Ozgur Batuman, a new citrus plant pathologist at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, discusses the diseases he’ll work on.
“I am planning to of course tackle some of the more pressing issues that citrus growers are facing these days, one of them being huanglongbing (HLB), and confronting its vector, Asian citrus psyllid,” he says.
He will also research fungal diseases, including citrus black spot. “This is one project that I would like to look into and see what I can do with growers to eradicate this disease,” he says.
He adds, “I’ve heard many concerns about postbloom fruit drop (PFD). I’m interested to see and collaborate with others who have been working (on PFD) for a long, long time. It sounded to me that they made very good progress and they have a good strategy to combat this.”
Batuman says he is excited to return to work on citrus, explaining that he previously was at the University of California-Davis, working with tomato growers on virus diseases vectored by thrips.
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