Was the Secret to Save Citrus Trees Just Unlocked? (Growing Produce)

Was the Secret to Save Citrus Trees Just Unlocked?

Has modern science finally caught up with citrus greening scourge (aka, HLB)? Apparently, University of Florida scientists have taken a giant step in their quest to develop a citrus greening-resistant tree by sequencing the genome of a fruit plant that’s a close cousin to citrus trees.

According to UF/IFAS researchers, you’d need to print 54,000 pages of paper to see the complete genome sequence. But within the reams of paper, scientists believe they’ve found genes to lay the groundwork to make citrus more tolerant and even resistant to certain diseases, including citrus greening.

The new genome would help those who breed new citrus trees that will survive invasive pests, viruses, changing climates, and more, says UF/IFAS researcher Zhanao Deng, a senior author on the study.

“Very importantly, trifoliate orange and its hybrids have genes that can confer high tolerance to citrus greening and resistance to the Asian citrus psyllid, the insect that transmits greening to citrus,” he said. “This genome can be used as a reference template to sequence widely used trifoliate orange hybrid rootstock varieties.”

Learn more about Was the Secret to Save Citrus Trees Just Unlocked?
X