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Brazil: transgenic citrus tested

Tholen – Four Brazilian research institutions are starting this month the first tests with 120 transgenic orange plants. The tests’ aim is to select varieties which are resistant to the most important plagues and diseases which affect the citrus. Today producers invest about 50% of their costs to control them.

There’s a long way to go before the researchers can get resistant plants. After the seed germinates, the plant is inoculated with the bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens. But before the inoculation, the bacterium is modified to carry antibacterial and antiviral compounds in its structure. These compounds stimulate the plant’s defense mechanisms against diseases.

Publication date: 23 June 2006