THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW CITRUS ROOTSTOCKS

DUNAWAY, JAMES K., SR.

Abstract


During the 1980's Florida suffered billion dollar losses due to cold, citrus Tristeza virus (CTV), Blight and Phytophthora. The purpose of this research and discovery which began in 1977 will deal primarily with development of new and better rootstocks which can survive these major citrus problems. The principal means by which these new citrus cultivars were selected was the old fashioned manner of "natural Selection" or survival of the fittest. Only one survivor out of 10 million would become the strongest parent for a new and better citrus cultivar. The most devastating freeze in Florida's history occurred on Christmas Day in 1983. Over 90% of the Northern Citrus belt was destroyed. This catastrophe became for my research a natural test separating the genetic weak from the strong. This could only benefit the citrus industry if research and progressive lessons were learned and survivors were perpetuated from the great opportunity it presented, otherwise it would remain only a historical citrus catastrophe. The main consideration of this paper will be directed toward cold damage, Citrus Tristeza virus (CTV), Blight and Foot Rot because they cause more mortalities than all others combined in Florida.

Keywords


citrus; juice color; nutrition; tree canopy volume

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283