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Ongoing project

Protecting Australia's citrus genetic material (CT21002)

Key research provider: Australian Citrus Propagation Association Incorporated (Auscitrus)

What's it all about?

This investment is ensuring that disease-free, propagation material is available to the citrus industry to prevent incurable diseases from entering citrus orchards.

Preventing graft-transmissible diseases, such as, citrus exocortis viroid (CEVd), cachexia (citrus viroid IIb - CVd-IIb) and Citrus tristeza virus (CTV) is a key focus of this project. These types of diseases can cause stunting, yield loss and even death in some scion and rootstocks.

The project is strengthening the Australian citrus industry’s biosecurity against graft-transmissible pathogens by: 

  • Providing a pathway for eliminating pathogens from publicly owned Australian selections 
  • Maintaining a collection of high health status, true-to-type trees of public citrus varieties in a bio secure and sustainable manner
  • Collecting, maintaining and communicating plant health data for publicly owned Australian selections
  • Ensuring high health status and true-to-type propagation material is available to industry for propagation
  • Developing a sustainable model to support the program long-term
  • Communicating with industry and stakeholders to raise awareness of the program.

Work will be done collaboratively with Hort Innovation project Improving diagnostics and biosecurity for graft-transmissible diseases in citrus (CT17007) to increase project impact. 

The project has currently achieved the following outputs:

  • High health status trees in the Dareton and Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute screenhouses were tested for citrus tristeza virus (CTV) in Autumn 2022. No CTV was detected, and the list of public varieties was published in the Auscitrus Annual Report 2022.
  • Articles relating to this project have been published in the Australian Citrus News in spring 2021 and the Citrus Australia newsletter on 21 January 2022.
  • Information was presented at an industry forum, the Citrus Technical Forum, held on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland in March 2022.

Related levy funds

This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Citrus Fund