Genome Sequencing and Other UF Research

Ernie NeffAll In For Citrus Podcast

Michael Rogers

Michael Rogers discusses the importance of the recent sequencing of the trifoliate orange genome by University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers and others. He also tells how growers can learn more about UF/IFAS research funded by the Florida Legislature. Rogers is director of the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) in Lake Alfred and oversees citrus research and Extension activities statewide.

The trifoliate orange sequencing “really gives us the information we need to develop more efficiently new plant material that’s resistant to diseases as well as insects,” Rogers says. “This first sequence they’ve done for trifoliate orange really sets the background to speed up and make that additional sequencing of those other rootstocks possible in a much more timely and efficient manner.”

UF/IFAS researchers Zhanao Deng and Fred Gmitter sequenced the genome from trifoliate orange in collaboration with scientists from the University of California at Berkeley, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute and UF’s Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research. Learn more about that research here.

“More than 80 percent of our common varieties (in Florida) are grown on trifoliate orange rootstock,” Rogers says.

He also tells how growers and others can learn about UF/IFAS research funded by the Florida Legislature. The information is available at the CREC website. A “Resources” tab on the website includes a link to “2018-2019 State Legislature Funding for UF/IFAS Citrus Initative.” That link leads to information about more than a dozen projects conducted with the legislative funding. Some of the topics being researched include gene editing, fruit drop, homobrassinolide and antibiotics.

Rogers points out that much other UF/IFAS citrus research is funded by the Citrus Research and Development Foundation.

This interview with Rogers is featured in the October 2020 episode of the All In For Citrus podcast, a joint project of UF/IFAS and AgNet Media. Listen to the full podcast here.

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About the Author

Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large