An international team of scientists has sequenced the citrus genome, which could help with a treatment for citrus greening.


Researchers and scientists the world over have been searching for a cure or treatment that would effectively fight citrus greening, also known as HLB. In the interest of beating citrus greening and more, a global team of scientists have succeeded in successfully sequencing the citrus genome. In addition to pinpointing the origins of citrus as we know it, the hope is that the citrus genome will offer a piece to the puzzle that cracks the citrus greening conundrum, according to a UF/IFAS blog on the breakthrough. Read a summary below.

Citrus Genome Sequencing Details


Researchers analyzed the genes of 60 types of citrus, and they identified 10 natural citrus species. They were able to trace the origins of modern citrus back eight million years to Himalayas of Southeast Asia.

One of the researchers on the global team is UF/IFAS professor of Horticulture Science Fred Gmitter. “All of the clear understanding of relationships of the different kinds of citrus that we have revealed helps to inform plant-breeding strategies and approaches to develop cultivars tolerant of HLB or cultivars that are more delicious and nutritious,” Gmitter is quoted as saying in the blog.

Gene sequencing involves finding out each and every gene that controls the inheritable traits of an organism. “That means that researchers who might be looking for genes to target for citrus greening resistance now can search through the many genomes of tolerant types and compare with sensitive types,” Gmitter said.

“By improving the condition and understanding of our genetics and breeding knowledge base, the science becomes open to exciting new possibilities in genetic improvement,” Gmitter said. “And as citrus breeders, our goals have always included improvements in characteristics that benefit not only producers, but consumers as well.”

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