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Texas A&M-Kingsville Citrus Center professor publishes article on grapefruit history

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Dr. Eliezer Louzada, professor of Agronomy and Resource Sciences at the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Citrus Center, recently published an article in HortTechnology journal.

 

The article “Grapefruit: History, Use, and Breeding” was featured in Volume 31(2021); Issue 3 (June). Louzada completed the article with Chandrika Ramadugu, a project scientist at the University of California Riverside.

 

HortTechnology is the primary outreach publication of the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS). According to its website, the journal is written by experts, for experts. Its content features reliable, current, peer-reviewed technical information to help solve problems and deal with current challenges in production, education and extension.

 

Louzada said he started by searching in old articles dating back to the late 1800s which had never been cited before to find real stories behind the introduction of grapefruit in Florida.

 

“We covered everything from origin to early planting and commercialization, marketing in early days and marketing and planting evolution, problems with biotic and abiotic stresses that affected planted area, interaction with medication, all the benefits that usually is not well advertised, varieties and much more,” Louzada said.

Louzada’s article briefly explains how grapefruits groves in Texas were damaged by the freezing temperatures in February 2021.

 Horttechnology magazine cover

“The objective was to produce an article that would give the whole story so that it could be beneficial to the scientific community but also for public in general. The article for me became a kind of love story,” he said.

 

Louzada has been at Texas A&M-Kingsville since September 1997 working on developing new citrus varieties using conventional breeding and biotechnology. 

 

He recently patented a new grapefruit, the Texas Red, and has several others citrus in the pipeline for patenting including a  golden grapefruit, a seedless lemon, a seedless early orange and a few others. He is also developing citrus with resistance to diseases.

 

Louzada’s article can be read on the ASHS website at https://journals.ashs.org/horttech/view/journals/horttech/31/3/article-p243.xml?rskey=dK32No.

 

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