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UF/IFAS Office of the Dean for Research

UF/IFAS Office of the Dean for Research

About UF/IFAS Plant Breeding Programs

UF/IFAS is home to 30 faculty plant breeders who create plant varieties and germplasm with new and superior characteristics, including improved yield, quality, disease resistance, and environmental adaptability. The UF/IFAS Dean for Research Office provides support to the UF/IFAS plant breeders in evaluating, releasing, and commercializing new plant cultivars.

Pre-Release Management

In certain instances, field evaluations are conducted by industry cooperators under trial agreements to assess and confirm certain traits. The UF/IFAS Dean for Research office participates in developing and processing various trial agreements with the primary responsibility of negotiating and managing materials transfer agreements. The office also provides support in developing certain sponsored research agreements.

When an experimental line shows potential to make a significant contribution, per UF/IFAS policy, the proposed experimental line must first be submitted to a departmental cultivar release advisory committee (CRAC). Departmental CRACs are organized as needed to conduct a rigorous scientific review of the proposed experimental line. The CRAC submits its recommendation to the FAES Director, who has final responsibility for granting approval for release.

UF/IFAS Plant Breeders Workgroup

The UF/IFAS Plant Breeders Workgroup (PBWG) was organized and began meeting annually in 1993 with the goal of coordinating statewide plant breeding efforts. Membership is open to all active and emeritus UF/IFAS plant breeders.

Florida Foundation Seed Producers, Inc.

Florida Foundation Seed Producers, Inc. (FFSP) is a non-profit corporation and direct support organization of the University of Florida. FFSP works closely with the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station (FAES), an agricultural and natural resources research program of UF/IFAS.

FFSP manages the intellectual property, including U.S. Plant Patents, USDA PVP Certificates, International Plant Breeder’s Rights Certificates, and Trademarks, for new and improved plant varieties released by UF/IFAS plant breeders.

Once intellectual property protection is obtained, FFSP manages the technology transfer of the released varieties. FFSP licenses plant varieties to growers throughout Florida, the United States, and abroad, collects royalties on sales and usage of the varieties, and then distributes royalty revenue in accordance with the UF Intellectual Property Policy. UF/IFAS and FFSP have a unique royalty distribution policy, whereby 70% of all royalty revenue is reinvested directly into the respective breeding program responsible for the variety's development.  This policy is one of the most competitive in the nation, and augments the FAES’ mission to provide new plant varieties to Florida and the world.

  • Gainesville Office
  • Marianna Office
  • License Request Form

Plant Varieties

The significance of the UF/IFAS plant breeding programs is demonstrated by the successes of many of Florida’s agricultural industries. For example, approximately 85 percent of Florida’s strawberry and 95 percent of its blueberry acreage are planted in UF/IFAS varieties. These industries continue to flourish with the support of new variety releases from the UF/IFAS plant breeding programs and the innovation of its breeders.

UF/IFAS plant breeding programs will continue releasing new and improved varieties bred for increased pest and disease resistance, yield, quality, nutrition, taste, maturity date, and appearance. As one of the most diverse plant breeding programs in the country, it will continue innovating and streamlining its breeding methods to better meet the needs of agricultural producers and our society.

Infographic that explains cultivar licenses by country and the standard breeding process.