Talking Biotech: Using spinach gene, GE citrus fights disease devastating Florida oranges

| | August 31, 2015

This week’s Talking Biotech features discussion of Huanglongbing (HLB) also known as Citrus Greening Disease. The disease is devastating Florida citrus, and is causing a massive hardship on the State’s iconic industries. We are joined by Ricke Kress from Southern Gardens Citrus, one of the largest producers and processors. Southern Gardens has experienced massive losses from citrus greening, losing over 800,000 trees. They are now in the process of deregulating the first genetically engineered citrus variety. A gene from spinach moved to citrus trees confers tolerance to this disease, and the plants are asymptomatic and productive so far. This is another excellent example of how these technologies, developed by small companies or universities, can solve issues that help ensure future delivery of fresh, healthy fruit.

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