Citrus blight is an extremely complex decline disorder of unknown etiology, Zinc accumulates in the phloem of the tree 40-50 cm above the bud union 1-3 years prior to visible symptoms of blight (foliage wilt and twig dieback). This is accompanied by Zn deficits in the leaves. A Zn-binding peptide (ZBP) purified from citrus phloem tissue accounts for a symptomatic redistribution of Zn from the canopy to the trunk phloem. ZBP is found in blight and healthy trees and is therefore a normal component of cellular metabolism. To further understand ZBP's role in metabolism two citrus cell culture lines which were selected based on their susceptibility to blight have been characterized as to their growth under Zn treatments as well as Cu and Cd. In addition, their complement of metal-binding constituents is being determined.
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