Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Retracing Citrus’ Earliest Roots to Find Clues for Healthier Future

11.06.2014

That orange you’re enjoying may have been grown in Florida, but its deepest ancestral roots stretch back more than 5 million years, all the way to two wild citrus species from Southeast Asia.

University of Florida scientists led an international research team that analyzed the genome sequences of 10 diverse citrus varieties for the first time.

Their findings, published online Sunday by the journal Nature Biotechnology, could help the citrus industry find and deploy genes for resistance to citrus greening, a bacterial infection devastating crops in North America.

Fred Gmitter, a UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences faculty member, led the team of researchers from the United States, France, Italy, Spain and Brazil as part of a decade-long project to sequence and understand citrus genomes.

... more about:
»Citrus »crops »genes »genomes »resistance »sequences »species »sweet »varieties

They analyzed and compared the genome sequences of sweet and sour oranges, along with several important mandarin and pummelo varieties. By understanding the relationships between the various cultivated species they describe as having “very narrow genetic diversity,” the researchers hope to enable genetic modifications and traditional breeding, which could lead to crops more resistant to disease and environmental stress, as well as better flavor and health-promoting benefits.

“Citrus has incestuous genes - nothing is pure,” said Gmitter, who is based at UF’s Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred. “Now that we understand the genetic structure of sweet orange, for example, we can imagine reproducing early citrus domestication using modern breeding techniques that could draw from a broader pool of natural variation and resistance.”

New citrus trees are almost always produced by grafting, a method of propagation that binds the fruit bearing part of one tree to the root system of another. That produces trees that more quickly bear genetically identical, uniform, high quality fruit. But because of that uniformity, if one tree is susceptible to disease, they all are.

Citrus is the world’s most widely cultivated fruit crop. In Florida, it is a $9 billion industry, employing 75,000. But it is under attack from a tiny bug, the Asian citrus psyllid, which sucks on leaf sap and leaves behind the citrus greening bacteria.

The disease, which renders fruit unsuitable for sale and eventually kills trees, could wipe out the industry in the next decade if a viable treatment is not found.

UF/IFAS researchers have attempted everything from trying to eradicate the psyllid to breeding citrus rootstocks that show better greening resistance. Current control methods include removing and destroying infected trees, controlling the psyllid, and providing additional nutrition in an attempt to keep infected trees productive.

Citrus was first domesticated in Southeast Asia thousands of years ago before spreading throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas via trade.

One of the two wild species, Citrus maxima, gave rise to today’s cultivated pummelo, the largest citrus fruit, which can often weigh 2 to 4 pounds or more. The small, easily peeled mandarins were, in contrast, found to be genetic mixes of a second species (Citrus reticulata, the ancestral mandarin species) and pummelo. Sweet orange, the world’s most widely grown citrus variety, was found to be a complex hybrid, with mixed bits and pieces of the mandarin and pummelo genomes. Seville, or sour orange, commonly used in marmalade, is a simple hybrid between the two ancestral species.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute, Genoscope in France, the Institute for Genomic Applications in Italy, and 454 Life Sciences, a Roche company, contributed to the citrus genome project.

Kimberly Moore Wilmoth | newswise
Further information:
http://www.ufl.edu

Further reports about: Citrus crops genes genomes resistance sequences species sweet varieties

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Topologische Quantenchemie
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

nachricht Topological Quantum Chemistry
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Chances to treat childhood dementia

24.07.2017 | Health and Medicine

Improved Performance thanks to Reduced Weight

24.07.2017 | Automotive Engineering

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>