By Sean Nealon, UC Riverside A team of scientists, led by a group at the University of California, Riverside, has received a five-year, $5.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to fight a disease that is devastating the citrus industry. The team, led by Caroline Roper, an associate professor of plant pathology, will design and identify bactericides, which are …
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced four grants totaling more than $13.6 million to combat a scourge on the nation’s citrus industry, citrus greening disease, aka Huanglongbing. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.
The current huanglongbing disease test can produce inconclusive results and California citrus leaders say the industry should assume there are more infections in the state.
California citrus programs are still looking to split the state into regions when it comes to Asian citrus psyllid quarantines.
Huanglongbing (HLB) pre-screening through analyzing plant metabolism holds potential to be a relatively inexpensive option for growers. Caroline Slupsky, professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science and the Department of Technology at the University of California, Davis, is looking at the metabolism of citrus trees and analyzing changes as indicators of stress and disease.
Two more trees have been confirmed HLB positive in Southern California. This brings the total number of confirmed positive trees found in California to 30.
Another early-detection method being developed works by smelling huanglongbing infections in trees. This method detects the different scents plants give off.
Recent psyllid management meetings sought input from the citrus industry on ways to control Asian citrus psyllids and the spread of huanglongbing disease.
The Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program says two additional trees have tested HLB-positive in Southern California. The trees were not in close proximity to each other; however, both are close to previous huanglongbing (HLB) finds in the region.
HLB products and cures are popping up left and right and it can be challenging for growers to decipher what’s credible.