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USDA-ARS Subtropical Horticultural Research Station (SHRS) scientists have undertaken a cacao breeding effort to develop disease resistant, high-yielding, cacao cultivars with excellent quality attributes.
On the right, SHRS 7, a high yielding cacao clone developed in Ecuador by the INIAP-MARS-USDA-ARS collaborative breeding program.
The Ornamentals Germplasm and Genetics project serves the horticulture industry with an active program of germplasm releases and cutting edge molecular genetic research. Target ornamental group include palms, cycads, and the amaryllis family.
The SHRS hosts one of the world's largest sugarcane collections.
Phenotypic data is collected from fruit in germplasm collections.
Molecular characterization is an important tool to validate identification and determine pedigree and relatedness of germplasm.
Invasive insects, like the tropical fruit flies (family Tephritidae), pose an ever-increasing threat to US agriculture. Scientists at SHRS identify the chemical signals (= semiochemicals) used by insects for location of food, host plants, and other critical resources. Those semiochemical tools are then used to develop lures and trapping systems for early pest detection and suppression.
The mission of the Subtropical Horticulture Research Station is to support the agricultural industries in the southern areas of the United States by providing environmentally sound research on: (1) the genetics of tropical and subtropical fruit and ornamental crops; (2) the interdiction and control/eradication of exotic plant insect pests.