Several scientific projects to be funded with $2 million the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) received from the state’s Citrus Recovery Program were approved by the Florida Citrus Commission (FCC). The Citrus Recovery Program funds came from the Florida Legislature this year. The funded projects include:
- A contract with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center for CRISPR Lab Expansion in the amount of $650,000. The funding will support the expansion of researcher Nian Wang’s CRISPR laboratory to expedite his work to improve HLB resistance and tolerance in citrus.
- A contract with UF/IFAS Transgenic Line Propagation and Characterization in the amount of $214,084. The funding will support the propagation, characterization and regulation of researcher Zhonglin Mou’s transgenic lines.
- A contract with Florida Citrus Research Foundation in the amount of $59,970 to support ongoing research. That research will focus on reducing juvenility in available Donaldson trees to apply learnings to other juvenile varieties that may show tolerance or resistance to HLB. The decades-old Donaldson tree is a recently discovered HLB-infected tree that is producing high levels of fruit; learn more about it.
Also utilizing funds from the Citrus Recovery Program, the FCC approved almost $1.05 million for a new UF/IFAS Plant Transformation Center. Scott Angle, head of UF/IFAS, spent considerable time telling the FCC about the center.
Rosa Walsh, director of scientific research for the FDOC, said she plans to use an additional $28,000 in Citrus Recovery Program funds to focus on a program for expedited propagation similar to the program from last year. The FCC authorized that expenditure as well. Learn more about the expedited propagation program here.
The Citrus Recovery Program allocations were previously discussed in an Oct. 4 research and budget workshop.
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