UCR Citrus Variety Collection HLB Prevention Initiative
The discovery of three Huanglongbing (HLB)-infected trees in Riverside in 2019 approximately 2.25 miles from UCR on top of the continuing pervasive spread of Asian Citrus Psyllids (ACP) which is the insect that spreads the bacteria that causes HLB, caused us to realize the urgent need to protect the UCR Citrus Variety Collection. The 1048 cultivars and species of citrus and related genera in the Citrus Variety Collection fields on campus comprises one of the most diverse collections of citrus and related genera in the world. Although we have a backup collection of two additional small trees of each cultivar and species, they are maintained in aging screened greenhouses at UCR Agricultural Operations or at the USDA NCGRCD. If we need to remove HLB infected trees from the fields in the future, this would significantly affect our ability to breed new cultivars and conduct research that utilizes this diversity.
Construction of a 1.8 acre screened structure is currently in progress. This new structure will serve as an additional backup collection with one tree per accession of selected accessions within the Givaudan Citrus Variety Collection. Trees within the screened structure will be planted in the ground which allow for these trees to flower and fruit.
Thanks to donations from many individuals and a large donation from Givaudan, construction of this first structure is slated to be completed in December of 2021.
Rising costs for supplies and the eventual need to expand this structure to provide backup for additional accessions in the collection means that additional funds are needed to secure the collection from this deadly citrus disease.
If you wish to help support our efforts to protect the Citrus Variety Collection from Huanglongbing, please visit our Give page to make a donation to the Citrus Variety Collection HLB Prevention Fund.