Video: Striving to save Florida’s struggling citrus industry with GMOs

greening
HLB yellow dragon citrus greening disease has infected orchards in Florida and around the world devastating the citrus crops. Credit: Kansas State University

Scientists are making progress toward breeding new citrus trees that better tolerate infection by the fatal bacterial disease citrus greening…

The most promising avenue toward infection resistance, if not immunity, lies with transgenics, the science of manipulating a tree’s genes at the molecular level, Ed Stover, a geneticist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture …told about 180 citrus growers, scientists and guests during a luncheon at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred[, Florida].

Citrus greening was discovered in Florida in 2005 and has since led to a more than 70 percent reduction of the state’s annual citrus harvest. The disease weakens a tree, causing it to produce smaller fruit and increasing levels of pre-harvest fruit drop…

Related article:  Virus-resistant GMO pinto bean could cut crop losses in Brazil by 40% or more

One promising avenue in transgenic breeding is encouraging the expression of a class of proteins called “thionin” that occur naturally in most plants and are used as defenses against disease, Stover said.

Breeders are also looking at transgenic changes that would promote the expression of antibodies that live in the phloem, a plant’s vascular system that carries water and nutrients and also greening bacteria…Various transgenic trees are in early field trials, Stover said, and more are being screened in greenhouses.

Stover estimated it would take another five years before scientists could be assured the transgenic trees in the field are truly resistant.

Read full, original article: Scientists discuss new anti-greening citrus strategies at event in Lake Alfred

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
can you boost your immune system to prevent coronavirus spread x

Video: How to boost your immune system to guard against COVID and other illnesses

Scientists have recently developed ways to measure your immune age. Fortunately, it turns out your immune age can go down ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend