International HLB Conference Focused on Grower Solutions

Daniel CooperEvents, HLB Management, Research

This spring, the seventh International Research Conference on Huanglongbing (IRCHLB) was held in Riverside, California. The inaugural event was held in 2008 and funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture. USDA researcher Tim Gottwald and University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) professor Jim Graham founded the …

blood oranges

Better Blood Oranges a Possibility for Florida Growers

Daniel CooperFresh, Research

Blood oranges teeming with antioxidants and other health benefits may be a shot in the arm for consumers and citrus growers, if the fruit is stored at cool temperatures, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) study shows. But it’s too soon to know if blood oranges are a viable crop for the Florida citrus industry, …

Millennium Block

Millennium Block Research Shows Promising Results

Daniel CooperGrapefruit, Indian River, Research

A recent update of Millennium Block research at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Indian River Research and Education Center in Fort Pierce indicates the 5,500 trees in the project are yielding promising results. The four trials within the Millennium Block aim to unlock the genetic potential of new scion and rootstock hybrids never tested …


Study Shows Florida Residents’ Attitudes on HLB

Daniel CooperHLB Management, Research

In the fall of 2022, five University of Florida researchers investigated Florida residents’ attitudes on HLB and Asian citrus psyllids (ACP) using online surveys over a 9-month period. The results of the study, Residents’ contribution to Asian citrus psyllid and citrus greening management in Florida residential habitats, was recently published in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management. Authors Romain Exilien, …


Teenager Awarded for Investigation of Alternative Trunk-Injection Treatment

Daniel CooperAwards, HLB Management, Research

Tanishka Balaji Aglave of Valrico, Florida, received the $10,000 H. Robert Horvitz Prize for Fundamental Research for her investigation into a natural alternative treatment against citrus greening disease (known as huanglongbing, or HLB). Aglave, a 15-year-old who attends Strawberry Crest High School and grew up on a citrus farm, injected the trunks of infected citrus trees with an extract from …


Study Sheds Light on Defense Against HLB-Spreading Psyllids

Daniel CooperHLB Management, Research

A study by researchers from the Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences and South China Agricultural University sheds light on the genetic mechanisms that can defend against Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) infestation. ACP is the vector for HLB, the most devastating disease of citrus. The study was published in Horticulture Research on April 1. It unveils the roles of two cytochrome …


Survivor Grapefruit Cultivars Set for HLB Trials

Daniel CooperGrapefruit, HLB Management, Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) citrus scion breeding program recently rediscovered several noteworthy grapefruit cultivars at the A.H. Whitmore Foundation Farm in Groveland, Florida. Among these are the Florida Red, Red Blush and Henderson varieties. These cultivars were originally selected as long shots from the Whitmore Foundation Farm and were planted in 1986. They have survived …


Interstock Pros and Cons for HLB Management

Daniel CooperHLB Management, Research

The pros of using interstocks for HLB management seemed to outweigh the cons, based on a presentation horticulturist Manjul Dutt made at this spring’s Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute. Dutt is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) assistant professor. An interstock is a graft of a citrus selection that can be used as a bridge between …


Texas Researcher Honored for HLB Work

Daniel CooperAwards, Research, Texas

Texas A&M researcher Kranthi Mandadi has received the 2024 American Phytopathological Society (APS) Syngenta Award given to select scientists working in areas of crop protection and plant pathology. Mandadi is an associate professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Weslaco. He was selected for the award primarily for his breakthrough research on fastidious, …


Supporting Citrus Science

Daniel CooperResearch

By Rob Gilbert,, @IFAS_VP Let’s start with the most important thing. Citrus science remains a top priority of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Citrus is special. My goal for citrus is sustainability. That means profitability. Here are a few new ways UF/IFAS has demonstrated its support for citrus science during the past five …


Ways to Cut Postharvest Waste

Daniel CooperInternational, Research

Citrus farming worldwidedelivers an annual 140 million tons of oranges, tangerines and other citrus fruits, but much of the postharvest crop is lost before it reaches the market. “Up to 30% of citrus fruit is lost to decay and disease following harvesting,” says food scientist Yang Shan, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and head of the Dongting …

Orange Peels

Repurposing Orange Peels for Heart Health

Daniel CooperResearch

Orange peels may hold a key to better cardiovascular health, new University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS)-led research shows. Some gut bacteria help develop cardiovascular disease. When they feed on certain nutrients during digestion, gut bacteria produce trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO). Levels of TMAO can help predict future cardiovascular disease, according to researchers at the Cleveland Clinic. …


‘Crucial Step’ Taken in HLB Bacterium Cultivation

Daniel CooperHLB Management, Research

Huanglongbing (HLB) is caused by the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), which has been challenging to culture outside its host because of its intracellular nature and genome reduction. Due to these challenges, in-depth research on effective cultivation methods for CLas is essential to develop better control strategies. Such in-depth research was conducted by a team from the U.S. Department of …


Standing Up Against Hurricanes

Daniel Cooperhurricane, Research, Rootstocks

By Ute Albrecht, Bo Meyering, Carol Tardivo, Gabriel Pugina and Kim D. Bowman The approaching hurricane season poses the question of why strong winds cause some citrus trees to topple over while others remain firm in the ground. Grove location, grove topography and soil type are factors that influence a tree’s ability to withstand tropical-force winds. The tree’s root structure …

Grove First

Grove First Project Seeks More Grower Cooperators

Daniel CooperHLB Management, Research

The Grove First project plans to expand next year and is seeking additional growers as cooperators. The project tests molecules directly in the field for their ability to treat HLB via trunk injection. The Grove First project differs from the common practice of starting HLB research in the laboratory, then moving to the greenhouse to be confirmed before going into …


In Georgia Owari Trial, Yields Peaked in 2021

Daniel CooperGeorgia, Research, Rootstocks

University of Georgia Extension agent Jake Price recently summarized yields for three recent seasons from Owari satsuma trees in a rootstock trial. Last year, 2023, was the last harvest year for data collection in the trial. Price reported that yield in the trial plot peaked in 2021 with a yield of about 20,300 pounds on 60 trees, which would be …


Evolving Research Priorities for Florida Citrus

Daniel CooperCRDF, Research

Last week, growers convened in Avon Park for the annual Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute. The daylong seminar program provides updates on the latest research in the fight against HLB and other production issues facing growers. Rick Dantzler, chief operating officer of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), presented an update on the organization’s research priorities. He noted that CRDF …


Florida OJ Has Solid Share of Consumers

Daniel CooperFlorida, Orange Juice, Research

A significant portion of consumers are drawn to Florida orange juice (OJ) despite recent economic setbacks, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) study shows.  “There is an intrinsic value that consumers have for Florida orange juice. When they think of Florida, orange juice is often part of the imagery,” said Marisa Zansler, director of economic …


CRAFT Program Promotes New Planting and Knowledge

Daniel CooperCRAFT, planting, Research

Since its founding in 2019, the Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) program has been responsible for the planting of just under 10,000 acres of new trees. This includes about 6,000 acres of solid-set groves and just shy of 4,000 acres of resets. CRAFT is a first-of-its-kind program and considered an innovation among funding agencies needed to support such efforts. …