Research Areas and Broader Impacts


Photomorphogenesis. We are interested in how plants use light energy to develop. Aside from understanding the molecular-genetic basis of plant development, new efforts use cutting-edge LED technology to control plant growth, development, pigmentation, flavors, and the accumulation of nutriceutical compounds.

Strawberry Genomics. We are studying roles of novel genes using our rapid transformation system in Fragaria vesca. Efficient transformation allows for delineation of gene function, the gold-standard in understanding how genes affect traits important to agriculture.

Flavors and Aromas. Using powerful bioinformatics techniques coupled to genetics, we have been able to identify gene candidates associated with the volatile compound production, leadin to the development of molecular markers for flavor-influencing genes.

Communication at the Public Interface. It is critical to bring science to the public. Our work is presented in many forums within our profession and with groups throughout our community. To expand the public understanding of science, recent lectures included discussions of GMO food, crop domestication, global climate change, evolution, and other scientific topics. 

Training and Service. Our laboratory emphasizes the importance of training high-school, undergraduate, and graduate students. Postdoctoral mentoring and professional preparation is a vital component of laboratory activity. We have a strong history of service to schools, science fairs, and community outreach.


















Lab Group History





Kevin M. Folta

Interim Chairman and Associate Professor

Horticultural Sciences Department

Office: 1251 Fifield Hall

Lab: 2308 Fifield Hall

Gainesville, FL 32611

Phone 352-273-4812 office



email- kfolta at


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