LSU AgCenter receives grant to screen citrus for diseases

Richard Bogren, Ferrin, Donald M.  |  1/4/2011 1:11:27 AM

News Release Distributed 12/06/10

The LSU AgCenter has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to screen its citrus variety collection for several potentially destructive diseases.

The one-year grant for $13,750 was awarded by the USDA’s Plant Protection and Quarantine program in the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. It will support the AgCenter’s involvement in the national Citrus Clean Plant Network, according to Don Ferrin, a plant pathologist in the LSU AgCenter Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology in Baton Rouge.

The Citrus Clean Plant Network was established in 2010 to ensure that high-quality citrus propagation material will continue to be produced, maintained and made available to the citrus industry throughout the United States, Ferrin said.

“The citrus program follows standards established by the USDA APHIS National Clean Plant Network, which was created to protect U.S. specialty crops – such as grapes, nuts, apples, peaches and other fruits – from the spread of economically harmful diseases and other plant pests,” Ferrin said.

The grant will be used to test and help maintain the citrus variety collection at the AgCenter’s Burden Research Center in Baton Rouge.

“This collection consists primarily of the major satsuma varieties grown in Louisiana,” Ferrin said. “Testing will be conducted twice in 2011 to ensure that this collection is free of the bacterium that causes huanglongbing – or citrus greening – the citrus tristeza virus and the citrus exocortis viroid.

Rick Bogren

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