Navigation Links
Geneticists receive funding to improve citrus production and health

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.

Given the large amounts of citrus genomic data that are possible to generate today as well as the availability of technologies for detecting SNPs accurately, it is possible now to design high-density SNP arrays for citrus.

When developed, the array will allow investigators to rapidly determine the particular SNPs present in a citrus variety or hybrid. The thousands of SNPs detected with this array will then be related to the traits displayed by the various individuals studied.

"We will use this tool to study essentially all trees in our Citrus Variety Collection and several large citrus families in which individuals vary for traits of economic importance," said Roose, the chair of the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences. "We will then correlate the particular SNPs carried by an individual to measured traits such as disease resistance and fruit quality."

Specifically, the team of researchers, including graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, will first develop sequences for a large and diverse set of citrus varieties. They will then analyze all available sequence data to identify SNPs and select a subset of SNPs to be used on the array. The SNP array will be manufactured by a commercial company. Next, they will apply the assay to the Citrus Variety Collection, breeding populations used for mapping disease resistance and tolerance, and populations already selected for fruit quality traits.

"A valuable outcome of this project will be a comprehensive understanding of relationships among citrus varieties and how these relate to economically valuable characters," Roose said.

UC Riverside has a long tradition in citrus research, with citrus production and development of new varieties being a major focus. Used extensively to solve citrus disease problems and improve commercial varieties, the university's Citrus Variety Collection is one of the world's most diverse living collections of citrus and related types with approximately 1,000 different varieties (including mandarins, blood oranges, navel oranges, citrons, clementines, tangors, grapefruit, Valencia oranges, and pummelos).

In total, NIFA announced nearly $9 million in grants for research into issues affecting plant breeding and production, leading to improvements in plants that are critical to the sustainability and competitiveness of American agriculture. A list of research institutions receiving the grants can be found here. Details of the funded research projects can be found here.

The awards were made under the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Foundational Program priority area of plant breeding for agricultural production.


Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
University of California - Riverside

Related biology news :

1. CSHL geneticists solve mystery of EEC Syndromes variable severity in children
2. HIV -- Geneticists map human resistance to AIDS
3. In search for a vaccine, IU biologist receives $2.3 million to explore chlamydia genomics
4. WHOI researchers, collaborators receive $1.4 million grant to study life in oceans greatest depths
5. Renowned geneticist R. Rodney Howell receives ACMG Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award
6. UF receives $1 million from Keck Foundation to study mechanisms of inherited disease
7. Gladstone scientist Warner C. Greene receives Washington University School of Medicine Alumni Award
8. Carnegies Wolf B. Frommer receives Bogorad Award for Excellence in Plant Biology
9. UC Riverside plant cell biologist receives top scientific honor
10. UC Riverside receives grant for global health and development research
11. Washington University receives $8 million to lead international childhood malnutrition effort
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Geneticists receive funding to improve citrus production and health
(Date:9/30/2015)... , Sept. 30, 2015  With nearly 300,000 ... number of new SCIs estimated to reach 12,500 annually, ... Southern California Resource Services for Independent Living (SCRS-IL) ... in California opening doors to ... of programs and services, notably assistive technology services and ...
(Date:9/29/2015)... SUNNYVALE, Calif. , Sept. 29, 2015 ... technology improves employee productivity while also saving energy ... features such as Low Power Active Mode and embedded ... workplace transformation Fujitsu today shows that ... of new and refreshed models to its enterprise desktop ...
(Date:9/28/2015)... 2015  The monitoring of vital signs, such ... is an essential component of patient assessment. Changes ... in a patient,s condition. However, in general care ... taken during routine observation rounds only once every ... between these observation rounds, the warning signs can ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... octubre de 2015 El 8 de octubre, ... récord en el congreso con su declaración acerca del ... Plasma Awareness Week (IPAW), que se celebrará del 11 ... la Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA) y ... , Aumentar la concienciación mundial acerca de la donación ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... 2015 LabStyle Innovations Corp. ... today announced its Medical Director, Dr. Moshe Kamar ... 5th EAI International Conference on Wireless Mobile Communication ... in mobile and wireless technologies," the conference will take ... October 14 - 16, 2015. The conference is endorsed ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2015 , ... ... today that Dr. Srini Srinivasan, has joined the firm as a Premier Expert ... professional stature enable them to bring extraordinary value to the company's clients. ...
(Date:10/11/2015)... ... October 11, 2015 , ... ... has been officially launched and multiple surgeries have been completed with this new ... of the Neuroscience & Spine Center of the Carolinas. The Revolution™ Spinal ...
Breaking Biology Technology: