Soilcea is creating CRISPR-edited citrus trees that are resistant to the citrus industry’s deadliest diseases. Two bacterial diseases, citrus canker and Huanglongbing (citrus greening), are decimating the Florida citrus industry, having destroyed millions of trees, cost the state billions in lost revenue, and reduced by over 80% Florida citrus production. Soilcea is developing new citrus varieties with resistance to these deadly pathogens using CRISPR precision breeding.
The USDA and EPA issued guidance that they will not regulate CRISPR precision breeding that could occur naturally. Unlike traditional GMOs that involve inserting a foreign gene (like a bacterial gene) into a plant, Soilcea is using CRISPR breeding to make small edits in genes that make a tree susceptible to citrus greening and canker. Nature constantly deletes DNA susceptible to diseases and slowly adopts the beneficial change through natural selection. At Soilcea, we are advancing a natural process in time to save the Florida citrus industry.
Yianni Lagos, JD/MBA/CFA
Chief Executive Officer
Lead Protoplast Scientist
Quinton Allen, PhD
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