Tackling Citrus Greening
Citrus greening continues to impact the Florida citrus industry. The state has lost approximately 100,000 citrus acres and $3.6 billion in revenues since 2007.
NIFA’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) addresses the critical needs of the specialty crop industry by awarding grants to support research and extension activities that address key challenges of national, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of food and agriculture, including conventional and organic food production systems.
One SCRI project led by a University of Central Florida research team is testing a bactericide called Zinkicide, designed to kill the citrus greening bacteria. Over a five-year period, researchers will conduct greenhouse and field trials on grapefruit and sweet orange to determine the effectiveness of Zinkicide and the best method and timing of application.
Plant scientists at the University of California, Riverside are developing disease resistant varieties of citrus using genome editing. This project is one of seven citrus greening projects recently awarded, totaling $20.1 million. Information about all of the projects funded this year can be found online.
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