ctv

Australia Seeks Vaccine-Like Solution to CTV

Daniel Cooper Diseases, International, Research

Australian scientists are developing a vaccine-like solution to arm citrus growers with an effective way to combat citrus tristeza virus (CTV), a significant challenge for the Australian citrus industry.  The $1.5 million initiative is being delivered through Hort Innovation and collaboratively led by the University of Queensland, the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) and Auscitrus. Researchers …

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 …

New Decay Control Options on the Horizon for Florida Citrus

Josh McGill Fresh, Research

By Mark A. Ritenour and Jiuxu Zhang Preventing decay of fresh fruit has always been critical for a successful citrus industry. Prior to citrus greening (huanglongbing or HLB) in Florida, effective decay control practices were well established. These practices fueled Florida’s robust fresh domestic and export citrus sales, allowing shipping durations of 21 days or more. Since the establishment of …

Millennium Block Drive-Thru Highlights

Josh McGill Events, Indian River, Research

Florida citrus growers and researchers arrived from Davie, Bartow, Lakeland, Plant City, Fellsmere and Gainesville to view more than 5,500 trees of several new citrus varieties. Some of the trees are showing initial tolerance to citrus greening.   The occasion was the Millennium Block Drive-Thru at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Indian River Research and …

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 …

UGA to Hire Citrus Researchers Next Year

Josh McGill Georgia, Research

Georgia citrus growers will soon have research support from the University of Georgia (UGA), says Lindy Savelle, president of the Georgia Citrus Association and member of the Georgia Citrus Commission. She confirmed the news at the recent Cold Hardy Citrus Field Day at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) North Florida Research and Education Center …

$5 Million Awarded to UF/IFAS for HLB Research

Josh McGill HLB Management, Research

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) has been awarded five federal grants totaling more than $5 million to control HLB. The grants are from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).   HLB is caused by the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas). The Asian citrus psyllid can transmit CLas into a …

CRAFT Public Dashboard Offers a Look at Trials and Results

Josh McGill CRAFT, Research

By Tina Buice The Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) program was created in 2019. Its work was centered on the mission of moving lab and research solutions into groves for commercial-scale field trials, collecting data on those trials and creating an integrated data management solution to present the results. Four years later, with more than 10,000 acres of new …

Universities Receive 11 Federal Grants for HLB Research

Josh McGill HLB Management, Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA) has invested more than $25 million in 11 projects as part of the Emergency Citrus Disease Research & Extension program. This program brings the nation’s top scientists together with citrus industry representatives to find scientifically sound solutions that combat and prevent citrus greening (HLB)​ at the farm level. Some of this …

Research Update on Oxytetracycline Injection for HLB Management

Josh McGill HLB Management, Research

By Ute Albrecht The German scientist Paul Ehrlich pioneered the research for “magic bullets” — chemicals that could kill a microorganism but did not harm the patient. He also coined the term “chemotherapy” and paved the way for developing synthetic drugs. The first synthetic antibiotic (the first sulfa-type antibiotic) to successfully treat human bacterial diseases without major side effects was …

Department of Citrus Discusses Priorities for Research Funds

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

The Florida Department of Citrus held a research and budget workshop on Oct. 4. Rosa Walsh, director of scientific research, presented an overview of the general funds received for research this fiscal year along with several possibilities for use of these funds for feedback from the Florida Citrus Commission (FCC). Walsh reported that $1.65 million was received in general revenue …

Seeking Injection Alternatives and Additions

Josh McGill CRDF, HLB Management, Research

The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) approved three new projects during its September board of directors meeting. The projects will test the injection of different antimicrobial materials to treat HLB. One project will be managed by Ozgur Batuman, a citrus pathologist with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Another will be run by Kranthi …

A Grove-First Approach

Josh McGill HLB Management, Research

In the nearly two decades that huanglongbing (HLB) has plagued Florida citrus groves, about $1 billion has been spent in the search for solutions. A lot of great scientists in Florida and around the world have worked on the problem, and a silver bullet, if there is one to be found, has been elusive. Researchers, along with growers, have developed …

Treat HLB Trees With the Right PGR at the Right Time

Josh McGill HLB Management, PGRs, Research

By Tripti Vashisth, Wesley Webb and Taylor Livingston As trees become symptomatic for HLB, leaves experience an imbalance of plant hormones. This hormonal imbalance exacerbates HLB symptoms and can lead to more stem dieback, poor vegetative growth and fruit drop. This ultimately leads to reduced bearing wood, resulting in yield losses and tree decline. Thus, the use of growth-promoting hormones …

Wang Appointed to Graves Eminent Scholar Chair

Josh McGill HLB Management, Research

Citrus researcher Nian Wang has been appointed to the Graves Eminent Scholar Chair in Biotechnology at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Wang is a professor of microbiology and cell science at the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC). He was appointed to the chair because of his work to develop a tree resistant to …

Gene Confers Resistance to HLB and Citrus Canker

Josh McGill HLB Management, International, Research

In August, Horticulture Research published a paper titled An endolysin gene from Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus confers dual resistance to huanglongbing and citrus canker. Researchers found that an endolysin encoded by the Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) prophage has dual resistance to huanglongbing (HLB) and citrus canker. A prophage is the genetic material of a bacteriophage, and a bacteriophage is a virus …

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), …

USDA Funds Three Georgia Citrus Projects

Josh McGill Georgia, Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA AMS) funded three citrus projects in Georgia for fiscal year 2023. SATSUMA EDUCATIONThe Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) received $103,225 for a satsuma education project. GDA will partner with local farmers and produce distributors to increase the availability of Georgia-grown satsuma mandarins in retail locations. The project will work closely with …

Agrobacteria Shows Promise Against HLB

Josh McGill HLB Management, Research

U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA ARS) scientists have discovered a way to augment a citrus tree’s natural resistance to pathogens, including HLB. The scientists are in the Crop Improvement and Genetics Research (CIGR) unit in Albany, California. According to James Thomson, a geneticist at CIGR, by incorporating receptors that can recognize pathogens, scientists are able to activate …

California and Arizona Citrus Projects Funded

Josh McGill California Corner, Research

The California and Arizona departments of agriculture received funding for four citrus-related projects from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) for 2023. Nationwide, USDA AMS allocated $72.9 million in Specialty Crop Block Grant Program funding. DROUGHT-TOLERANT VARIETIESThe California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) received $499,921 for designing drought-tolerant specialty crops using metabolic modeling. The University …