A researcher at the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station in Weslaco is expecting results from the first crop of Rio Red grapefruit trees that have undergone genetic engineering for resistance to several threats. Dr. Eric Mirkov engineered some of the trees to be resistant to the citrus trizesta virus, others for insect resistance, and still more to resist bacteria including citrus canker and greening.

The crop should show results in December. Dr. Mirkov says that if results are positive and quality and taste are not compromised, the research could be a significant step toward eradicating pests and disease.