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Generating disease resistant citrus varieties using CRISPR/Cas9

Nian Wang: University of Florida

<div>Citrus is one of the most important fruit crops worldwide. However, citrus industry faces multiple disease challenges, including citrus Huanglongbing (HLB) caused by <em>Candidatus</em> Liberibacter asiaticus (Las) and citrus canker caused by <em>Xanthomonas citri</em> subspecies citri (Xcc). Generating disease resistant citrus varieties is an efficient and sustainable term solution to either HLB or canker disease. However, the traditional approach of breeding for resistant plants for citrus is difficult and has not provided a timely solution to control HLB or canker due to the long juvenility, large tree size, and prevalence of polyembryonic seeds in commercial varieties. Here I will present our progress in generating disease resistant citrus varieties via CRISPR technology. The application of different CRISPR tools on citrus genome editing will be presented. I will also present our results on identification of suitable targets for resistance development against either HLB or canker.</div>