New Mandarin Gives Growers Advantages

Daniel CooperBreeding, Research

mandarin

Commercial citrus growers will soon see a new seedless mandarin variety that stays on the tree longer, two traits farmers seek, say University of Florida scientists. Marathon, an early season mandarin, is also easy to peel and tastes good, said Fred Gmitter, a professor of breeding and genetics at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). … Read More

Citrus Breeding in Uruguay

Ernie NeffBreeding

orange

A primary job for scientists breeding citrus in Uruguay is to help the approximately 42,000-acre industry develop fresh fruit for export, Fernando Rivas said at a recent international citrus breeders symposium in Lake Alfred, Florida. Rivas works for Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural Research. On. Dec. 4, Rivas told an audience of about 70 at the Citrus Research and Education … Read More

Italian Citrus Breeding

Ernie NeffBreeding

breeding

Citrus tristeza virus (CTV) began spreading in Sicily in the early 2000s because the Italian citrus industry’s standard rootstock was CTV-susceptible sour orange, reported Marco Caruso at a recent symposium of international citrus breeders. Consequently, approximately 74,000 acres will be replanted with CTV-tolerant rootstocks over the next few years, he said. Caruso, a citrus breeding expert with Italy’s Research Centre … Read More

UF/IFAS Event Combines Latest Citrus Varieties with New Breeding Research

Daniel CooperBreeding, Research

varieties

On Dec. 4 at the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC), citrus growers can see if they want to grow the latest varieties from University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) breeders and then learn more about commercializing crops. In the morning, industry members can sample the latest citrus varieties from UF/IFAS breeders. “These are new varieties … Read More

Whitmore Farm Focuses on HLB Research

Ernie NeffBreeding, HLB Management

HLB

More than 20 growers and others attended a tour on Oct. 11 at Whitmore Farm near Groveland in Lake County, Florida. Breeding for HLB tolerance or resistance is the primary goal of research at the farm. “Whitmore Farm was established in the mid-1950s as a foundation farm,” says Brian Scully, who led the tour and discussed research. Scully is director … Read More

What Is CRISPR and What Does it Mean for Citrus?

Tacy CalliesBreeding

By Fred Gmitter, Yi Zhang and Jude Grosser It is very likely that you have heard about the use of CRISPR technology and its great potential for addressing human health issues, as well as the promise it holds for providing solutions for major agricultural challenges, particularly for huanglongbing (HLB) in citrus. Granting agencies are supporting many citrus research projects aimed … Read More

Grower Partnerships Are Key to UF/IFAS Plant-Breeding Success

Daniel CooperBreeding, Citrus, Industry News Release, Research

HLB

University of Florida (UF) citrus breeder Fred Gmitter recalls meeting Vero Beach grower Tom Hammond about 20 years ago, when Gmitter needed a place to grow hybrid citrus. Gmitter knew most growers wouldn’t experiment with “raw materials” – plant offspring used to identify that possible one in 5,000 winner. Growers rarely make a profit from such experiments. Hammond took a … Read More

Jude Grosser: Giving Growers Better Options

Tacy CalliesBreeding

By Tacy Callies Some people start young adulthood by following in their parents’ footsteps. Jude Grosser began by following the path of his oldest brother, Tim, instead. Both went to Thomas More College and majored in biology. After that, their education and careers took different turns. Grosser thought he would work in wildlife or fisheries, but then had an opportunity … Read More

Fred Gmitter: Slow Road to Fast Genetics

Tacy CalliesBreeding, Citrus

By Ernie Neff Even Nostradamus would have struggled to predict a career path for a 25-year-old Fred Gmitter. Gmitter had quit college after three years at Rutgers University, where he studied English literature with plans to teach. He said he “became completely disillusioned” with that plan. He married, worked as a delivery truck driver and warehouse laborer, and traveled out … Read More

Finger Lime Could Be New Crop for Citrus Growers

Tacy CalliesBreeding

By Manjul Dutt, Ethan Nielsen and Jude Grosser The finger lime is a citrus relative, scientifically named Microcitrus australasica. Finger limes are native to Australia and are so named because the fruits are long and fingerlike in shape (see figures 1 and 2). Finger limes belong to a group of similar citrus relatives, all originating from Australia with common names … Read More