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 Gene switch may repair DNA and prevent cancer
12.02.2016 | Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences at Kyoto University

nachricht New method opens crystal clear views of biomolecules
11.02.2016 | Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Production of an AIDS vaccine in algae

Today, plants and microorganisms are heavily used for the production of medicinal products. The production of biopharmaceuticals in plants, also referred to as “Molecular Pharming”, represents a continuously growing field of plant biotechnology. Preferred host organisms include yeast and crop plants, such as maize and potato – plants with high demands. With the help of a special algal strain, the research team of Prof. Ralph Bock at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam strives to develop a more efficient and resource-saving system for the production of medicines and vaccines. They tested its practicality by synthesizing a component of a potential AIDS vaccine.

The use of plants and microorganisms to produce pharmaceuticals is nothing new. In 1982, bacteria were genetically modified to produce human insulin, a drug...

Im Focus: The most accurate optical single-ion clock worldwide

Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock which attains an accuracy which had only been predicted theoretically so far. Their optical ytterbium clock achieved a relative systematic measurement uncertainty of 3 E-18. The results have been published in the current issue of the scientific journal "Physical Review Letters".

Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock...

Im Focus: Goodbye ground control: autonomous nanosatellites

The University of Würzburg has two new space projects in the pipeline which are concerned with the observation of planets and autonomous fault correction aboard satellites. The German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy funds the projects with around 1.6 million euros.

Detecting tornadoes that sweep across Mars. Discovering meteors that fall to Earth. Investigating strange lightning that flashes from Earth's atmosphere into...

Im Focus: Flow phenomena on solid surfaces: Physicists highlight key role played by boundary layer velocity

Physicists from Saarland University and the ESPCI in Paris have shown how liquids on solid surfaces can be made to slide over the surface a bit like a bobsleigh on ice. The key is to apply a coating at the boundary between the liquid and the surface that induces the liquid to slip. This results in an increase in the average flow velocity of the liquid and its throughput. This was demonstrated by studying the behaviour of droplets on surfaces with different coatings as they evolved into the equilibrium state. The results could prove useful in optimizing industrial processes, such as the extrusion of plastics.

The study has been published in the respected academic journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America).

Im Focus: New study: How stable is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet?

Exceeding critical temperature limits in the Southern Ocean may cause the collapse of ice sheets and a sharp rise in sea levels

A future warming of the Southern Ocean caused by rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere may severely disrupt the stability of the West...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Symposium on Climate Change Adaptation in Africa 2016

12.02.2016 | Event News

Travel grants available: Meet the world’s most proficient mathematicians and computer scientists

09.02.2016 | Event News

AKL’16: Experience Laser Technology Live in Europe´s Largest Laser Application Center!

02.02.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

LIGO confirms RIT's breakthrough prediction of gravitational waves

12.02.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Gene switch may repair DNA and prevent cancer

12.02.2016 | Life Sciences

Using 'Pacemakers' in spinal cord injuries

12.02.2016 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>