Biotech Updates

Genome of Australian Round Lime Reveals Key to Citrus Greening Resistance

May 17, 2023

The genome of the Australian round lime holds the key to fighting citrus greening. Photo from The University of Queensland.

Researchers at The University of Queensland (UQ) Australia have sequenced the genome of the Australian round lime, also known as the Gympie lime, in an effort to identify a gene that provides resistance to Huanglongbing (HLB) or 'citrus greening'. The comprehensive map of the genome of the Gympie lime, a native lime species that is resistant to citrus greening, could be the key to preventing that disease from entering Australia.

The researchers are now looking at five other citrus varieties native to Australia, including the finger lime. Citrus greening is a serious problem for citrus growers in the United States, though it is not currently present in Australia. PhD candidate Upuli Nakandala who is working on native citrus species said that developing resistant cultivars is one of the options to fight citrus greening, and the first step is identifying resistance genes in Australian citrus.

UQ Professor Robert Henry said mapping the genome of Australian round limes achieved that aim. “Sequencing the genomes of plants, particularly these tree crops will give us a new platform for genetic improvements and better management of their production into the future,” Professor Henry said. The team is now working on sequencing the genomes of other tree and horticultural crop species, including macadamia, almond, and mango.

For more details, read the news article in UQ News.

You might also like: