USDA awards $20.1 million to combat citrus greening disease

Research will include growing the putative pathogenic bacterium in artificial culture, which will help manage HLB. | File photo

University researchers and extension projects were awarded $20.1 million in grants by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for research to fight Huanglongbing (HLB), which is also called citrus greening disease. 

The Specialty Crop Research Initiative Citrus (SCRI) Disease Research and Extension Program (CDRE) made the funding available for the grant, which is authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. SCRI awards grants to research and extension activities for food sustaining research and food production systems.

In fiscal year 2015, grants were awarded to University of California in Riverside for $3.99 million; the University of Central Florida in Orlando for $1.975 million; the University of Florida for $2.8 million and $3.99 million; the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Ithaca, New York for $1.95 million; the New Mexico Consortium in Los Alamos for $3.32 million; and Washington State University for $2.115 million.

The University of Florida and Washington State University research be on growing the putative pathogenic bacterium in artificial culture, which will help manage HLB. UC-Riverside will focus on virulence proteins from the pathogen to detect its presence before symptoms appear and to develop strategies for creating citrus immune to HLB.

The National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education and Economics Advisory Board will meet this Wednesday and Thursday. The Citrus Disease Subcommittee is part of the Advisory Board which is meeting in order to discuss priorities for the 2016 CDRE awards.

Organizations in this story

United States Department of Agriculture 1400 Independence Ave SW Washington, DC 20250

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