UCF Researcher Awarded Nearly $2 Million to Develop Method for Protecting Citrus

Citrus Greening

Citrus Greening

A UCF researcher has been awarded nearly $2 million to develop a method for protecting the troubled citrus industry from the citrus greening disease, Florida US Senator Bill Nelson announced the deal Tuesday.

Nelson said looking for a cure was vital for Florida.

The grant comes on the heels of another $1.7 million awarded UCF in 2015 to study the use of nanoparticles to guard against the same disease. Field trials are underway in that project, but any new nanoparticle might require a longer regulatory review to ensure the safety of aquatic species, bees, birds and other organism.

At the same time, citrus greening continues to decimate Florida’s $11 billion citrus industry. The new grant allows researchers to develop a backup plan that doesn’t rely on nanoparticles and thus could make it to the marketplace more quickly.

Greening causes orange, grapefruit and other citrus trees to produce small, bitter fruit that drop prematurely and are unsuitable for sale or juice. Eventually, infected trees die.

TreasureCoast

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  • Posted 8 years ago

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