Trunk Injection Not a Silver Bullet for HLB

Jim Rogers Diseases, HLB Management

Although trunk injection of oxytetracycline hydrochloride  (OTC-HCl) has received much recent press for its promise in managing HLB, there is still no silver bullet for the devastating disease. That was part of plant pathologist Ozgur Batuman’s message at a Dec. 10 seminar addressing HLB and other citrus diseases that may exacerbate HLB’s effects on trees. “There is no single effective …

CRDF Allocates Year-End Funds to HLB Research Projects

Jim Rogers CRDF, HLB Management, Research

The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) met for its December board meeting to discuss several topics before heading into the new year. One of the bigger areas of discussion was what to do with available uncommitted funds. “The board decided to fund work on several questions growers have regarding the use of bactericides inserted through systemic delivery devices and …

Guide Prepares California Growers for HLB Detection

Jim Rogers California Corner, HLB Management, Regulation

California’s Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program (CPDPP) has developed a guide, Response for a Confirmed Huanglongbing Positive Detection in a Commercial Grove, to prepare growers for a finding of the disease. The guide is intended to educate growers about the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) huanglongbing action plan. The devastating citrus disease spread by the Asian citrus …

HLB Resistance Is Citrus Breeding Program’s Primary Focus

Jim Rogers Breeding

Citrus breeding is conducted at different research facilities across Florida. But the objective remains the same for University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) breeders: Develop HLB-resistant citrus. That is the goal for Jose Chaparro, UF/IFAS associate professor in Gainesville. His research will impact citrus produced in the North Florida and South Georgia regions. “If you look …

Unraveling the Relationship Between the HLB Bacterium and Trees

Jim Rogers HLB Management, Research

At the heart of the HLB threatening the Florida citrus industry is a complex exchange between the citrus tree and an insidious bacterium. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers continue to study the bacterium that causes HLB. They are learning more about how it works within the citrus tree in an effort to find viable …

Researchers Study Relative of HLB Pathogen

Jim Rogers HLB Management, Research

Sometimes the most niche plant pathogen packs the greatest punch. Such is the case for the Florida citrus industry, which has seen a 70% decline in its orange production since the introduction of HLB in 2005. HLB is also known as citrus greening disease.  The bacteria Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus cause this disease, which spreads via a flying insect. When the …

Research to Help Organic Growers Fight HLB

Jim Rogers Organic, Research

A grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) is intended to advance research to help organic citrus producers fight HLB.   The grant awards $2.03 million to a team of scientists from the University of Florida, Texas A&M University and The Organic Center. The Organic Center is a non-profit organization convening evidence-based science on the …

California Psyllids Carrying HLB Bacterium in Groves

Tacy Callies California Corner, Psyllids

An ongoing study in coastal Southern California citrus groves has found that just over 3.5% of Asian citrus psyllids (ACP) tested are carrying the bacterium that can cause HLB. ACP is the insect vector of HLB. Thus far, 138 of 3,000 adult ACP collected from 15 commercial citrus sites had some level of the bacterium present. The results were reported …

CRISPR Research Update for HLB and Canker

Jim Rogers Breeding, Florida Citrus Commission, Research

Yianni Lagos, chief executive officer of Soilcea, told the Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) in October about his company’s efforts to use CRISPR gene editing to aid the citrus industry in its struggles with canker and HLB. Soilcea was founded to find solutions to these citrus diseases. The company has exclusive licenses to patents from the University of Florida to cure …

$21.7 Million for HLB Research

Jim Rogers HLB Management, Research

Seven entities recently received $21.7 million to conduct research into combating and preventing HLB at the farm level. The funding is from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA) Emergency Citrus Disease Research and Extension program. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) received the majority of the funding, more …

Wang Honored for HLB Research

Jim Rogers Awards

Nian Wang, a University of Florida (UF) Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences professor, has been awarded one of the school’s 2022 Inventions of the Year for his work on HLB. Wang works in the Microbiology and Cell Science Department at the Citrus Research and Education Center. He worked on controlling HLB by mitigating cell death of the phloem tissues …

Changing Psyllids to Make Them Incapable of Spreading HLB

Jim Rogers HLB Management, Research

By Kirsten S. Pelz-Stelinski and Lukasz L. Stelinski Managing Asian citrus psyllids (ACP) remains a consideration for growers because psyllids transmit the citrus greening disease pathogen, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), to newly planted trees. There are several tools that can reduce psyllid populations or mitigate the symptoms of HLB and improve the health of infected trees. However, additional methods that …

Oxytetracycline Product Promises Timely Relief From HLB

Jim Rogers HLB Management

What may be the closest thing yet to a timely silver bullet for HLB was discussed Oct. 26 at Lake Alfred’s Citrus Research and Education Center. Josh Steinbronn, director of research and development at TJ BioTech, said trunk injection of his company’s ReMedium TI oxytetracycline product suppresses Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), the causal agent of HLB. He added that injection …

Best Bets for HLB-Tolerant Citrus

Jim Rogers Varieties

B9-65 Valencia received much attention from horticulturist John Chater during a virtual meeting highlighting HLB-tolerant citrus varieties developed by the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) Plant Improvement Team. Chater is an assistant professor at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences CREC. ORANGESAccording to Chater, pound solids per acre and yield per acre are the most …

HLB Tolerance Data Expected in Early 2023

Jim Rogers Rootstocks, Varieties

Conclusive data on trials in the Millennium Block, expected in early 2023, may reveal which of more than 5,500 trees can tolerate HLB, researchers say. The Millennium Block is at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC) in Fort Pierce. IRREC Director Ronald Cave said the 20-acre grove, established …

Canker Resistance Progress May Help With HLB

Jim Rogers Breeding, Diseases

A team of researchers at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) has successfully identified the CsDMR6 gene, which impacts a citrus tree’s reaction to the citrus canker pathogen. Zhanao Deng and Fred Gmitter, both professors and plant breeders, are members of that team.  By editing the CsDMR6 gene in the plant’s DNA to interfere with …

HLB and Canker Incidence Increasing in Brazil

Jim Rogers Brazil, Diseases

The average incidence of HLB rose from 22.37% in 2021 to 24.42% in 2022 in Brazil’s citrus belt, an annual survey by Fundecitrus shows. That’s an increase of 9.16%. In the regions of Brotas, Limeira and Porto Ferreira, where the incidence was already high in previous years, HLB increased to even more worrying levels of 49.41%, 70.72% and 74.05%, respectively. …

Support for HLB Product Label Requests

Jim Rogers Pesticides

Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) has been working with product registrants to gather industry support for two 24(c) label requests being presented to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). REMEDIUM TIThe first request, from TJ BioTech, is related to the use of ReMedium TI via injection in citrus trees suffering from citrus greening. Research has proven oxytetracycline injection …

Progress With HLB Products

Jim Rogers Citrus Expo, CRDF, HLB Management

Rick Dantzler, chief operating officer of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), spoke during the general session of the Citrus & Specialty Crop Expo. He provided an update on products he hopes will help the citrus industry reset and begin to increase production again. The products are two oxytetracycline (OTC) materials that can be injected into citrus trees. “We …

Impact of HLB on Fruit Growth and Retention

Jim Rogers Fruit Drop, HLB Management

By Tripti Vashisth and Mary Sutton Citrus trees affected by huanglongbing (HLB) consistently have small fruit and low fruit numbers at harvest. The low fruit numbers are largely attributed to the increased rates of preharvest fruit drop that accompany HLB. Small fruit is more likely to drop during this preharvest period, suggesting a link between fruit size and retention. To …