Brassinosteroid and Nutrient Uptake Studies for HLB

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, HLB Management, Nutrition


Tripti Vashisth

Tripti Vashisth, a University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences horticulturist, reports on brassinosteroid and nutrient uptake studies aimed at alleviating HLB symptoms. She reported on these studies at a recent HLB Grower Day summarizing scientific presentations made at an international HLB research conference.

The brassinosteroid (a plant growth regulator) study was conducted at the University of Havana in Cuba. “They (researchers) were able to demonstrate that with the application of those brassinosteroids, the bacterial titer (for HLB) was significantly reduced,” Vashisth says. “They tried two concentrations and both of the concentrations seemed to have worked good … All of this work was done in Cuba. We have not done anything similar to that in Florida,” so similar work needs to be done in Florida to see if the brassinosteroids work in the Sunshine State.

Vashisth also reported on a nutrient uptake hydroponic study that she conducted. “We found that for phosphorus and calcium, the nutrient uptake was slower in HLB plants,” she said. “We also found that if you look at the efficiency of the roots of HLB plants, HLB plants’ roots are working very hard to take up nutrients because there are fewer of them.” As a result of the study, she says, “I would definitely recommend having a constant supply of nutrients” to the trees.

Hear more from Vashisth:

See the presentations from the HLB Grower Day here.

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About the Author

Tacy Callies

Editor of Citrus Industry magazine