Kaolin and Climate Impacts on HLB Addressed

Daniel CooperEvents, HLB Management

Low doses of kaolin significantly reduced the incidence of psyllids and HLB in Brazil.

The impacts of kaolin and climate on HLB in Brazil were among topics addressed by researchers from Brazil’s Fundecitrus during the recent International Research Conference on HLB in Riverside, California. HLB is also known as citrus greening.

Researcher Marcelo Miranda discussed results of a study on the use of processed kaolin in low doses to reduce the HLB-spreading psyllid population and the incidence of HLB in orchards.

“The study showed that it is possible to reduce the dose of processed kaolin and, even so, maintain the effectiveness of the product, an important procedure that can generate savings for the citrus grower,” Miranda said. “Furthermore, the research proved a 50% reduction in the incidence of greening and a 49% reduction in the psyllid population compared to areas not sprayed with kaolin.”

Researcher Silvio Lopes spoke about the budding and infection stages of the HLB bacteria and how climate can affect the spread of the disease.

“Experiments conducted at Fundecitrus indicate that there is great variation in the Citrus Belt regarding the favorability of infection of citrus plants by greening bacteria, and everything indicates that it is the climate,” Lopes said. “The greater the number of hours between 22° C and 28° C (72° and 82° F) during the day, the greater the chance of transmission of the bacteria by the psyllid. As for the seasons, summer is less favorable, and autumn and winter are the most favorable seasons.”

Researcher Renato Bassanezi participated in a roundtable discussion on the lessons and challenges of greening in Brazil. He presented work that addressed the effect on psyllid control of not eliminating diseased plants from the edge of the orchard.

Bassanezi is also co-author of three other works that were presented on the effect of dwarfing rootstocks on the greening epidemic and the effect of crowding of plantings on the edge of the plot on disease progress. Bassanezi’s co-authors were Embrapa/Fundecitrus researcher Eduardo Girardi and Fundecitrus post-doctoral fellow Deivid Carvalho.

Other Brazilian researchers made presentations at the conference on an HLB-control success story and the outlook for Brazilian acreage and production.

Fundecitrus General Manager Juliano Ayers said discussions at the conference “directed us toward viable solutions that make a difference in the fight against the disease.”

The international conference was organized by the Citrus Research Board in California with the support of the California citrus industry. It brought together researchers, regulators and members of the citrus industry from several countries.

Source: Fundecitrus

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