CRISPR Gene Editing in Strawberry

Freshly harvested strawberries UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones

Because cultivated strawberries are genetically complex, conventional breeding of strawberry can be difficult. Therefore, gene editing can be useful when developing strawberry varieties. This 3-page document discusses CRISPR gene editing in strawberry. Written by Seonghee Lee, Cheolmin Yoo, Kevin Folta, and Vance M. Whitaker and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department, February 2018.

DNA, Technology, and Florida Strawberries

Freshly harvested strawberries UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones

Are Florida strawberries genetically engineered? The answer is no. No genetically engineered strawberry has been commercialized anywhere in the world. The UF/IFAS strawberry breeding program has been developing strawberry varieties for nearly 70 years, but these varieties are developed using a conventional breeding process of crossing and selection. This three-page fact sheet describes that process in greater detail. Written by Seonghee Lee, Young-Hee Noh, Sujeet Verma, and Vance M. Whitaker and published by the Horticultural Sciences Department.

Also see the UF/IFAS press release (12/14): UF/IFAS scientists: Commercially grown strawberries are not genetically engineered

Genetically Modified Food

Closeup of cornA food is considered genetically modified when its genetic makeup is altered in some way as a result of the use of recombinant DNA biotechnological procedures. These changes result in the expression of attributes not found in the original. Examples include delayed-ripening tomatoes and pest-resistant or herbicide-tolerant crops. Genetic modification can be used to improve crop yields, reduce insecticide use, or increase the nutritional value of foods. This 5-page fact sheet answers questions consumers might have about genetically modified food. Written by Keith R. Schneider, Renée Goodrich Schneider, and Susanna Richardson, and published by the UF Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, November 2014. (Photo: iStock/

Floridians' Perceptions of GMOs: GMOs and Florida Citrus

bagged Florida orangesWorldwide and in Florida, food-related issues such as food safety, food security, and use of new food technologies continue to be top concerns. Among the food-related issues are concerns about consuming the products from transgenic plants, often referred to as “GMOs.” This 4-page fact sheet is intended to help Extension faculty understand public perceptions regarding the use of genetic engineering to combat citrus greening. Extension faculty can use this understanding of public perceptions as they develop and deliver programming for clientele. Written by Nicole M. W. Dodds, Laura M. Gorham, and Joy N. Rumble, and published by the UF Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, October 2014.

A Synopsis of US Consumer Perception of Genetically Modified (Biotech) Crops

still life: microsocpe, model molecules, and cut plant in flaskOver the last few decades, the use of modern tools of molecular biology has made it possible to discover, isolate, and introduce several important agricultural traits in cultivated crops. Such improvements are usually accomplished by the technique known as genetic engineering, also known as genetic modification. The aim of this article is to provide an update on recent developments with respect to GM food crops, as well as an assessment of US public opinion with regards to GM foods in general. A successful case of how a US-grown GM crop gained acceptance in one of the strictest fruit importing countries is presented. This 8-page fact sheet was written by Edward A. Evans and Fredy H. Ballen, and published by the UF Department of Food and Resource Economics, June 2013.