USDA Grants $45 Million for HLB Research

Ernie NeffResearch

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HLB

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) recently awarded 12 grants totaling more than $45 million for research to combat HLB.

“USDA-NIFA’s Emergency Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program (ECDRE) brings the nation’s top scientists together to tackle this problem,” said Parag Chitnis, NIFA’s acting director.

Following are the 12 ECDRE projects funded by USDA-NIFA in the 2020 fiscal year; grant amounts are in parentheses:

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  • The Regents of University of California, Riverside, “Novel, Non-Transgenic, Hybrid Citrus Varieties with Resistance to Huanglongbing: Evaluation and Cultivar Development” ($4,670,000)
  • University of California, Davis, “VIGS-Driven RNAI using Insect Specific Viruses to Manipulate Psyllids and their Endosymbionts as a Strategy to Control Citrus Greening/HLB” ($1,411,605)
  • University of California, Riverside, “CAP: Combining Cultural and Genetic Approaches for Grove Success to Unravel and Enhance Resistance/Tolerance to Huanglongbing” ($6,500,000)
  • Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, “SP: Identification of HLB Susceptibility Genes in a Citrus Population Generated using Multiplexed CRISPR/CAS9 Gene Editing” ($1,497,644)
  • Citrus Research and Development Foundation, Lake Alfred, Florida, “CAP Collaborative Approach Between Academics, Growers and Agrochemical Industry to Discover, Develop and Commercialize Therapies for Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB)” ($10,071,000)
  • University of Florida, Gainesville, “SP: Optimal BT Toxins and Gene Silencing RNAs for Management of Asian Citrus Psyllid to Mitigate the Impact of Citrus Greening” ($1,480,456)
  • University of Florida, Gainesville, “SP: A Novel Therapeutic Strategy for HLB-Infected Trees” ($1,473,890)
  • University of Florida, Gainesville, “SP-Unraveling Candidatus Liberibacter Asiaticus-Phloem Interactions Using Isolated Vasculature from Seed Coats” ($1,496,707)
  • University of Maryland, College Park, “Phloem Targeted Multiplexed Gene Editing for Enhanced Control of Huanglongbing in Citrus” ($942,906)
  • University of Maryland, College Park, “SP: Phloem-Restricted, Independently Mobile RNA Gene Silencing System for Mitigating Citrus Greening by Targeting Liberibacter Asiaticus and Citrus Gene Expression” ($1,500,000)
  • USDA-ARS, Genetics and Precision Agriculture Unit, Mississippi State, “CAP: Therapeutic Molecule Evaluation and Field Delivery Pipeline for Solutions to HLB” ($9,380,000)
  • NMC, Inc., Los Alamos, New Mexico, “Providing Practical Solutions for HLB Treatment and Prevention” ($4,759,531)

A team from the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the University of Florida has developed educational materials to explain a wide array of research approaches to HLB. Learn more here.

Source: USDA-NIFA

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