Gocitrus webinar reveals potential of markers for varietal identification of citrus
The project presented results of a pilot test using an app with all the updated varietal and agronomic information to provide the citrus grower with the best variety-rootstock combination
The first mandarin to use markers as the basis for its varietal certification system is Tang Gold (Tango), from Eurosemillas. Gocitrus will facilitate the expansion of this technology: in 2021 it will obtain the differential DNA sequence of more than 25% of mandarins and 10% of oranges.
The term PCR that is in common use today and refers to the most reliable diagnostic method to detect Covid-19 is based on the same technology that is turning the world of the exploitation of vegetable varieties of citrus. Indeed, molecular markers can serve to define the genetic sequence of a particular coronavirus (or any pathogen) as soon as they can provide the specific genetic traits of a variety. “Molecular markers are not the future, they are already the present,” said Francisco Llatser, the decades-long former director of AVASA (Agrupación de Viveristas de Agrios, S.A, whose member nurseries account for around 80% of Spanish plant production). His contribution “against varietal piracy is having and will have an incalculable economic impact,” he added immediately. This is how forceful Llatser was during a webinar organized by the Gocitrus project, which also served to prove how this technological revolution is benefiting all the links in this chain: it is accelerating the varietal improvement processes, technology is beginning to be introduced In order to reduce the time and tests necessary to obtain the registration (the ‘patent’ of a variety), it has improved the control of nursery production and is being used in an emerging way in the certification and varietal identification systems to avoid fraud.