Many growers in recent years have used bactericides in an effort to reduce HLB infection in their groves. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski reports on use of bactericides to reduce both the bacteria that causes HLB and the psyllids that spread it.
In greenhouse studies, she reports, bactericides appeared to offer “some reduction” in bacteria levels after four weeks. “What we did see was that there was a significant impact of oxytetracycline (a bactericide)” on psyllid feeding and survival. She says she thinks oxytetracycline has the potential to increase mortality, or reduce survival, of the psyllid. “So depending on the dose needed and how much the psyllids are picking up from the trees when they’re feeding in the field will determine how effective it can be in actually knocking down psyllid populations. But we are also developing some novel technologies that can be used in higher concentrations (than oxytetracycline) … and those appear to have greater efficacy than the traditional antibiotic treatments,” she says. She hopes those novel technologies will be more useful for psyllid control.
Pelz-Stelinski discussed the research at Citrus Expo in August.
Hear more from Pelz-Stelinski:
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