Gocitrus webinar reveals potential of markers for varietal identification of citrus

A webinar organised by the Gocitrus project concluded that marker technology is benefiting all links in the citrus plant breeding industry and that it will soon do so with other crops as well.
Tue 02/03/2021 by Richard Wilkinson
Gocitrus webinar reveals potential of markers for varietal identification of citrus © Gocitrus

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.


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