How science is the key weapon in the fight against Citrus Greening. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
This week we’re focusing on technology in agriculture. Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) is the bacterial pathogen that causes “citrus greening disease,” one of the most destructive diseases of citrus worldwide.
PPQ scientists are harnessing the power of CRISPR/Cas systems to create rapid and highly sensitive CLas detection tools. The sensitivity of this method emerges from the same forces that bind our strands of DNA. When a synthetic strand of DNA—matching a portion of the pathogen genome—binds to the pathogen DNA, a fluorescent light is released allowing scientists to detect the CLas pathogen.
This strategy can produce rapid field-deployable detection in as little as one to two hours, with a potential sensitivity of 100-1,000 times greater than current CLas detection methods, greatly improving our ability to find and address citrus greening.
Information provided by USDA APHIS
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National Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.
Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.