Mature Citrus Facility
The University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Science (UF/IFAS) and the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) established The Mature Citrus Facility (MCF) at the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) in Lake Alfred, FL in 2011. This is a fee-for-service production facility for scientists, growers, and industry. Targets include tolerance or resistance to citrus greening or Huanglongbing (HLB), canker and other value-added traits. Mature citrus will flower and fruit earlier than immature citrus, enabling examination of these traits in genetically altered plants.
Mission and goal: Our mission is to accelerate solutions for pests and diseases threatening the Florida citrus industry. Our goal is to produce mature transgenic or edited citrus, containing desirable traits for research, testing, and potential commercialization.
Procedures:We routinely use an Agrobacterium protocol for transformations, but we can also produce transgenics using biolistics. Biolistics is used to generate transgenics free of plant pest sequences. We are also developing protocols for gene editing of mature citrus using biolistics. A variety of mature sweet orange scions can be transformed that enable early flowering and fruiting. Shoot-tip-grafting can be performed to clean plant material, or plants can be vegetatively propagated (budded or rooted) into replicates. Our priority is to produce mature scions resistant to HLB.
Dr. Janice Zale, Plant Scientist IV
University of Florida
700 Experiment Station Road, Room 103
Lake Alfred, Florida 33850