Kevin Folta

Ambassador Expert

Kevin Folta

Professor and Chairman, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida

Kevin Folta is a professor in and chairman of the Horticultural Sciences Department at the University of Florida, Gainesville. He got his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from University of Illinois at Chicago in 1998, and he has worked at University of Wisconsin before settling in at University of Florida. Dr. Folta researches the functional genomics of small fruit crops, the plant transformation, the genetic basis of flavors, and studies at photomorphogenesis and flowering. He has also written many publications and edited books, most recently was the 2011 Genetics, Genomics, and Breeding of Berries. Dr. Folta received the NSF CAREER Award, an HHMI Mentoring Award and was recognized as "University of Florida Foundation Research Professor" in 2010.

 

From this Expert

Posted on February 9, 2017
Response from Kevin Folta, Professor and Chairman, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida • August 9, 2017
A species is defined by the ability to reproduce viable offspring, so any two plants within a species generally have the potential to cross pollinate. Like any good successful mating, it requires the union of male and female contributions at the right time, same place. So absolutely, GE crops have the potential to cross with non-GE crops of the same species—if they manage to get it on through time and space.    So the rules that apply to dogs and teenagers also apply to... Read More
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Posted on March 2, 2017
Response from Kevin Folta, Professor and Chairman, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida • August 9, 2017
A species is defined by the ability to reproduce viable offspring, so any two plants within a species generally have the potential to cross pollinate. Like any good successful mating, it requires the union of male and female contributions at the right time, same place. So absolutely, GE crops have the potential to cross with non-GE crops of the same species—if they manage to get it on through time and space.    So the rules that apply to dogs and teenagers also apply to... Read More
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Posted on May 11, 2016
Response from Kevin Folta, Professor and Chairman, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida • May 11, 2016
I think this question is asking about how a gene that is inserted is different from the resident genes within the organism. It is an important question, but the answer is complex, so I’ll provide a starting point. I’m glad to go deeper for you if you’d like, so contact me directly or I can continue answering here on GMOAnswers.com.   First, a quick lesson in how genes work. When we think of a “gene,” this is the information that leads to a trait,... Read More
Posted on February 19, 2016
Response from Kevin Folta, Professor and Chairman, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida • March 18, 2016
We are learning a lot about the genes associated with sensory quality, and genetic engineering is likely a great way to rapidly re-introduce them to fruits and vegetables.  Where did they go?  Over the past 50 years plant breeding prioritized production traits, meaning fruit size, yield, disease resistance and shipping quality.  Flavors and aromas were simply graded as acceptable or not.    Today we can use marker assisted breeding to bring back those flavors without... Read More
Posted on September 10, 2015
Response from Kevin Folta, Professor and Chairman, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida • March 28, 2016
The easy answer is that I never put a penny in my pocket from “big ag” and they never sponsored my research or students.  I was reimbursed for travel once when they asked me to talk to some farmers that had questions.  All of that is clearly disclosed, and shows that I do a lot of work with no personal remuneration. That’s my job as a Land Grant scientist.   One time they provided funds for my university to support my outreach program. My program teaches... Read More
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No Studies were Found.