Parson Brown Outperforming Hamlin

Ernie Neff Research, Varieties

Manjul Dutt recently discussed his research on the Parson Brown (PB) sweet orange, which shows some characteristics that could make it more attractive than Hamlin, Florida’s leading early-season orange. Dutt is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences horticultural sciences researcher at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred. Dutt’s research, funded by the Citrus …

Citrus History Mystery Solved

Ernie Neff Breeding, Research

How modern citrus developed, particularly the popular mandarin variety, has long been a mystery to citrus breeders. A global partnership of scientists recently unraveled a big part of the mystery by analyzing the genome sequences of 69 East Asian traditional, wild and atypical citrus varieties. One of the researchers was Fred Gmitter, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural …

Growers Discuss CRAFT Projects

Ernie Neff Research

Four Florida growers recently discussed efforts they’ll take to cope with HLB in plantings subsidized by the Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) program. Their comments were part of a virtual educational session sponsored by the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) and Florida Citrus Mutual. CRDF Chief Operating Officer Rick Dantzler said the projects discussed were among 103 funded …

Citrus Juice Proven to Aid Immune System

Ernie Neff Orange Juice, Research

A new research review, published in Frontiers in Immunology, has found that a glass of citrus juice contains key nutrients and bioactive substances that help human immune systems work efficiently. Scientists examined evidence from nearly 200 different studies and reports. They concluded that vitamin C, folate and polyphenol compounds in citrus juice can impact immune health, fight inflammation and improve …

Avoiding Heat-Related Deaths

Ernie Neff Research, Weather

A new University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) report showed 215 people in Florida died from heat-related causes in the last 10 years. The fact that heat-related deaths happen throughout the year surprised the researchers who wrote the report. Serap Gorucu, a UF/IFAS assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering, helped write the report. She and …

Research Planned on OJ Health Benefits

Ernie Neff Orange Juice, Research

Rosa Walsh, director of scientific research at the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC), told the Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) in June about the 2020-21 FDOC research plan. The plan includes two scientific research projects exploring health benefits of 100% orange juice (OJ). The projects, beginning in the new fiscal year, look at determining quantitative analysis of nutrient density in OJ …

CRAFT Leadership to Change

Ernie Neff Research

There will soon be leadership changes at the Citrus Research and Field Trials (CRAFT) Foundation. Tamara Wood will succeed Kristen Carlson as executive director and program manager; she was previously assistant program manager. Tom Mitchell will succeed Glenn Beck as president. Wood will manage day-to-day operations. There are no plans to hire a new assistant program manager, but the board …

Hesperidin and Good Health Linked

Ernie Neff Florida Department of Citrus, Research

A new systematic review links hesperidin, a flavonoid found in oranges and 100% orange juice (OJ), to health benefits. However, more research is needed to further strengthen results.    The Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC)-funded review examined published studies relating to hesperidin in 100% OJ and its impact on several chronic conditions and other measurements. Those measurements included blood levels …

Study: Beverage Labels Confuse Parents

Ernie Neff Florida Department of Citrus, Orange Juice, Research

Beverage labeling regulations appear to fall short of helping parents identify the ingredients of drinks they purchase for their children, a recent study published in Pediatric Obesity suggests. This has researchers calling for changes to labeling regulations to increase transparency and help consumers choose healthier beverages. The online study included more than 1,600 parents who had healthy 1- to 5-year-old …

A Trojan Horse for Citrus Disease

Ernie Neff Diseases, Research

Scientists are hoping the RNA of an obscure infection can one day be used like a Trojan horse to deliver treatments to citrus trees, possibly to combat HLB disease. The infection, citrus yellow vein disease, was discovered 64 years ago in Riverside, California, and has never been seen elsewhere in the world. Decades later, University of California (UC) Riverside researchers …

Improving Productivity in Australia

Ernie Neff Production, Research

A new research and development program launched by Hort Innovation aims to arm growers in Australia with the tools they need to produce more fruit, including citrus, and nuts per hectare. Hort Innovation is a grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for the nation’s horticulture industry. ABOUT THE PROGRAMThe 5-year $28 million National Tree Crop Intensification in Horticulture Program will …

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CRAFT Foundation: Two-Year Program Update

Ashley Robinson Research

The Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) Foundation Inc. is in its second year of operation. CRAFT Foundation Executive Director Kristen Carlson gave a program update during the recent Florida Citrus Show. CRAFT was designed to work as a cooperative effort between growers and researchers in order to provide examples of economically feasible production management practices and programs for Florida …

Unlocking the Citrus Microbiome

Ernie Neff Research

Yunzheng Zhang, Nian Wang and colleagues recently published an article, The Citrus Microbiome: From Structure and Function to Microbiome Engineering and Beyond, in the Phytobiomes Journal. It outlines the structure and potential functions of the plant microbiome​. It explains how this knowledge can lead to new engineering feats and a greater understanding of the plant microbiome. Insights into the microbiome …

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Testing Prototypes to Get HLB Therapeutics into Trees

Ashley Robinson HLB Management, Research

Researchers at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) are working on automated systems that deliver HLB therapeutics into the citrus tree’s phloem, where the materials are most effective. The project, “Development of an automated delivery system for therapeutic materials to treat HLB-infected citrus,” is in its third year. Ozgur Batuman, project director and UF/IFAS citrus …

Researchers and Growers Partner in Science

Ernie Neff Research

Researchers with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) have conducted scientific studies in groves owned by grower cooperators around the state for many decades. UF/IFAS’ Michael Rogers refers to these researcher/grower relationships as “partnerships” and discusses their value. Rogers is director of the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center at Lake Alfred. “These researcher/grower partnerships, …

Advances in Therapeutics for HLB Control

Ashley Robinson HLB Management, Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is examining different ways to deliver therapeutics to citrus trees for management of citrus greening disease, also know an huanglongbing (HLB). The hope of the USDA initiative is to establish an HLB-therapeutic molecule and identify the most cost-effective strategy to deliver these molecules to growers. The project is in collaboration with the University of …

HLB, Lemons and Oranges

Ernie Neff Research

A group of scientists working in California, New York and Washington has found that Lisbon lemon trees had less of a molecular response than Washington navel orange trees to the pathogen that causes HLB. That pathogen is Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas). In part, this might be because leaves of infected lemons tended to accumulate micronutrients, which led to less of …

Principles and Risks of Trunk Injection for Delivery of Crop Protection Materials

Tacy Callies Pesticides, Research

By Ute Albrecht and Leigh Archer Trunk injection is a targeted delivery of materials into the stem or trunk of trees as an alternative to spraying or soil drenching. It is practical for disease and pest management in high-value forest trees and ornamental plants where aerial applications are problematic because of environmental and human health-related concerns. Interest in using the …

Dual-Function Peptide Treats and Prevents HLB

Ashley Robinson HLB Management, Research

New research affirms a unique stable antimicrobial peptide (SAMP) found in an Australian plant can destroy HLB and help prevent infection. Hailing Jin, University of California Riverisde geneticist who led the research, shared the exciting discovery during the 2021 Florida Citrus Show. The naturally occurring peptide is found in HLB-tolerant citrus relatives, such as the Australian finger lime. The peptide …

Updating Guidelines for New Plantings

Ashley Robinson All In For Citrus Podcast, HLB Management, Research

Researchers at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) are taking a whole-systems approach to update current recommendations for new plantings. A research project, “Establishing Healthy Citrus Plantings in the Face of Persistent HLB Pressure,” is led by UF/IFAS entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock. According to Diepenbrock, current guidelines were created pre-HLB and therefore are out of date …