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UCR uses a grant to fight fruit disease

UC Riverside has received a $1.5 million grant to help fight a disease that threatens the nation’s fruit supply.

The emergency donation from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture is being used to identify plants immune to Citrus Greening Disease, which leaves fruit “bitter and worthless,” according to a statement on the university’s website.

Citrus Greening – also known as Huanglongbing, or HLB – has damaged Florida’s citrus crop and been detected in California, including several instances in Riverside.

Approximately 267,000 acres of oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and mandarins in California are threatened by the disease.

“If you find a disease affecting your crops, a good first step is to look for plants that are able to grow and produce despite infection,” said UC Riverside geneticist Danelle Seymour. In the statement. “Then you can start to identify the genetic basis of the disease tolerance and make sure the next generation of plants includes these genes.”

Scientists at the University of Florida, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s agricultural research service have also received institute grants, according to the statement.

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