GMO COMPASS - Information on genetically modified organisms
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Citrus fruits
(grapefruit, orange, lemon)

Lexikon Nutzpflanzen


Research  Resistance to insects, fungi, viruses and bacteria
Field trials EU 8
USA 29
Approvals none
Perspective The commercial utilisation of genetically modified citrus fruits cannot be expected in the short or long-term future.



With some exceptions, all citrus plants are sensitive to frost and are unable to tolerate temperatures that are more than a few degrees below zero. They are cultivated in temperate and sub-tropical regions, including areas of the USA, South America, South Africa, Australia and the Mediterranean countries. Losses through pests and weeds are estimated to represent a proportion of 20 per cent of the potential harvest.

Mandarins and clementines are cultivated most often and are followed by oranges, lemons and grapefruits.



Most citrus fruits are consumed raw or are processed into


Gene technology: aims of research and development

Agronomic traits

Resistance to pests

  • Insect resistance to aphids, achieved through the transfer of lectin genes from the snowdrop plant; lectins are compounds that are produced naturally by plants as a defence against insects.

Resistance to pathogens


Field trials with GM citrus trees

Total applications 8
Countries Spain 2 citrange (orange x bitter orange) und 5 orange, Italy 1 lemon
Period 1996-2008
Traits Resistance to fungi, characteristics of flowering and fruiting
USA 18 grapefruit, 2 lime, 6 citrange (orange x bitter orange), 3 orange
Period 1999-2010
Other countries Argentina (orange), Mexico (lemon), Brazil (orange)


 GMO Database
GM Food and Feed: Authorization in the EU
GMO Database: Contains information on every GM plant that has been approved or is awaiting authorisation in the EU.
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