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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Crop Improvement and Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #314648

Research Project: Molecular Tools for Improved Crop Biotechnology

Location: Crop Improvement and Genetics Research

Title: Development of consumer-friendly transgenic citrus plants with potential broad spectrum resistance to HLB, Citrus canker, Phytopthora and other exotic diseases

Author
item Louzada, Eliezer - Texas A&m University
item Thomson, James - Jim

Submitted to: Citrograph
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/19/2015
Publication Date: 5/22/2015
Citation: Louzada, E., Thomson, J.G. 2015. Development of consumer-friendly transgenic citrus plants with potential broad spectrum resistance to HLB, Citrus canker, Phytopthora and other exotic diseases. Citrograph. 6:3/42-46.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The second year of this CRB funded project has started, which is focused on the development of citrus cultivars that exhibit disease resistance to multiple pathogens such as HLB, Phytophthora and citrus canker diseases. We are using precise genetic engineering to introduce into disease susceptible commercial citrus varieties, potential citrus genes to create resistance. Even though these genes are already in citrus they normally do not respond quickly enough or produce enough protein to provide the required resistance level. By copying these genes and reintroducing them back into citrus we can make the genes work quicker, producing more protein, and therefore providing resistance to several diseases. While this project is producing genetic engineered plants (GMO), the use of only citrus genes may help with consumer acceptance. The project is also creating transgenic citrus cultivars that will be devoid of resistance markers (i.e. antibiotics or herbicides), specifically to improve public acceptance and to help with federal deregulation. Fig. 1 shows an example of this concept where a gene from citrus (called CSM-1 gene) was reintroduced into Ruby Red grapefruit and the transgenic plant became resistant to citrus canker and Phytophthora nicotianae (still needs to be tested for HLB resistance and other diseases). We are using this and other citrus genes in an attempt to create citrus varieties that exhibits broad spectrum disease resistance. Moreover, we are testing a new method of introducing the genes into citrus that will facilitate commercializing the final product.