- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
Three citrus trees that produce inedible fruit at the UC Lindcove Research and Extension Center in Visalia may be a game-changer for the citrus industry, reported Ezra David Romero on Valley Public Radio.
The trees are thought to be resistant to huanglongbing, a severe disease of citrus that has devastated the Florida industry and could become a serious problem in California. The citrus-saving potential of the three 34-year-old trees was outlined in an article by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources writer Hazel White in the most recent issue of California Agriculture journal.
UC Riverside citrus breeder Mikeal Roose collected seed from the trees and will test seedlings as soon as they are large enough.
"So what (breeders) have to do is cross this with some edible varieties and eventually create something that has the gene for resistance, but also the genes for good fruit," said Beth Grafton-Cardwell, Lindcove director and research entomologist.
Huanglongbing disease has cut citrus production in Florida by more than half. It's been found in residential citrus trees in Southern California, but hasn't reached the state's vast commercial orchards yet. Grafton-Cardwell said she expects the disease will arrive in 4 or 5 years.
- Author: Ramadugu, Keremane, Halbert, Duan, Roose, Stover and Lee
Citrus huanglongbing (HLB) is a destructive disease with no known cure. To identify sources of (HLB) resistance in the subfamily Aurantioideae to which citrus belongs, we conducted a six-year field trial under natural disease challenge conditions in an HLB endemic region. The study included 65 Citrus accessio9ns and 33 accessions belonging to 20 other closely related genera. For each accession, eight seedling trees were evaluated. Based on quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis of the pathogen titers and disease symptoms, eight disease-response categories were identified. We report two immune, six resistant and 14 tolerant accessions. Resistance and tolerance observed in different accessions may be attributed to a multitude of factors, including psyllid colonization ability, absence of pathogen multiplication, transient replication of the bacterium, lack of paht\\thogen establishment in the plant, delayed infection, or recovery from infection. Most citrus cultivars were considered susceptible: 15 citrons, lemons and limes retained leaves in spite of the disease status. Resistance and high levels of field tolerance were observed in many non-citrus genera. Disease resistance/tolerance was observed in Australian citrus relative genera Eremocitrus and Microcitrus. which are sexually compatible with citrus and may be useful in future breeding trials to impart HLB resistance to cultivated citrus.
2016 The American Phytopathological Society, vol. 100, N0. 9, p 1858-1868
Photo: Starch Accumulation in Infected Leaves