Joint Culturing Project for HLB?

Ernie Neff Research


Four researchers from around the country summarized their work on culturing the causal agent of HLB and agreed to consider a large, joint culturing project. The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) hosted the panel discussion on Nov. 5 about culturing Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas).

CRDF organized the presentation after receiving a request for funding of a CLas culturing project from Washington State University researcher David Gang. “We realized at the staff level that we had a knowledge gap” regarding CLas culturing and decided to convene the panel, CRDF Chief Operating Officer Rick Dantzler said.

Gang was one of the panelists for the CRDF presentation. Other culturing experts who spoke about their work with CLas were Kranthi Mandadi with Texas A&M University, Yong-Ping Duan with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, and Dean Gabriel with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Following the individual presentations, Dantzler asked if the group had ever considered “coming together as a team and having the mother of all culturing projects.” Such a project might be funded by multiple organizations and have numerous universities and other organizations involved in the research, he suggested. “The idea resonated with them,” Dantzler said. “Everybody was open to it.”  

Gabriel agreed to pull together comments from the meeting “and see if we could devise a plan that would move all of these labs in concert toward the goal of culturing CLas,” Dantzler said. “Dean Gabriel knows as much about this as anyone in the world.”

At the panel discussion, Gang talked about optimization of diverse CLas culture platforms and Mandadi addressed work with hairy roots. Duan focused on in vitro growth dynamics of the HLB causal agent. Gabriel’s topic was “The missing links: Why culturing of native CLas is practically impossible.”

Learn more here about the importance of culturing CLas and efforts to do so.

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About the Author

Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large