Tropical Fruit Production & Research HOS5555

General Information:

  • Instructor: Dr. Jonathan H. Crane, Tropical Fruit Crop Specialist
  • Target audience: This course offers graduate students, qualified undergraduate students (e.g., horticulture or agronomy majors), scientists, extension faculty, and other professionals (including experienced producers) an opportunity to increase their knowledge of tropical fruit crop horticulture and plant physiology

Course Description:

An intensive 5-1/2 week intensive graduate-level course on the horticulture and physiology of tropical and subtropical fruit production in Florida. Numerous field site visits. The course is taught at the Tropical Research and Education Center, Homestead.

Classes are held Monday through Friday, beginning at 8:30 AM and ending between 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM daily. Typically, class lectures will be held in the mornings and field trips to commercial orchards, nurseries, and educational and research institutions will be made in the afternoon. The course will emphasize applied aspects of research, the physiological basis for horticultural practices used, and the practices of commercial tropical and subtropical fruit crop production in Florida and the world. Other subject matter will include crop physiology and modern production methods. Guest lectures will be offered in tissue cultures/biotechnology, soil and water science, environmental plant physiology, insect and disease management, hydrology, postharvest physiology and handling, agricultural economics, germplasm collection and retention, and genetics and plant breeding.

Course Objectives

  • To emphasize horticultural practices of commercial tropical fruit crop management in Florida, the applied aspects of research, and explore the physiological basis for horticultural practices used in crop production of: avocado, mango, carambola, banana, papaya, pitaya, lychee, longan, mamey sapote, passion fruit, sugar apple, guava and others.
  • To expose students to various aspects of fruit production from other tropical areas of the world through presentations. 
  • To expose students to production practices through field visits to working orchards, nurseries, packinghouses, botanical gardens, and research/education institutions. Guest lectures will be offered in tissue culture, genetics-plant breeding, soil nutrient and water management, plant physiology, economics, biotechnology, insect and disease management, hydrology, agricultural economics, and postharvest handling.
  • To have students understand and be able to apply the principles, concepts, and information from the class to their own situations in production, research, and teaching.