Crop Transformation Center

Crop Transformation Center Takes Aim at HLB Resistance

Daniel Cooper Breeding, HLB Management, Research

By Frank Giles The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) has established itself as a leader in new technological frontiers like artificial intelligence (AI). In fact, the school has the 15th most powerful computer in the world. The HiPerGator, as the computer is called, will assist in AI development and on many other technological fronts. Another …

New Center to Accelerate HLB Solutions

Tacy Callies Breeding, Technology

By J. Scott Angle, jangle@ufl.edu, @IFAS_VP My job is to help you make money. By changing the way the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) does business in pursuing citrus solutions, I hope to change your business for the better. We’ve just launched a UF/IFAS Crop Transformation Center (CTC). It has the potential to speed delivery …

OJ Break

OJ Break Focused on CRISPR and Emerging Pests

Daniel Cooper Breeding, Pests, Research

In mid-November, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center hosted an OJ Break educational program in Lake Alfred. Attendees were provided with research updates on CRISPR gene editing and emerging pests. Nian Wang, a UF/IFAS professor of microbiology and cell science, spoke on his work with CRISPR technology. He provided insight …

Trekking Toward HLB-Resistant Trees

Josh McGill Breeding, HLB Management, Research

By Michael Rogers Much has been discussed recently about the promise and potential of utilizing CRISPR technology to create HLB-resistant trees for Florida’s citrus growers. The primary objective in citrus gene editing is to develop new varieties that are resistant to HLB disease while remaining non-transgenic. To achieve this goal, researchers make alterations to or eliminate specific genes within the …

More Details on the Plant Transformation Center

Josh McGill Breeding, HLB Management

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) provided more information about a planned Plant Transformation Center. Foremost among goals for the center is finding citrus varieties that can tolerate or resist HLB disease. UF/IFAS will utilize $2 million from an initiative by UF President Ben Sasse to create the Plant Transformation Center. The center’s objectives include: …

Strong Support for Plant Transformation Center

Josh McGill Breeding, Florida Citrus Commission, Florida Department of Citrus

The Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) approved almost $1.05 million to support a University of Florida Plant Transformation Center that will develop methodologies and technologies to improve HLB resistance and tolerance in citrus. The approval followed an overview of the center presented by Scott Angle, University of Florida (UF) senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources, who oversees the UF …

Field Day Showcases Efforts to Breed HLB-Tolerant Oranges

Josh McGill Breeding, Events

By Maegan Beatty On Oct. 27, Jose Chaparro hosted a citrus breeding research update at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Teaching Orchard in Gainesville. The event included a variety display and field tour. Chaparro, a UF/IFAS associate professor of horticultural sciences, focused on how he and his team are taking on the significant task …

All In For Citrus Podcast, October 2023

Josh McGill All In For Citrus Podcast, Breeding

Many people believe genetics will be the eventual key that unlocks more permanent solutions to HLB. Whether it be traditional breeding or new technologies, one day there could be a citrus tree that is resistant or tolerant enough to make the disease a non-factor. One such key could be CRISPR technology to deliver a tree that is engineered to resist …

Transgenic Efforts Against HLB

Josh McGill Breeding, HLB Management, Research

Matthew Mattia recently provided an overview of work at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA ARS) transgenic test site in Fort Pierce. Transgenic refers to an organism that contains genetic material into which DNA from an unrelated organism has been artificially introduced. Scientists at the Picos Farm screen transgenics for suppression of citrus Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), …

Doubling Down on CRISPR Research

Josh McGill Breeding

By Michael E. Rogers We have all been waiting (and waiting some more) for new varieties to be developed that are resistant to HLB. Ten years ago, researchers thought they were really close to having new HLB-resistant varieties developed using gene-editing CRISPR technology. But as science goes, the story was much more complicated than first believed. A single edit to …

Accelerating Citrus Breeding Efforts

Josh McGill Breeding

By John M. Chater Professors Jude Grosser and Fred Gmitter have been breeding improved citrus varieties at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) for decades. Over time, they have released several of their advanced selections. Many of these selections are sweet oranges. There is a subset of these creations …

Japanese Diagnostic Method Targets Breeding Rights Violations

Josh McGill Breeding, International

Citrus is the third most important agricultural product in Japan. The success of the Japanese citrus industry is attributed to the development of new cultivars that are free of pests and diseases, climate-resilient and exhibit superior fruit quality. There has, however, been a growing concern over the infringement and violation of breeding rights of citrus cultivars developed in Japan. This …

USDA Citrus Breeding Program Focused on Rootstock and Variety Solutions

Josh McGill Breeding, Rootstocks, Varieties

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory in Fort Pierce, Florida, has been home to a citrus rootstock and variety breeding program for many years. Kim Bowman, a research geneticist, has been with the program for more than 30 years. More recently, Matthew Mattia, a geneticist, joined the breeding team. They provide an update on the program …

Sneak Peek: July 2023 Citrus Industry

Josh McGill Breeding, Sneak Peek

The July issue of Citrus Industry magazine focuses on the latest work to breed better citrus trees. Chief among the goals is developing varieties resistant or tolerant to HLB. A trio of articles will give readers an inside look at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA …

Federal Funding for Citrus Includes Boost for Breeding

Josh McGill Breeding, California Corner

California Citrus Mutual (CCM) in mid-June welcomed congressional support for critical federal citrus programs. The programs being supported include the Citrus Health Response Program, the HLB Multi-Agency Coordination Group and an additional $1 million in federal funding for a new citrus breeding program. The House Appropriations Committee has included additional funding for citrus breeding research. The research is intended to …

What’s New in Citrus Breeding?

Josh McGill All In For Citrus Podcast, Breeding, Varieties

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) citrus plant improvement team joined the All In For Citrus podcast to discuss new varieties and those in the breeding pipeline. Fred Gmitter, professor of horticultural sciences, Jude Grosser, professor of plant cell genetics, and John Chater, assistant professor of horticultural sciences, also discussed how HLB has impacted their …

All In For Citrus Podcast, April 2023

Josh McGill All In For Citrus Podcast, Breeding, Events

April was a busy month for citrus events with both the Citrus Growers’ Institute and the Florida Grower Citrus Show taking place. Michael Rogers, director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC), joined the All In For Citrus podcast to discuss the success of the two events. Both gatherings …

Investing in Artificial Intelligence

Josh McGill Breeding, Technology

By J. Scott Angle, jangle@ufl.edu, @IFAS_VP University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) breeders produce new citrus plants more quickly than they can figure out if consumers like how the new fruit varieties taste. In the race to create versus evaluate, creators lead evaluators by hundreds of individual plants at a time. It takes a post-doc a …

Citrus Breeding Program Funded in California

Josh McGill Breeding, California Corner

New federal funding of $1 million will establish a citrus breeding program in California. The program will be at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA ARS) field station in Parlier. It will identify new citrus varieties that are best suited for changing climatic pressures such as drought, consumer taste preferences, and resistance to pests and diseases such …