Citrus Congress

Fundecitrus Participates in Australian Citrus Congress

Daniel CooperEvents, International

Citrus Congress

General Manager Juliano Ayres and researcher Franklin Behlau of Brazil’s Fundecitrus participated in the recent Australian Citrus Congress. Attendees discussed the impacts caused by citrus greening in affected countries like Brazil and worked to establish strategies for preventing and detecting the disease in Australia.

During the event, Behlau gave a lecture at the Citrus Australia Biosafety Symposium and provided an overview of greening and the challenges of the disease in Brazil. “Even with the biggest challenge that is greening, the citrus belt is expanding, and Brazil is a success story,” Behlau said. “We also know the trends in rootstock and scion varieties used in other countries and reinforce our partnership with Australian research.”

“We showed how greening has caused major economic impacts for citrus growers and orange juice companies in Brazil,” Ayres said of his talk. “We also showed how Fundecitrus’ work has been fundamental in combating the disease.”


Ayres said the trip aimed to strengthen the partnership between Fundecitrus and Australia’s Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, in search of greening-resistant plants.

“The good news is that there are two citrus species resistant to greening that only occur in Australia,” Ayres said. “Therefore, the partnership and strengthening of collaboration between the two countries will be very important for scientific advancement in search of genetic improvement of resistance to greening.”

Fundecitrus has partnered with Australian researchers in a plant breeding project that seeks resistance. The study aims to identify a gene that provides resistance and can be incorporated into commercial citrus varieties. Two native species have been scientifically proven to be resistant to greening: Citrus australasica (Australian finger lime) and Citrus glauca (desert lime). These species are considered resistant because they do not multiply the greening bacteria.

The research also aims to identify new materials that may be resistant, in addition to understanding what makes the materials genetically resistant. 

In addition to giving lectures, Ayres and Behlau participated in a field day, visiting research institutions, experimental fields, packinghouses, nurseries and citrus orchards.

In addition to Brazilian and Australian speakers, the Australian Citrus Congress included participants from China, Indonesia, the United States and other countries.


While greening is the biggest challenge facing Brazil’s São Paulo citrus industry, neither the disease nor the psyllid that spread it are present in Australia. In general, Australian citrus farming is not affected by a large number of pests and diseases.

Citrus farming in Australia covers about 31,000 hectares. The country produces tangerines, lemons, sour limes, pomelos and oranges, mainly Navelinas and Valencia, which are destined for the fresh fruit market and exported to Asia. The main citrus-growing regions in Australia are located in Queensland, the Riverina, the Murray Valley and Western Australia.

Source: Fundecitrus

Share this Post

Sponsored Content