Jianjun Chen

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Assistant Professor - Plant Physiology

University of Florida
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Mid-Florida Research & Education Center
2725 Binion Road, Apopka, FL 32703-8504

Current Assignment 80% research and 20% extension



  • Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics -1991 
  • M.S. University of Wisconsin, Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics -1991 
  • B.S. Central China Agricultural University Horticultural Science - 1982 
Current Research 

My research interests are in the environmental physiology of container-grown ornamental plants, with a major emphasis on foliage plants and other plants used indoors. Environmental factors such as light, nutrients, temperature and water as well as cultural practices can greatly affect indoor plants’ aesthetic appearance and interior performance, which is often referred to as acclimatization. The primary focus of this research is to exploit the genetic potential of cultivars in response to the acclimatization and to identify superior cultivars for the ornamental plant industry. Specific projects include: cultivar differences in light induced morphological and physiological changes of leaf variegation and flower development; chilling and heat tolerance; water and nutrient use efficiency; interaction with growth regulators; as well as evaluation of plants from collections, breeding or somaclonal variation for new cultivar development.


As a design team member of the State Major Program (SMP) FL-105: "Management of Water and Nutrients in Florida’s Nursery", my extension program is focused on "Environmentally Friendly Approaches for Water and Nutrient Management in Foliage Plant Production". I have been working closely with extension agents and growers in the following areas: (1) improvement of potting medium components for reducing nutrient leaching; (2) application of fertilizers and water based on species/cultivar and growth-stage needs; (3) evaluation of alternative water sources for foliage plant production; and (4) dissemination of water and nutrient related information through publications, workshop and in-service training. Work in this direction will improve current nutrient and water management practices and produce high quality plants at reduced fertilizers and water costs while minimizing harmful effects to environment.

  • American Society for Agronomy
  • American Society for Horticultural Science
  • American Society of Plant Physiologists
  • Crop Science Society of America
  • Florida State Horticultural Society
  • International Society for Plant Molecular Biology
  • International Society for Horticultural Science
  • Soil Science Society of America


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