Two University of California, Riverside, plant geneticists have received a $450,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop a genetic tool to boost citrus breeding efficiency.
The project, led by Mikeal Roose and Timothy Close, will look at high-density SNP genotyping array for citrus, according to a news release.
SNP stands for single nucleotide polymorphism, a genetic variation in a single position within a DNA sequence of an individual.
Geneticists commonly conduct DNA sequencing from a chain of four nucleotide bases. If more than 1 percent of the population does not carry the same nucleotide at a specific position, SNP has occurred.
When developed, the array will allow scientists to determine the SNPs present in a variety. They can then relate those to traits, such as disease resistance, within that variety.
The UC Riverside group will apply the assay to varieties housed in the Citrus Variety Collection.
“A valuable outcome of this project will be a comprehensive understanding of relationships among citrus varieties and how these relate to economically valuable characters,” Roose said in the release.