Scientist Maps DNA Of New Citrus Greening Strain

Feed The LeavesA University of Florida researcher has mapped the DNA genome of a new strain of citrus greening that could further threaten Florida’s beleaguered citrus industry. Knowing the genetic makeup of the various strains is critical to finding a cure.

Dean Gabriel, a plant bacteriology specialist with UF/IFAS, helped sequence and map the genome of the most prevalent form of the disease in Florida, and now he and colleagues have done the same for a new strain of the disease discovered in Brazil.

There is no cure for either strain, although researchers believe that knowing the genetic makeup of the disease is critical to finding one. Gabriel said by having that “roadmap” of the bacteria genome, they will be certain there are no surprises in the Brazilian species, which has now been found in Texas.  In addition, the mapping should help guide them to improvements in control methods and toward more usable genes and treatments.

“What the genome does, it lets you know everything that the organism has and doesn’t have in its artillery for offense and defense — and it lets you design a strategy to control it,” Gabriel said.

Researchers often liken having the genetic sequence for an organism to having its list of parts.

“Having all the genetic information is like having a detailed roadmap of the organism,” said Jackie Burns, director of the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred.

Gabriel’s team’s work will be outlined in a research paper that will be published in February in the journal Molecular Plant-Microbe Interaction. The genome map is already available online, at GenBank.

To map the bacteria’s DNA genome, Gabriel’s Brazilian colleagues first diced up and crushed tissue from the veins of infected citrus trees where the organism was most highly concentrated.  They used chemicals to extract DNA and purified it. The team had to separate the tree DNA from that of the bacterium.

DNA comprises four nucleotides, which fall into an order to encode genes specific to an organism. Gabriel likened it to examining beads on a necklace: The beads come in only four colors, and the color sequence determines each gene — in this case, the DNA greening “necklace” held 1,195,201 beads, or 1,044 genes.

To obtain the nucleotide sequence from the purified bacterial DNA, they used state-of-the-art sequencing machines at the UF Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research.

The research was funded by the Citrus Research and Development Foundation Inc., an affiliate UF/IFAS.

Source: UF/IFAS

Topics: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Citrus Stories

CitrusSouthwest Florida Citrus Bus Tour Yields Learning Opportunity
December 18, 2014
Find out what Florida Grower editor Frank Giles saw and heard during Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association's annual outing. Read More
CitrusStudy: Florida Citrus Valued At More Than $10 Billion
December 17, 2014
Industry continues to have large impact on the state’s economy. Read More
Insect & Disease UpdateManage HLB From The Bottom Up
December 17, 2014
Finding the right balance between the roots and shoots is critical to disease mitigation. Read More
CitrusUSDA Offers Crop Disaster Assistance For Fruit And Vegetable Growers
December 16, 2014
Free basic coverage plans and premium discounts available for new, underserved, and limited income farmers who had been ineligible for federal crop insurance. Read More
CitrusSouth Florida Takes Plunge With Major Expansion Of Water Storage Program
December 15, 2014
New ag land partnerships, including a $124 million deal with Alico, more than double the current holding capacity. Read More
CitrusApplications Now Being Accepted For Florida Specialty Crop Block Grants
December 12, 2014
$4.5 million available to help fund industry-enhancing projects. Read More
CitrusFlorida Citrus Crop Forecast Update: So Far, So Good
December 10, 2014
USDA estimates hold steady for third month in a row. Read More

The Latest

CitrusAg Land Value Goes Back To The Future
December 20, 2014
Good ground and longevity are the best positions moving forward. Read More
CitrusFeed The People With Food And Food For Thought [Opinion…
December 19, 2014
Educating the general public about agriculture is a daunting task that can be accomplished one bite at a time. Read More
CitrusSouthwest Florida Citrus Bus Tour Yields Learning Oppor…
December 18, 2014
Find out what Florida Grower editor Frank Giles saw and heard during Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association's annual outing. Read More
CitrusStudy: Florida Citrus Valued At More Than $10 Billion
December 17, 2014
Industry continues to have large impact on the state’s economy. Read More
CitrusUSDA Offers Crop Disaster Assistance For Fruit And Vege…
December 16, 2014
Free basic coverage plans and premium discounts available for new, underserved, and limited income farmers who had been ineligible for federal crop insurance. Read More
CitrusSouth Florida Takes Plunge With Major Expansion Of Wate…
December 15, 2014
New ag land partnerships, including a $124 million deal with Alico, more than double the current holding capacity. Read More
CitrusApplications Now Being Accepted For Florida Specialty C…
December 12, 2014
$4.5 million available to help fund industry-enhancing projects. Read More
CitrusFlorida Citrus Crop Forecast Update: So Far, So Good
December 10, 2014
USDA estimates hold steady for third month in a row. Read More
CitrusFlorida Citrus Hall Of Fame Selects Class Of 2015
December 10, 2014
Three more industry stalwarts added to prestigious list. Read More
CitrusSurvey Shows Food Safety, GMOs Among Public-Issue Conce…
December 9, 2014
Need for education clear as confusion, misperception rampant among results. Read More
CitrusProspects Perking Up For Florida Citrus In 2015 [Opinio…
December 5, 2014
Positive alignment of numerous programs give reason for optimism. Read More
CitrusDemand For Florida Farmland Exceeding Supply 
December 5, 2014
High prices and water shortages in other parts of the country have potential buyers looking to the Sunshine State. Read More
CitrusTrio Of Acquisitions Make Alico Top Citrus Producer In …
December 3, 2014
With growth opportunity in its sights, Florida company pulls trigger on strategic purchases of three local operations totaling more than $360 million for nearly 30,000 acres. Read More
CitrusFlorida Citrus Commission Adds New Member
December 1, 2014
Gov. Rick Scott appoints Dan Casper of Southern Gardens to replace Virginia Pena; reappoints two others. Read More
CitrusJuicy Subjects In Store For 2015 Florida Citrus Show
December 1, 2014
Day 1 of the annual two-day gathering in Ft. Pierce to provide a refresher course on HLB management strategies. Read More
CitrusGenNext Growers Webcast Calls For Action
December 1, 2014
Young leaders need to activate and motivate now more than ever. Read More
CitrusBe Willing To Take A ‘Wild Turkey’ Approach…
November 27, 2014
Editor Frank Giles says Florida Grower will be stepping up to the bully pulpit in 2015 addressing topics that impact the industry the most. Read More
CitrusNew Partnership To Expand ‘Fresh From Florida’ Foot…
November 26, 2014
Latest deal puts exclamation point on successful Asia marketing campaign. Read More