Citrus Research Board Announces Showcase Speakers

Visalia, Calif., (March 3, 2017) – The Citrus Research Board (CRB) has announced its workshop speakers for the 2017 Citrus Showcase, being held on March 2 at the Visalia Convention Center.  CRB-hosted workshops will be held in the San Joaquin Room of the convention center.

James Thomson, Ph.D., is a Research Scientist at the USDA-ARS Crop Improvement and Genetics Research Unit in Albany, California. He will lead a one-hour workshop on “Developing Genome Targeting Technology for Precise DNA Modification” beginning at 8:00 a.m. The workshop will focus on ongoing CRB-funded research into the Recombinase Mediated Cassette Exchange (RMCE) technology as a means to add specific traits of interest to popular California citrus scion and rootstock varieties. An explanation of the genetic engineering process to generate transgenic citrus plants with novel, beneficial traits, including incorporation of huanglongbing resistance traits, will be discussed. The concept and commercialization possibilities of marker removal available with this approach will also be presented.

At 10:00 a.m., the CRB will offer a one-hour workshop on “Protecting the California Citrus Industry from Invasive Pests at the Ports of Entry and Borders.” Speaker Nikki Thomas is the Director of the Agriculture Safeguarding Division within the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Field Operations, Agriculture Programs and Trade Liaison. Every year, CBP agriculture specialists intercept tens of thousands of pests that have been identified through scientific risk assessment as dangerous to the health and safety of US agricultural resources. Thomas will discuss what is being done in the western US at ports of entry and borders to protect the California citrus industry from these invasive pests.

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR), has approved 1.5-hours of other continuing education units for PCAs, QALs and private applicators. Please arrive by 7:45 a.m. to register for your units.

The CRB will also have a booth at the showcase, where county farm advisors, CRB researchers and CRB staff will be on hand to answer questions.

For more information about registering for the 2017 Citrus Showcase, please contact California Citrus Mutual at 559.592.3790. To learn more about CRB-sponsored workshops, phone 559.738.0246 or e-mail

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