Soilcea is creating CRISPR-edited citrus trees that are highly tolerant to the citrus industry’s deadliest diseases. Two bacterial diseases, citrus canker and Huanglongbing (greening), are decimating the Florida citrus industry, having already cost the state over $7.8 billion in lost revenue. At Soilcea, our in-house team is working diligently with leading researchers at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences to forestall the rapid decline of citrus production and deliver citrus trees highly tolerant to these deadly pathogens by using the targeted CRISPR precision breeding system.
$1.5 Billion Annual Production Decline
The USDA recently issued guidance that it will not regulate CRISPR precision breeding that could occur naturally. Unlike traditional GMOs that involve inserting a foreign gene (like an bacterial gene) into a plant, Soilcea is using CRISPR breeding to make small deletions 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 simply advancing a natural process in time to save the Florida citrus industry.