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UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center

UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center

Citrus Transformation Facility

Vladimir Orbovic 



Dr. Vladimir Orbovic

Scientific Laboratory Manager
Phone: (863) 956-8729


PhD-Michigan State University

Research Interests

My research is dedicated to all aspects of production of transgenic citrus plants. I am also interested in applications of transgenic technology to other crops, as well as environmental control of plant development especially the effect of light.

List of Publications

Publications in the journals and book chapters

VOSBURG, C., SINN, J., ORBOVIĆ, V., FERRAREZI, R., ZAPIEN-MACIAS, J.M., TAYLOR, E., HILF, M., McCOLLUM, G., GOTTWALD, T., STOVER, E., McNELLIS, T. (2023) Assessment of grapefruit expressing anti-NodT antibody for huanglongbing resistance. PhytoFrontiers,

ORBOVIĆ, V., PRIETO, H. (2023) Editorial: New Developments in Agrobacterium Mediated Transformation of Tree Fruit Crops, Volume II. Frontiers in Plant Science, 14.

MISHRA, R., NARAYANA, R., IBANEZ, F., ACHOR, D., SHILTS, T., EL-MOHTAR, C., ORBOVIĆ, V., STELINSKI, L.L., BONNING, B.C. (2023) Bacterial pesticidal protein Mpp51Aa1 delivered via transgenic citrus severely impacts the fecundity of Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri. Applied Environmental Microbiology,

SHANTHARAJ, D., MINSAVAGE, G.V., ORBOVIĆ, V., MOORE, G.A., HOLMES, D.R., ROMER, P., HORVATH, D.M., LAHAYE, T., JONES, J.B. (2023) A promoter trap in transgenic citrus mediates recognition of a broad spectrum of Xanthomonas citri pv. citri TALEs, including in planta-evolved derivatives. Plant Biotechnology Journal,

ORBOVIĆ, V., RAVANFAR, S-A., ACHOR, D., SHILTS, T., IBANEZ-CARASCO, F., BANERJEE, R., EL-MOHTAR, C., STELINSKI, L., BONNING, B., (2023) Cry1Ba1-mediated toxicity of transgenic Bergera koenigii and Citrus sinensis to the Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri. Frontiers in Insect Science, 14.

KALENDAR, R., ORBOVIĆ, V., EGEA-CORTINES, M., SONG, G. (2022) Editorial: Recent Advances in Plant Genetic Engineering and Innovative Applications, Frontiers in Plant Science, 13.

RAVANFAR, S-A., ACHOR, D., KILLINY, N., SHILTS, T., CHEN, Y., EL-MOHTAR, C., STELINSKI, L., BONNING, B., ORBOVIĆ, V. (2022) Genetic modification of Bergera koenigii for expression of the bacterial pesticidal protein Cry1Ba1. Frontiers in Plant Science, 13:899624.

KALENDAR, R., HUNTER, C., ORBOVIĆ, V. (2022) Editorial: Innovative Applications of Sequencing Technologies in Plant Science, Frontiers in Plant Science, 13.

MERRITT, B.A., ZHANG, X., TRIPLETT, E.W., MOU, Z., ORBOVIĆ, V. (2021) Selection of transgenic citrus plants based on glyphosate tolerance conferred by a citrus 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase variant. Plant Cell Reports,

JIA, H., OMAR, A., ORBOVIĆ, V., WANG, N. (2021) Biallelic editing of the LOB1 promoter via CRISPR/Cas9 creates canker-resistant ‘Duncan’ grapefruit. Phytopathology,

ORBOVIĆ, V., RAVANFAR, S-A., ACANDA, Y., MERRITT, B.A., LEVY, A. NARVAEZ, J., LOVATT, C. (2021) Stress-inducible Arabidopsis thaliana RD29A promoter constitutively drives Citrus sinensis APETALA1 and LEAFY expression and precocious flowering in transgenic Citrus spp. Transgenic Research,

ACANDA, Y., WELKER, S., ORBOVIĆ, V., LEVY, A. (2021) A simple and efficient agroinfiltration method for transient gene expression in Citrus. Plant Cell Reports, 40:1171-1179.

SINN, J., HELD, J., VOSBURG, C., KLEE, S., ORBOVIĆ, V., TAYLOR, E., GOTTWALD, T., STOVER, E., MOORE, G., McNELLIS, T. (2021) Flowering Locus T chimeric protein induces floral precocity in edible citrus. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 19:215-217.

ZHANG, F., ROSSIGNOL, P., HUANG, T., WANG, Y., MAY, A., DUPONT, C., ORBOVIĆ, V., IRISH, V. (2020) Reprogramming of stem cell activity to convert thorns into branches. Current Biology, 30:2951-2961.

ORBOVIĆ, V. (2019) Editorial: New developments in Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of tree fruit crops. Frontiers in Plant Science, 10.

JIA, H., ORBOVIĆ, V., WANG, N. (2019) CRISPR-LbCas12a-mediated modification of citrus. Plant Biotechnology Journal, doi: 10.1111/pbi.13109

ĆALOVIĆ, M., YU, Q., CHEN, C., ORBOVIĆ, V., GMITTER, F.G., GROSSER, J.W. (2019) New Somatic Hybrid Mandarin Tetraploids Generated By Optimized Protoplast Fusion and Confirmed by Molecular Marker Analysis and Flow Cytometry. Journal of American Society for Horticultural Sciences, in press.

SONG, G., PRIETO, H., ORBOVIĆ, V. (2019) Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of tree fruit crops: Methods, progress, and challenges. Frontiers in Plant Science, 10:226.

JIA, H., ZOU, X., ORBOVIĆ, V., WANG, N. (2019) Genome editing of citrus trees with CRISPR/Cas9, in Y. Qi (ed.) Plant Genome Editing with CRISPR Systems: Methods and Protocols-Methods in Molecular Biology, vol. 1917:235-241.

ROBERTSON, C., ZHANG, X., GOWDA, S., ORBOVIĆ, V., DAWSON, W., MOU, Z. (2018) Overexpression of the Arabidopsis NPR1 protein in citrus confers tolerance to Huanglongbing. Journal of Citrus Pathology, Vol. 5, Issue 1.

LEVY, A., EL MOCHTAR, C., WANG, C., GOODIN, M., ORBOVIĆ, V. (2018) A new toolset for protein expression and subcellular localization studies in citrus and its application to citrus tristeza virus proteins. Plant Methods, 14:2.

JIA, H., XU, J., ORBOVIĆ, V., ZHANG, Y., WANG, N. (2017) Editing citrus genome via SaCas9/sgRNA system. Frontiers in Plant Science 8:2135. DOI 10.3389/fpls.2017.

Ravanfar, S.A., ORBOVIĆ, V., Moradpour, M., Aziz, M.A., Karan, R., Wallace, S., Parajuli, S. (2017) Improvement of tissue culture, genetic transformation, and applications of biotechnology to Brassica. Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Reviews, 33:1-25.

JIA, H., ZHANG, Y., ORBOVIĆ, V., XU, J., WHITE, F., JONES, J., WANG, N. (2017) Genome editing of the disease susceptibility gene CsLOB1 in citrus confers resistance to citrus canker. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 15:817-823.

ORBOVIĆ, V., FIELDS, J., SYVERTSEN, J. (2017) Transgenic citrus plants expressing p35 anti-apoptotic gene have altered response to abiotic stress. Horticulture, Environment, and Biotechnology, 58:33-39.

JIA, H., ORBOVIĆ, V., JONES, J., WANG, N. (2016) Modification of the PthA4 effector binding elements in Type I CsLOB1 promoter using Cas9/sgRNA to produce transgenic Duncan grapefruit alleviating XccΔpthA4:dCsLOB1.3 infection. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 14:1291-1301.

ORBOVIĆ, V., ĆALOVIĆ, M., DUTT, M., GROSSER, J.W., BARTHE, G. (2015) Production and characterization of transgenic Citrus plants carrying p35 anti-apoptotic gene. Scientia Horticulturae, 197:203-211.

WU, H., ACANDA, Y., SHANKAR, A., PEEPLES, M., HUBBARD, C., ORBOVIĆ, V., ZALE, J. (2015) Genetic transformation of commercially important mature citrus scions. Crop Science, 55:2786-2797.

ORBOVIĆ, V., GROSSER, J.W. (2015) Citrus transformation using juvenile tissue explants, in:  K. Wang (ed.), Agrobacterium protocols-Methods in Molecular Biology, Humana Press Inc, USA pp245-257.

ORBOVIĆ, V., SHANKAR, A., PEEPLES, M., HUBBARD, C., ZALE, J. (2015) Citrus transformation using mature tissue explants, in:  K. Wang (ed.), Agrobacterium protocols-Methods in Molecular Biology, Humana Press Inc, USA pp259-273.

ROSSIGNOL, P., ORBOVIĆ, V., IRISH, V. (2014) A dexamethasone-inducible gene expression system is active in Citrus plants. Scientia Horticulturae, 172:47-53.

VINTERHALTER, D., VINTERHALTER, B., MILJUŠ-DJUKIĆ J., JOVANOVIĆ Ž., ORBOVIĆ, V. (2014) Daily changes in photo- and gravitropic response by potato plantlets. Journal of Plant Growth Regulation, 33:539-550.

AN, C., ORBOVIĆ, V., MOU, Z. (2013) An efficient intragenic vector for generating intragenic and cisgenic plants in citrus. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 4:2131-2137.

CHEN, X., JINYOUNG, B., SREEDHARAN, A., HUANG, X., ORBOVIĆ, V., GROSSER, J.W., WANG, N., DONG, X., SONG, W-Y. (2013) Over-expression of the Citrus gene CtNH1 confers resistance to bacterial canker disease. Physiological and Molecular Plant Physiology, 84:115-122.

ORBOVIĆ, V., DUTT, M., GROSSER, J.W. (2013) Evaluation of the germination potential of citrus seeds during the harvesting season. Hort Science, 48:1197-1199.

SHEN, X., ORBOVIĆ, V., DUTT, M., CASTLE, W.S., GMITTER, F.G. (2013) Direct shoot organogenesis in Murraya paniculata (L.) Jack – a prerequisite for genetic transformation. Hort Science, 48:938-941.

ORBOVIĆ, V., GÖLLNER, E.M., SORIA, P. (2013) The effect of arabinogalactan-proteins on regeneration potential of juvenile Citrus explants used for genetic transformation by Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Acta Physiologiae Plantarum, 35:1409-1419.

VINTERHALTER, D., VINTERHALTER, B., ORBOVIĆ, V. (2012) Photo- and gravitropic bending of potato plantlets obtained in vitro from single-node explants. Journal of Plant Growth Regulation, 31:560-569.

ORBOVIĆ, V., SORIA, P., MOORE, G.A., GROSSER, J.W. (2011) The use of citrus tristeza virus (CTV) containing a green fluorescent protein gene as a tool to evaluate resistance/tolerance of transgenic citrus plants. Crop Protection, 30:572-576.

ORBOVIĆ, V., DUTT, M., GROSSER, J.W. (2011) Seasonal effects of seed age on regeneration potential and transformation success rate in three citrus cultivars. Scientia Horticulturae, 127:262-266.

FRANCIS, M.I., KOSTENYUK, I., ORBOVIĆ, V., LOSKUTOV, A., ZOLOTUKHIN, M., GRAHAM, J.H. (2011) Automated needle-free injection method for delivery of bacterial suspensions into citrus leaf tissues. Journal of Phytopathology, 159:347-351.

ZHANG, X., FRANCIS, M.I., DAWSON, W.O., GRAHAM, J.H., ORBOVIĆ, V., TRIPLETT, E.W., MOU, Z. (2010) Over-expression of the Arabidopsis NPR1 gene in citrus increases resistance to citrus canker. European Journal of Plant Pathology, 128:91-100.

PASQUALI, G., ORBOVIĆ, V., GROSSER, J.W. (2009) Transgenic grapefruit plants expressing the PAPETALA3-IPTgpgene exhibit altered expression of PR genes. Plant Cell, Tissue, and Organ Culture, 97:215-223.

ORBOVIĆ, V., SYVERTSEN, J., BRIGHT, D., VanCLIEF, D., GRAHAM, J.H. (2008) Citrus seedling growth and susceptibility to Phytophthora root rot are affected by phosphite and phosphate sources of phosphorus. Journal of Plant Nutrition, 31:774-787.

GROSSER, J.W., GMITTER, F.G. Jr., ORBOVIĆ, V., MOORE, G.A., GRAHAM, J.H., SONEJI, J., GONZALEA-RAMOS, J., MIRKOV, T.E., KAYIM, M. (2008) Grapefruit.  In:  Kole, C. and Hall, T.C. (eds.).  A Compendium of Transgenic Crop Plants. Volume 5: Transgenic Tropical and Subtropical Fruits and Nuts.  Wiley-Blackwell. pp 63-76.

ORBOVIĆ, V., ĆALOVIĆ, M., VILORIA, Z., NIELSEN, B., GMITTER, Jr. F.G., CASTLE, W.S., GROSSER, J.W. (2008) Analysis of genetic variability in various tissue culture-derived lemon plant populations using RAPD and flow cytometry. Euphytica, 161:329-335.

ANANTHAKRISHNAN, G., ORBOVIĆ, V., PASQUALI, G., ĆALOVIĆ, M, GROSSER, J.W. (2007) Transfer of Citrus Tristeza Virus (CTV)-derived resistance candidate sequences to four grapefruit cultivars through Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation. In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology-Plant, 43(6):593-601.

ORBOVIĆ, V., ACHOR, D., SYVERTSEN, J. (2007) Adjuvants affect penetration of copper through isolated cuticles of Citrus leaves and fruit. Hort Science, 42(6):1405-1408.

ORBOVIĆ, V., POFF, K. L. (2007) Effect of temperature on growth and phototropism of Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings. Journal of Plant Growth Regulation, 26(3):222-228.

ORBOVIĆ, V., GROSSER, J.W. (2006) Citrus:  Sweet orange (Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck ‘Valencia’) and Carrizo citrange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck x Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf.], in:  K. Wang (ed.), Agrobacterium protocols-Methods in Molecular Biology, Humana Press Inc, USA pp177-189.

ORBOVIĆ, V., JIFON, J., SYVERTSEN, J. (2001) Foliar applied surfactants and urea temporarily reduce carbon assimilation of Citrus leaves. Journal of American Society for Horticultural Sciences, 126(4):486-490.

ORBOVIĆ, V., ACHOR, D., PETRACEK, P., SYVERTSEN, J. (2001) Air temperature, humidity and leaf age affect penetration of urea through Citrus leaf cuticles.  Journal of American Society for Horticultural Sciences, 126(1):44-50.

STOJKOVIC, B., ORBOVIĆ, V., TARASJEV, A. (2000) Effects of neighbor identity on plastic response to density in Arabidopsis thaliana ecotypes.  Archives of Biological Sciences, 52:25-26.

GENDREAU, E., ORBOVIĆ, V., HOFTE, H., TRAAS, J. (1999) Gibberellin and ethylene control endoreduplication levels in the Arabidopsis thaliana hypocotyl. Planta,209-(4):513-516.

VINTERHALTER, B., ORBOVIĆ, V., VINTERHALTER, D. (1999) Transgenic root cultures of Gentiana lutea (L). Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae, 68-(4):275-280.

ORBOVIĆ, V., TARASJEV, A. (1999) Genetic differences in plastic responses to density between ecotypes of Arabidopsis thaliana. Russian Journal of Genetics (Genetika),35-(5):528-536.

ORBOVIĆ, V., POFF, K. L. (1997) Interaction of light and gravitropism with nutation of hypocotyls of Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings. Plant Growth Regulation, 23 (3):141-146.

ORBOVIĆ, V. (1997) Review: Light effects on hypocotyl elongation. Archives of Biological Sciences, 49:63-71.

ORBOVIĆ, V., POFF, K. L. (1997) A role of carotenoids in phototropism of Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings. Botanica Serbica, 29:51-63.

ORBOVIĆ, V., KIEU, K. (1996) A semi-automatic method for measurement of seedling length. Plant Growth Regulation, 20 (3):303-305.

DESNOS, T., ORBOVIĆ, V., BELLINI, C., KRONENBERGER, J., CABOCHE, M., TRAAS, J., HOFTE, H. (1996) Procuste1, mutants identify two distinct genetic pathways controlling hypocotyl cell elongation, respectively in dark- and light-grown Arabidopsis seedlings. Development, 122:683-693.

GIL, P., LIU, Y., ORBOVIĆ, V., VERKAMP, E., POFF, K.L., GREEN, P. J. (1994) Characterization of the auxin-inducible SAUR-AC1 gene for use as a molecular genetic tool in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiology, 104:777-784.

POFF, K. L., JANOUDI, A-K., ROSEN, E. S., ORBOVIĆ, V., KONJEVIC, R., FORTIN, M-C., SCOTT, T. C. (1994) The Physiology of Tropisms. In Arabidopsis. (eds. E. Meyerovitz and C. R. Somerville) Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, USA pp639-664.

ORBOVIĆ, V., POFF, K. L. (1993) The distribution of growth during phototropism of Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings. Plant Physiology, 103:157-163.

ORBOVIĆ, V., POFF, K. L. (1991) Kinetics for phototropic curvature by etiolated seedlings of Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Physiology, 97:1470-1475.

ORBOVIĆ, V., GRUBIŠIĆ, D., KONJEVIĆ, R. (1989) The effect of deuterium oxide on GA3-induced germination of Paulownia tomentosa seeds. Archives of Biological Sciences, 42:53-58.

Conference Proceedings

DUTT, M., BARTHE, G. ORBOVIĆ, V., IREY, M., GROSSER, J.W. (2015) Evaluation of transgenic citrus for disease resistance to HLB and Canker. XII International Citrus Congress, International Society of Citriculture. Acta Horticulturae, 1065:919-924.

GROSSER, J.W., DUTT, M., OMAR, A., ORBOVIĆ, V., BARTHE, G. (2011) Progress towards the development of transgenic disease resistance in Citrus. 2nd International Citrus Biotechnology Symposium, Acta Horticulturae, 892:101-107.

DUTT, M., ORBOVIĆ, V., GROSSER, J.W. (2009) Cultivar dependent gene transfer into citrus using Agrobacterium. Proceedings of Florida Society for Horticultural Science Annual Meeting, 122:85-89.

DUTT, M., OMAR, A., ORBOVIĆ, V., BARTHE, G., GMITTER, F.G., VASCONCELLOS, M., DUNNING C., GROSSER, J.W. (2008) Combating Huanglongbing and Canker via genetic engineering of Citrus. Proceedings of Florida Society for Horticultural Science Annual Meeting, 121:124-129.

DUTT, M., OMAR, A.A., ORBOVIĆ, V., BARTHE, G., GROSSER, J.W. (2008) Progress towards incorporation of antimicrobial peptides for disease resistance in citrus. International Society of Citriculture, 11th Congress vol.1: 258-264.

ORBOVIĆ, V., PASQUALI, G., GROSSER, J.W. (2007) A GFP-containing binary vector for Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated plant transformation. International Symposium on Biotechnology of Temperate Fruit Crops and Tropical Species, Acta Horticulturae, 738:245-253.

ANANTHAKRISHNAN, G., GOWDA, S., ORBOVIĆ, V., DAWSON, W.O., GROSSER, J.W. (2004) Regeneration of transgenic sweet orange and Carizzo citrange plants containing a 742bp Citrus Tristeza Virus-derived sequence 392. International Society of Citriculture, 10th Congress, vol. 1:135-13