INIA develops in vitro technique that generates citrus plants free of virus and HLB disease
The National Institute of Agrarian Innovation (INIA) makes available to small farmers a new technique that allows the development of new citrus plants free of the main viruses and Huanglongbing disease (HLB), transmitted by the insect Diaphorina citri, avoiding - thereby - large losses in the citrus industry of Peru.
It is an in vitro micrografting technique, validated and developed by the National Institute of Agrarian Innovation (INIA), which consists in isolating the apical meristem from diseased plants and using it for micrografting, in order to generate new healthy plants with greater capacity. of production. This will benefit more than 40 thousand small producers who will have access to vegetative seed, from mother plants of mandarins, lemons and oranges completely healthy, avoiding losses in production that exceed approximately US $ 700 million. "We generate technology to boost family farming," said INIA chief Jorge Maicelo Quintana.
The sadness virus and the HLB disease in citrus transmitted by the insect Diaphorina citri, are two of the main problems that affect citrus crops especially in the rainy season that, due to humidity, reproduce more frequently.
To validate the technique, researchers from the Plant Tissue Cultivation Laboratory of the Biotechnology Sub Directorate of INIA, performed an ELISA test to rule out virus in tissues from 47 plants generated by micrografting; resulting in a 100% absence of virus.
The validation of this new technique, was generated from the execution of the project "Establishment of foundation blocks of citrus propagation material free of Viruses, Viroids and HLB", funded by the National Agrarian Innovation Program (PNIA). The micrografting technique is used successfully in Spain, Brazil, Uruguay, Cuba and Mexico, where they have sanitation and certification programs for citrus vegetative material.