Media Contact:
Alyssa Houtby, Director of Government Affairs

(559) 592-3790

Industry-Funded HLB Research Facility Now Accepting Project Applications

Exeter, CA, January 17, 2018 – California Citrus Mutual, together with the California Citrus Research Foundation and the University of California, Riverside are pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for research space in the newly built Biosecurity Level 3 (BSL-3) Lab near UC Riverside. Qualifying projects must be specific to the Asian citrus psyllid and Huanglongbing, the devastating plant disease threatening to destroy California’s $3.3 billion citrus industry.    Due to limited space, applications will only be accepted until February 21, 2018 at 5:00 PM and will be reviewed on a first come, first serve basis. Completed applications can be sent to lekneitah.smith@ucr.edu.
 

“The Citrus Research Foundation and the new BSL-3 lab are a product of the industry’s significant investment toward finding a solution for HLB. California, funded entirely by citrus growers,” says CCM Director of Government Affairs Alyssa Houtby.  “This facility is state of the art and will undoubtedly attract the world’s leading researchers working on this issue. We fully anticipate the facility will be utilized to its full capacity.”

 

This facility will be the only research facility in California that is citrus-specific and will focus solely on ACP and HLB until a cure for HLB is found. Heretofore, a majority of the research being funded by the federal government and via the private sector has been focused on solutions oriented toward the current situation in Florida, where HLB has persisted for over a decade and caused over a 70% decline in citrus production.  Research conducted at the BSL-3 will focus on California priorities including, but not limited to, early detection technologies, development of bacteria resistant root stock, and other prevention tools.

 

The creation of the Citrus Research Foundation and the industry’s $8 million investment into this facility will attract leading researchers from around the country to work on immediate and long-range solutions to HLB. The location of this facility in the midst of both California’s citrus industry and the increasing urban HLB finds, will be beneficial for the cutting-edge research that is expected to transpire.

 

Principal Investigators (PI’s) are encouraged to contact the Citrus Research Foundation before starting the application process to determine space availability and research compatibility. The application process and the application itself can be found here.

 

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About CCM: CCM is the only advocacy organization representing CA citrus growers on the economic, regulatory, and political issues that impact them most. Our 2,500 members represent 75% of California 270,000 acre, $3.3 billion citrus industry.

 

About the California Citrus Research Foundation (CCRF):  CCRF is a 501(c)(3) foundation with the expressed purpose of soliciting research projects that require BSL3 containment facility parameters with the singular goal, initially of finding a cure for or immunity from Huanglongbing. The Foundation owns the containment facility and works in partnership with the University of California, Riverside to manage the facility, and projects while insuring that the integrity of the facility satisfies all federal, state and local permitting requirements.