Tarik Eluri

Thesis Entitled: PVY Efficiency of Autoinfection of Two Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) Varieties, INIAP-Fripapa and Superchola, and its Relationship to Temperature and Virus Concentration in the Ecuadorian Andes

Tarik conducted research for his M.S. at FAMU (UF Agroecology Partner Institution) at the International Potato Center in Quito, Ecuador on seed tuber transmission of Potato Virus Y (PVY). He quantified the percentage of PVY infection though seed transmission at three altitudes in the Ecuadorian Andes.

Annie Couch

Thesis Entitled: Plant Morphology, Yield, and Nitrogen Accumulation by Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) Grown in North Central Florida Under Standard Agronomic Practices

Sesame is a new crop to north central Florida with commercial production beginning in 2012. The objective of Annie’s project was to evaluate 12 sesame varieties to determine which were best suited for this region. Above-ground and below-ground architecture were analyzed in addition to yield.

Anastasia Vaccaro

Thesis Entitled: The Physiological and Yield Responses in Sesame to Various Nitrogen and Irrigation Timings and Rates Among Two Different Varieties in a Field Setting

Currently Sesame is predominantly produced in Texas, Oklahoma and southern Kansas. However, sesame’s high drought tolerance and low nutrient requirement make it appealing for Florida’s sandy soils. Anastasia’s research objectives are to determine appropriate nitrogen and irrigation amounts/scheduling for sustainable sesame production in Florida.

Kelly Racette

Thesis Entitled: Single-season and Generational Stress Memories in Crops: Use of Primed Acclimation to Impart Drought Tolerance

Potato’s extreme sensitivity to water deficit poses many challenges to the production of the crop both in the United States and abroad. To address this issue Kelly conducted research at the International Potato Center in Lima, Peru to identify a method for maintaining or improving plant growth, physiological function, and yield under late season drought conditions. Peanut, on the other hand, is a crop that has been demonstrated to be resilient under drought conditions and responds favorably to water-saving irrigation strategies like primed acclimation. The effects of these irrigation strategies across generations have been poorly characterized, however. Kelly’s research for her M.S. also focused on characterizing the impacts of generational stress memory in this crop.