HLB heat treatment

Update on Thermal Therapy for HLB

Ernie NeffCitrus Expo, Citrus Greening

HLB heat treatment

Reza Ehsani

University of Florida researcher Reza Ehsani updated growers at Citrus Expo in August about research into the use of heat treatment of HLB-infected trees. Approximately 80,000 trees were heat treated in Florida in the past year, he says. Ehsani discusses some key issues regarding thermal therapy.

“Finding the right time and temperature is critical to using this technique,” he says, and describes some of the difficulties in establishing the best parameters.

“We are seeing a lot of positive things from this,” he continues. “But one issue that we have right now is that we cannot heat treat the root system, and our data suggests there is movement of the bacteria from root to the shoot. So we think that over time we lose the effect of this treatment because the bacteria tends to come back and re-infect the tree.”

“Our initial data suggests that February to August is a very good time for heat treatment,” Ehsani says.

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About the Author

Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large