Title: The How's and Why's of Developing Transgenic Citrus with Diaprepes Root Weevil Resistance Author
Submitted to: Diaprepes Task Force Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 6, 2005
Publication Date: May 12, 2005
Citation: Shatters, R.G. 2005. The how's and why's of developing transgenic citrus with Diaprepes Root Weevil resistance. Diaprepes Task Force Abstracts. Technical Abstract: Development of Diaprepes root weevil resistant citrus offers great benefit to the Florida citrus growers because it would eliminate the losses caused by this pest without the added cost of expensive management practices. However, despite extensive screening of existing citrus varieties, no natural resistance to the DRW exists in citrus. Biotechnology offers the advantage of introducing novel pieces of genetic material (genes) borrowed from other organisms that, when inserted into the citrus genome, encode for molecules that reduce or eliminate Diaprepes root weevil feeding damage. This could be accomplished using genes that encode toxins that directly kill the insect, inhibitory molecules that block the ability of the insect to extract nutrition from citrus roots, or deterrent molecules that prevent the insect from feeding on the roots. This is a proven strategy in the production of a growing number of commercial crops and success stories using this strategy will be described. Specific hurdles that have to be overcome to apply this technology to citrus will also be presented.