Florida scientist helps map DNA of new citrus greening strain

12/12/2013 01:51:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

citrus greeningCourtesy Agricultural Research ServiceCitrus greening causes discoloration of citrus fruit, among other symptoms.A University of Florida bacteriologist has led a group that mapped the genome of a new strain of citrus greening not yet found in the state.

Dean Gabriel, who's based in Gainesville, helped sequence and map the DNA genome of the most common strain of greening found in Florida.

He and colleagues have now done it with a new strain found in Brazil and subsequently in Texas, according to a news release.

Although there is no known cure for either strain, the researchers say they believe that by creating a genetic road map, they won't be surprised by the Brazilian strain.

The map also will help guide them to improvements in controls and toward more usable 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 in the release.

The genome map already is available to other researchers online through GenBank. The group's work will be outlined in a paper scheduled to be published in February in the Journal Molecular Plant-Microbe Interaction.

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