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Geneticists receive funding to improve citrus production and health
Date:11/20/2013

RIVERSIDE, Calif. Huanglongbing (HLB) or citrus greening is a bacterial disease spread by the Asian citrus psyllid, and poses a serious threat to the citrus industry. In infected trees, the bacteria kill citrus by disrupting the trees' food transportation systems.

To address exotic diseases like HLB, breeders need sophisticated tools that rapidly characterize citrus varieties and hybrids and locate genes for disease resistance, fruit quality, and other essential traits.

Two plant geneticists at the University of California, Riverside have received a $450,000 grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop a genetic tool that citrus breeders can use to improve the efficiency with which citrus varieties are bred.

Mikeal Roose and Timothy Close, both professors of genetics and the principal investigator and co-principal investigator, respectively, of the two-year grant, will lead the project on developing a "high-density SNP genotyping array" for citrus an important tool that geneticists and molecular breeders use to do genetic analyses of animals and plants.

Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) refers to a genetic variation at a single position in a DNA sequence among individuals. As is now commonly known, a DNA sequence is formed from a chain of four nucleotide bases: A, C, G, and T. When more than one percent of a population does not carry the same nucleotide at a specific position in the DNA sequence, SNP is said to have occurred.

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Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
iqbal@ucr.edu
951-827-6050
University of California - Riverside
Source:Eurekalert  

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Geneticists receive funding to improve citrus production and health
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