Integrated Plant Genetics Inc.
6911 NW 22nd St., Ste C
Gainesville, FL 32653

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Adding Value to Crops and Foods with Advanced Gene & GRAS Technologies

Tel: +1 (386) 418-3494
Fax: +1 (352) 338-7599

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Citrus Canker Disease

Citrus production for the major producing countries in the world is estimated at approximately 62 million tons or $5.878 billion. One of the leading diseases affecting this industry is citrus canker, which seriously limits citrus production in Asia and S. America (among other places) and now threatens Florida citrus. In heavily infested areas, 50% or more of the fruit fail to develop and fall from the tree prematurely. Canker causes such losses to grapefruit, sweet orange and lime that these simply cannot be grown in many parts of Asia and the Middle East. There is no cure, and resistance cannot be genetically introgressed by breeding.

Dwindling U.S. Crop
The failed citrus canker eradication program cost Florida approximately $17 million per year through 2006. The eradication program was widely thought to be cost effective. The eradication program ended in 2006.

Citrus canker has been introduced at least four times into Florida in the last century, and three of the introductions were recent and occurred despite strict quarantine procedures. Citrus canker is now found extensively in residential areas of Miami, and after the hurricanes in 2004, has extensively affected commercial citrus groves. In addition to the economic costs, the eradication program that ended in 2006 resulted in the destruction of more than 2,185,000 treees. This figure includes the loss of some 580,000 mature citrus trees (about 35% of the total) in the 1,000 sq. mile quarantine zone around Miami.

The pathogen is spread by wind-blown rain, and is extensively spread by hurricanes and tornados. Since the eradication program was ended, further spread in commercial groves has occurred. For further information, IPG has included a scientific analysis of Citrus Canker Disease.

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