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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The California Citrus Certification Program Supports the Industry

item Krueger, Robert

Submitted to: Society of Citrus Nurserymen International Congress
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 15, 2001
Publication Date: July 15, 2001

Interpretive Summary: Citrus is unique among fruit crops in that it has a large number of diseases caused by viruses and virus-like pathogens which can devastate industries. These pathogens can be transmitted by man via infected budwood and tools, and in some cases by insect vectors. Certification programs for citrus budwood are one approach to managing these types of diseases by reduction or elimination of the inoculum. This is accomplished via government regulations that establish certain criteria for pathogen testing and production of these propagative materials, and prohibit the use of materials not meeting these criteria. The citrus certification program in California is the oldest in the world, and has provided a model for the establishment of certification programs in other countries. As it currently exists, it is a cooperative effort between the University of California (UC), the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the California citrus industry. Central to the certification program is the UC Citrus Clonal Protection Program (CCPP), which provides a means of introducing new varieties of true-to-type, pathogen-free budwood and is the primary source of citrus budwood within the state. Other entities, such as the Central California Citrus Eradication Agency, support the phytosanitary health of the state's citrus industry. An informal network consisting of the CCPP, the UC Riverside Citrus Breeding Program, the UC/USDA Citrus Variety Collection, and the USDA National Clonal Germplasm Repository for Citrus and Dates provides support for the certification program and the industry.

Technical Abstract: The California citrus certification program has its roots extending back to the 1930s and the psorosis-free program established by the State of California in cooperation with the University of California. The nature of the program changed over the decades that followed, and the Citrus Variety Improvement Program (now the Citrus Clonal Protection Program) was established in the 1950s. The California Department of Food and Agriculture, the United States Department of agriculture, and the California citrus industry. It has the goal of providing virus-tested true-to-type budwood to the citrus industry and suppressing the level of citrus viruses present in California. The California citrus certification program is supported by an informal 'California Citrus Genetic Resources Conservation and Utilization System' comprised of the Citrus Clonal Protection Program, the USDA-ARS National Clonal Germplasm Repository, and the Citrus Variety Collection and Citrus Breeding Program of the University of California, Riverside. This system, in addition to supporting the certification program, allows the introduction and production of new varieties, and the conservation of genetic resources necessary for the long-term health of the industry.

Last Modified: 4/19/2015
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