AFE has approved more than $296,000 in floriculture/horticulture research project funding for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

“These projects will address and help solve critical industry issues, including Botrytis and thrips, and enable the entire floral industry to become more productive and profitable,” said Terril Nell, Ph.D., Research Coordinator for AFE.

The funding will support six continuing projects and four new projects. The goal of all AFE research is to provide knowledge that helps the industry grow stronger.

Marigold Guardian Plant

Marigold Guardian Plant


  • Managing Pythium Species in Floriculture Irrigation Water: Dr. Mary Hausbeck, Michigan State University, $40,000
  • Engineering Impatiens for Resistance to the Devastating Disease Downy Mildew: Dr. Zhanao Deng, University of Florida, $31,500
  • Finding Solutions to Pre-Harvest Botrytis Infection of Cut Roses: Dr. James Faust, Clemson University, $45,182


  • Beneficial Fungal Endophytes for Effective Insect Management in Floriculture Crops: Dr. Kevin Heinz, Texas A&M University, $16,000
  • A Novel Approach to Fungal-based Thrips Management with Marigold Guardian Plants: Dr. Margaret Skinner, University of Vermont, $22,780
Downy Mildew

Downy Mildew


  • Making Better Plant Products by Understanding Dynamic Facets of Metabolism: Dr. Thomas A. Colquhoun, University of Florida, $33,000
  • Understanding How Temperature Influences Crop Production Time to Facilitate Selection and Breeding of Cool-Tolerant Bedding Plants: Dr. Ryan Warner, Michigan State University, $28,791


Cut Rose with Botrytis

Cut Rose with Botrytis

  • Postharvest Management of Botrytis During Shipping and Storage: Dr. John Dole, North Carolina State University, $33,000


  • Making LED Lighting More Cost-Effective: Dr. Marc van Iersel, University of Georgia, $20,000
  • Use of Beneficial Microbes to Enhance Plant Growth, Decrease Disease Severity and Improve Stress Tolerance in Ornamentals: Dr. Michelle Jones, The Ohio State University, $26,451

AFE offers more than 150 FREE online research reports on a variety of topics that focus on important industry issues.