shows you how to create your own Educational Resource
mologists, or butterfly paradise. You'll be treated to Information
enjoy in your a sampling of exquisite butterfly Educational resources produced by
backyard gardens from all over Florida, learn IFAS, including those co-published
butterfly about the butterfly life cycle and see with University Press of Florida,
garden. the step-by-step process that will turn are available from the IFAS/
your landscape into a haven for Extension Bookstore (formerly
Your Florida Guide to butterflies. IFAS Publications) located in
Butterfly Gardening: This video is perfect for use in Building 440, Mowry Road, on the
A Guide for the Deep South extension and classroom programming University of Florida campus.
i IS C uniction as well as by the individual butterfly To access the UF/IFAS catalog of
Co-published by UF/IFAS Communication
bicshd by P enthusiast. educational resources and order
Services and University Press ofFlorida form, visit the IFAS Communica-
form, visit the IFAS Communica-
SP 272, $14.95 tion Services Web site at
The book, third in the popular Common Florida Mushrooms ems.ifas.ufl.edu/ForSaleResources.
Your Florida Guide series, offers a SP 256, $19.95 Please call 1-800-226-1764 to
thorough look at Florida's most In Common Florida Mushrooms, James place VISA and MasterCard orders;
important butterflies and the plants Kimbrough, University of Florida or fax orders to 352-392-2628.
they prefer for food, shelter and egg extension mycologist for the past 35
laying. years, identifies and describes many

Fall 2000 31

It.. F. ..R A.... S.... PERMIT NO. 540
Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources GAI LL,
The University of Florida
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
PO Box 110180
Gainesville, FL 32611-0180

;t'I I

news and info, then on t'a

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