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

Insect & Disease UpdateMountains Of Data Being Used To Combat Citrus Greening
August 20, 2014
As HLB research evolves, new methods need to be developed to effectively utilize information. Read More
CitrusBorder Crisis Not Helping Farmers
August 19, 2014
As thousands cross into the U.S. seeking refuge, calls for ag labor reform are lost in the uproar. Read More
CitrusU.S. Sugar Buying South Florida Sugar Cane And Vegetable Farm
August 15, 2014
Purported deal worth $100 million to purchase farmland and assets of Knight Management Inc. Read More
CitrusFlorida’s Future Farming Leaders Dig Up Knowledge In The Golden State
August 15, 2014
Class 3 of FFVA's Emerging Leader Development Program learn a lot from road trip to California's Salinas Valley. Read More
CitrusWater Bond Will Appear On California Ballot
August 14, 2014
Voters will decide if thirsty state will spend $7.5 billion, including $2.7 billion for storage. Read More
Insect & Disease UpdateIs There Light At The End Of The Tunnel For Florida Citrus?
August 14, 2014
Time is of the essence in the race to beat greening. Read More
CitrusU.S. Fall Weather Outlook Foresees Wild Ride
August 14, 2014
From continued drought in the West, to a possible early Polar Vortex visit in the East, forecasters are predicting an active autumn. Read More

The Latest

CitrusBorder Crisis Not Helping Farmers
August 19, 2014
As thousands cross into the U.S. seeking refuge, calls for ag labor reform are lost in the uproar. Read More
CitrusU.S. Sugar Buying South Florida Sugar Cane And Vegetabl…
August 15, 2014
Purported deal worth $100 million to purchase farmland and assets of Knight Management Inc. Read More
CitrusFlorida’s Future Farming Leaders Dig Up Knowledge…
August 15, 2014
Class 3 of FFVA's Emerging Leader Development Program learn a lot from road trip to California's Salinas Valley. Read More
CitrusWater Bond Will Appear On California Ballot
August 14, 2014
Voters will decide if thirsty state will spend $7.5 billion, including $2.7 billion for storage. Read More
CitrusU.S. Fall Weather Outlook Foresees Wild Ride
August 14, 2014
From continued drought in the West, to a possible early Polar Vortex visit in the East, forecasters are predicting an active autumn. Read More
CitrusMiffed By Marketing? You’re Not Alone [Opinion]
August 13, 2014
Properly promoting product involves engaging your target audience to meet their needs. But based on the campaigns dominating airtime, many are missing the mark. Read More
CitrusUpdate On The Farm Bill Implementation
August 11, 2014
A six-month progress report states disaster relief, risk management tools, innovative conservation partnerships, and the research foundation are all moving forward. Read More
CitrusJohn Deere Announces Certified Pre-Owned Equipment Prog…
August 6, 2014
Deere dealers to offer certified used machines that meet stringent quality inspections and requirements.   Read More
CitrusFarming Production Costs And Farmland Values Increase
August 4, 2014
Midwest sees spike in production costs’ Northern Plains land values increased by 16.3% Read More
CitrusGrowingProduce.com Relaunches With Responsive Design Fo…
August 4, 2014
New look offers customized experience for users depending on their device – phones, tablets, and desktop computers. Read More
CitrusFlorida Farmers Awarded For Innovation
July 28, 2014
UF/IFAS and Florida A&M hail industry leaders who excel in making their farming systems more profitable and sustainable. Read More
CitrusThe Exponential Rise Of Biopesticides
July 28, 2014
The first sustainable commercial success stories in the biopesticide market were seen in the 1980s and 1990s. Since then, the market has grown exponentially, and is projected to exceed $3 billion by 2016. Read More
Citrus9 Resources For All Of Your Biopesticide Questions
July 25, 2014
As the use of biopesticides continues to increase at a staggering rate, more and more resources are being made available to the public to help increase awareness of the sector. Read More
Apples & PearsAn Awakening To The Value Of Biopesticides [Opinion]
July 25, 2014
With the entry of major suppliers into the biopesticide arena, whether or not biopesticides work is no longer the question. Now, people want to understand how they work. Read More
Apples & PearsPGRs: The Overlooked Piece Of The Biopesticides Puzzle
July 25, 2014
Yield and quality can be as important to growers as crop protection. Read More
CitrusFlorida Citrus Poised To Tell ‘Amazing’ Sto…
July 25, 2014
Flexibility, creativity, and swagger to be hallmarks of refreshed public relations plan. Read More
CitrusEPA’s Water Rule In Over Its Head [Opinion]
July 24, 2014
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says the state's farming sector and overall economy are in danger of drowning in red tape. Read More
CitrusFlorida Grapefruit Grower Goes All In To Save Groves
July 22, 2014
As HLB runs rampant, everything is on the table for Scott Lambeth when it comes to disease mitigation. Read More