Grant Supports UC Riverside Efforts to Breed Disease-Free Citrus

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, received a $4.67 million from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to support efforts to breed citrus varieties resistant to the citrus greening disease. The scientists are seeking to incorporate disease resistance into citrus by creating hybrids with microcitrus like Australian finger lime that has natural resistance. The microcitrus, however, can impart a sharper, more bitter taste to the fruit than commercial citrus has, so researchers are creating many hybrids and selecting those that combine uncompromised taste with disease resistance.