FAMU Granted Two New Grape Patents


By: Ciara Mims

The Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Agriculture & Food Sciences (CAFS) has been granted two new grape patents, a breakthrough for University research and an important development for the Florida grape and wine industry.

“The long-term sustainability of the state and national grape industry depends on new genetic resources that carry adaptive traits capable of overcoming the existing and future challenges in grape industry sustainability,” said Violeta Tsolova, Ph.D., director of FAMU’s Center for Viticulture and Small Fruit Research. “There are critical needs for the development of new grape cultivars exhibiting stress resistance and superior fruit/vinification qualities to mitigate production cost and expand wine and fresh fruit market opportunities.”

Floriana muscadine grapes at the Center for Viticulture and Small Fruit Research

The two muscadine grape patents granted to the University are called “Floriana” and “Florida Onyx.” The traits of both have been repeatedly observed and have been the most distinct when grown in Florida. The Center, established in 1978 with Florida Senate Bill No. 898, has been the national leader in muscadine grape research and plans to continue its success.

Florida Onyx muscadine grapes at the FAMU Viticulture Center

According to Tsolova, The Center will work with the University’s Office of Technology Transfer to license the new patented grape cultivars with nursery producers and grape growers in Florida and the southeastern U.S. This will generate royalties for FAMU research, elevate international and national standing for FAMU and The Center, and increase opportunities for students.

“The two new plant patents that cover the new varieties of grapes are a reflection of the quality of research and the innovative minds at work here on FAMU’s campus,” said Reis Alsberry, FAMU Office of Technology Transfer and Control director. “Any time new patents are issued to a university, they bring the kind of positive attention that garners respect and admiration from those who work in that particular field and the American research community as a whole.”

For more information about specialized research that is being done at The Center, please contact Tsolova at 850-412-7394 or [email protected].

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