Core Citrus Transformation Facility (CCTF) exists for more than 16 years. Since becoming fully functional 14 years ago, CCTF has succeeded in fulfilling the role of becoming the production site for transgenic Citrus plants. Clients from many states within the US and, from different research organizations and foundations have come to us and requested plants of Citrus cultivars of choice with the desired gene inserted into their genome. Despite detrimental effect of HLB on transformation success rate and exploratory nature of many recent orders, CCTF is still providing transgenic material at satisfactory level. At the moment, capacity of CCTF is to produce about 250 seedlings per year although the final number depends on the cultivars that are ordered/nature of the orders placed.
Most of the plants produced in the CCTF within the last few years were transgenic ‘Duncan’ grapefruit, followed by Carrizo citrange, sweet orange 'Valencia' and ‘Pineapple’ cultivars, Mexican lime, and Swingle citrumelo.
Based on the un-interrupted operation, previous accomplishments, and productivity CCTF has become integral part of many projects that have a goal of production of tolerant/resistant trees to HLB, canker, and CTV.
CCTF is recognized outside of the US as well, with many scientists quoting the publications that were published based on experiments done on transgenic plants made in our facility.
As our major accomplishments I would list the following:
-we were the first lab to produce cis/intragenic Citrus plants;
-we were the first place to produce transgenic Citrus plants with chemically inducible genes;
-we were the first place where transgenic Citrus plants with CRISPR-edited genome were produced.