Phytelligence has a citrus rootstock licensing agreement with Florida Foundation Seed Producers. ( Phytelligence )

Seattle-based agricultural biotechnology company Phytelligence is seeking a cure to citrus greening disease.

The company has a citrus rootstock licensing agreement with Florida Foundation Seed Producers.

The agreement, signed in October, gives Phytelligence customers the opportunity to access virus and disease-free rootstock that’s also tolerant to citrus-greening disease, according to a news release.

The licensed rootstocks were released as part of the University of Florida’s Citrus Fast Track Release Option, according to the release. The citrus rootstocks were chosen based on their tolerance to huanglongbing disease (HLB), also known as citrus greening disease) during field trials under severe HLB disease pressure.

Scion trees grafted onto these rootstocks showed a reduced frequency of infection and reduced disease symptoms once infected when compared to other commercial rootstocks, according to the Florida Foundation Seed Producers.

The University of Florida license gives Phytelligence propagation rights to the citrus rootstock cultivars UFR-1 through UFR-6, and UFR-15 to UFR-17.

Phytelligence will establish Florida-based facilities to begin the rootstock initiation process. The company said it also will continue to genetically confirm all rootstocks that come from their facilities. All plants produced by Phytelligence are disease- and virus-free.

“It is absolutely critical to plant trees with rootstocks that are tolerant, or even resistant, to citrus greening disease and the only way to be 100% sure the rootstocks planted are true-to-type, is to use a DNA-based certification process,” Fred Gmitter, citrus breeder at the University of Florida, said in the release. 

The licensing deal will allow Phytelligence to provide confirmed true-to-type rootstock to growers at a much more rapid pace, according to the release.

Paul Nelson at paulnelson@phytelligence.com can provide information about the citrus rootstocks available.

 
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