Elliott Atkins

Postgraduate Researcher Molecules from Nature

Elliott’s research aims to understand the molecular basis of the mechanisms involved in Citrus fruit acidity.

Citrus is a very economically important genus, comprising flowering trees and shrubs. Among the genus’ proliferation of inter-specific hybrids are some of the most widely recognised fruits, such as oranges, lemons and limes.

Fruit acidity is one of the most important and unique commercial traits in Citrus. However, the genetic regulation and molecular mechanisms involved in Citrus fruit acidity remain unknown. Elliott will be taking a genome editing approach, using the CRISPR/Cas9 system, to manipulate genes thought to be involved in the regulation of fruit acidity.

Improvements through breeding, while difficult, could be better informed by understanding the genetic regulation of fruit acidity in Citrus at the molecular level.