HLB continued to contribute to reduced production and lower quality fruit for Florida growers this season. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers are working to help alleviate these problems by delivering improved rootstocks and varieties. The July issue of Citrus Industry magazine includes an in-depth look at this work.
Read “Juice for Florida’s future” to learn about the characteristics of new sweet oranges and sweet orange-like hybrids that could offer growers better quality fruit. Authors Jude Grosser and Fred Gmitter, UF/IFAS citrus breeders, detail what options are available to replace Hamlins as well as some late-maturing oranges with HLB tolerance. They also discuss hybrid selections in the breeding pipeline that are showing high Brix levels.
UF/IFAS researchers Ute Albrecht, Anas Fadli and Chandrika Ramadugu provide an update on their work evaluating Citrus x Microcitrus hybrid scions. These scions take advantage of the high HLB tolerance found in finger limes. Four of the most promising candidates are now being field tested in Florida, California and Texas.
Work with rootstocks also is contributing to the HLB fight. Grosser, Gmitter and Manjul Dutt share the progress they have made in developing improved rootstocks to mitigate the disease. A mutant rootstock known as XXX-639 that is under trial has shown the ability to suppress replication of the bacteria that causes HLB. Super-root mutant rootstocks like Fast Eddy are also showing promise.
Another article in the July issue of Citrus Industry, written by Albrecht, addresses the issue of malformed roots in field-grown citrus. Albrecht explains the many different factors that can cause this problem. She reports that no evidence has been found that cuttings and tissue culture propagation negatively influence tree growth and productivity.
Find all of these articles and more in the July 2022 issue of Citrus Industry, coming soon to your mailbox or inbox. If you are not already receiving the magazine, subscribe here.
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