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Gift to help protect huge UC citrus collection from disease

March 15, 2019

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — The Swiss flavor and fragrance company Givaudan has donated $3.5 million to build a screened structure that will protect several acres of trees at the University of California, Riverside’s huge citrus collection from a bug-transmitted disease.

The university announced Thursday that the structure will protect new trees and back-up collections of the UCR Citrus Variety Collection from devastating citrus-greening disease, also known as Huanglongbing, or HLB.

The university’s citrus collection was started more than 100 years ago and includes about 1,000 types of citrus on 22.3 acres (9 hectares) on the university campus and two smaller sites.

The disease carried by a bug called the Asian citrus psyllid has been found just 2¼ miles (3.6 kilometers) away from the collection.

The disease ultimately kills infected trees.

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