Welcome to the Ornamental Horticulture Program at the Tropical Research and Education Center, in Homestead, FL. My name is Wagner Vendrame, Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS.
I lead a broad research program in ornamental plants, including the use of plant tissue culture, cryopreservation, molecular marker, and biotechnology techniques for plant production and conservation. Current projects in our lab include cryopreservation and induction of poliploidy in orchid species and hybrids, clonal propagation of hybrid dragon fruit, and an interdisciplinary project with jatropha (Jatropha curcas L.), a biofuel plant.
Our jatropha project includes the elucidation of cultivation practices, selection and breeding, cultivar development, evaluation of genetic diversity in accessions, and the development of in vitro clonal propagation systems. Check our jatropha site for more information, including our team. A series of jatropha videos can be found at our UF Jatropha channel in YouTube.
We have also expanded our program beyond this planet (literally!) with studies involving plant cell growth and development in microgravity. Such studies are setting the ground for the utilization of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory and may lead to significant discoveries as related to plant biology, medicine and space science. To date we had 5 flights, including 4 missions in the ISS (STS-118, STS-130, STS-132, and STS-133), and one mission in the last space shuttle, Atlantis, STS-135.
“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” Walt Disney
Tropical Research & Education Center
18905 SW 280 Street
Homestead, FL 33031
(305) 246-7001 x210