The American Floral Endowment (AFE) has approved more than $310,000 in scientific research project funding for 2015-2016 to support six continuing projects and five new projects.

“These projects will directly benefit the entire industry by providing information on production of insect and disease free plants and details of Botrytis infection on floral crops,” said Terril Nell, Ph.D., Research Coordinator for AFE.

The goal of all AFE research is to provide knowledge that helps the industry grow stronger.

PLANT BREEDING AND GENETIC ENGINEERING
• Development of Petunia with Enhanced Stress Tolerance: Dr. Nicole Waterland, West Virginia University, $22,065 (year two of two)
• Making Better Plant Products by Understanding Dynamic Facets of Metabolism: Dr. Thomas A. Colquhoun, University of Florida, $33,000 (year one of three)

DISEASE MANAGEMENT
• Managing Pythium Species in Floriculture Irrigation Water: Dr. Mary Hausbeck, Michigan State University, $40,000 (year two of three)
• Engineering Impatiens for Resistance to the Devastating Disease Downy Mildew: Dr. Zhanao Deng, University of Florida, $31,500 (year one of three)

INSECT MANAGEMENT
• Beneficial Fungal Endophytes for Effective Insect Management in Floricultural Crops: Dr. Kevin Heinz, Texas A&M University, $34,000 (year three of three)
• A Novel Approach to Fungal-based Thrips Management with Marigold Guardian Plants: Dr. Margaret Skinner, University of Vermont, $21,721 (year one of three)

POST PRODUCTION
• New and Potent Inhibitors of Ethylene Action for Improving Cut Flower Longevity: Dr. Rasika Dias, University of Texas at Arlington, $24,900 (year two of two)
• Postharvest Management of Botrytis During Shipping and Storage: Dr. John Dole, North Carolina State University, $31,000 (year one of three)

PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGY/PROTOCOLS
• Utilization of Ultraviolet-C (UV-C) Irradiation on Ornamental Plants for Disease Suppression, Growth Regulation and Extended Post-Harvest Longevity: Dr. Mark Bridgen, Cornell University, $18,700 (year three of three)
• Development and Evaluation of Various Biochars as Aggregates for Increasing Substrate pH Stability: Dr. Brian Jackson, North Carolina State University, $5,400 (year three of three)

OTHER (POLLINATOR CONSERVATION AND INSECTICIDE MANAGEMENT)
• Impacts and Residual Longevity of Systemic Insecticides on Pollinators in Floricultural Plant Production Systems: Dr. Juang-Horng Chong, Clemson University, $50,621 (year one of two)