NMSU will lead a multi-state project to develop climate-adapted pecan trees

Some regions of Mexico have lost up to 40% of their pecan crop due to the condition causing the nuts to sprout prematurely on the trees. A disease known as vivipary makes pecans inedible and unmarketable. It started showing up in pecan orchards in Arizona and Texas and worried growers across the United States.

New Mexico State University is leading a group of scientists working to develop the genetic tools and resources to breed climate-adapted pecan trees that can combat vigor and other challenges.

The effort is part of a multi-state research project led by plant molecular biologist and plant pathologist Jennifer Randall in the Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Weed Science in NMSU’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. Randall recently received a continuing grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to fund the project for the next eight years, starting with $3.9 million for the first two years.

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