Organic Acid, HLB Link Found

Ernie NeffResearch

One obvious symptom of HLB is leaf chlorosis — yellow blotches appearing on otherwise dark green citrus leaves. Although chlorosis can indicate other health issues, in trees affected by HLB, it’s thought to be triggered by the underlying bacterial infection causing the disease. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) plant pathologist Nabil Killiny conducted a study … Read More

Root Bacteria Could Help Defeat HLB

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Industry News Release, Research

A team led by the University of California, Riverside (UCR) is looking at tiny underground microorganisms for a way to prevent a huge problem — huanglongbing (HLB), a disease with no cure that has decimated citrus orchards worldwide. “Often times, it is thought of as an above-ground disease of the fruits, leaves and stems,” said Caroline Roper, plant pathology professor … Read More

Peptide, CRAFT Research Funded

Ernie NeffResearch


A company that recently obtained a patent for a natural peptide solution to treat HLB has received Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) funding to see if the product has efficacy for other citrus diseases. CRDF will fund the company, Elemental Enzymes, for about $61,200, said CRDF Chief Operating Officer Rick Dantzler. Elemental Enzymes proposes to do research “to see … Read More

Parson Brown Research Funded

Ernie NeffResearch

Researchers looking into the possibility that the old Parson Brown orange might fare better than Hamlins in the face of HLB will be funded by the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF). CRDF Chief Operating Officer Rick Dantzler said the organization agreed to fund the project for $53,000 during its December meeting. The funding had been under consideration for several … Read More

New Products From Citrus Waste

Ernie NeffResearch

Waste from the citrus industry can provide biogas and valuable products for a range of industries, according to a doctoral thesis at the University of Borås in Sweden. “The citrus industry creates so much waste that it corresponds to between 40 and 60 percent of the total citrus mass,” said Lukitawesa Lukitawesa, who recently defended his doctoral thesis at the … Read More

Texas Research Should Help With HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Research

Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists have made a discovery that should help combat fastidious or “unculturable” pathogens, such as Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, the HLB causal agent. HLB is also known as citrus greening disease. Kranthi Mandadi, a researcher with Texas A&M, and his colleagues have been working several years on developing new technologies to fight the fastidious pathogens. Mandadi and … Read More

UF/IFAS Collaborates on HLB Research

Ernie NeffResearch

Several University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) faculty are collaborating with other universities and organizations on research, especially for HLB. Michael Rogers, director of the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC), summarizes the work they are doing on a variety of grant-funded projects. Rogers starts with a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-funded project led by … Read More

Label Doesn’t Impact Beverage Choices

Ernie NeffOrange Juice, Research

This year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration updated the nutrition facts label to highlight certain information, including added sugars, to help consumers make healthier food choices. A University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) study found that the label did not impact consumer beverage choices. “We were interested in how effective the newly updated nutrition label … Read More

Joint Culturing Project for HLB?

Ernie NeffResearch

Four researchers from around the country summarized their work on culturing the causal agent of HLB and agreed to consider a large, joint culturing project. The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) hosted the panel discussion on Nov. 5 about culturing Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas). CRDF organized the presentation after receiving a request for funding of a CLas culturing project … Read More

Research to Prove OJ Health Benefits

Ernie NeffOrange Juice, Research

The Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) recently approved three research projects aimed at further proving the health benefits of orange juice (OJ) consumption. The OJ-related projects had been recommended by the commission’s Scientific Research Advisory Committee. The projects were discussed by Rosa Walsh, director of the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) Scientific Research Department, during the October FCC meeting. The FCC … Read More

Using CRISPR for HLB Resistance

Ernie NeffCitrus Expo, Research

Use of CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) technology has already produced trees that are highly resistant to citrus canker. In a Citrus Expo virtual presentation, microbiology and cell scientist Nian Wang reported on work that is being done with CRISPR to develop tree resistance to HLB. Wang is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences … Read More

OJ Proves Beneficial for Youth

Ernie NeffOrange Juice, Research

A new, four-year study published in Public Health Nutrition found that drinking 100 percent orange juice (OJ) is not associated with negative effects on body weight, body mass index (BMI) or BMI percentile among 9- to 16-year-olds. It also found that higher OJ consumption is associated with increased height for girls and increased trends for physical activity levels in both … Read More

USDA Grants $45 Million for HLB Research

Ernie NeffResearch


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) recently awarded 12 grants totaling more than $45 million for research to combat HLB. “USDA-NIFA’s Emergency Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program (ECDRE) brings the nation’s top scientists together to tackle this problem,” said Parag Chitnis, NIFA’s acting director. Following are the 12 ECDRE projects funded by USDA-NIFA … Read More

Sequencing Brings HLB Resistance Closer

Ernie NeffBreeding, Research

University of Florida (UF) scientists achieved a major milestone in their quest to develop an HLB-resistant tree by sequencing the genome of a fruit plant that’s a close cousin to citrus trees. HLB is also known as greening disease. UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers sequenced the genome from trifoliate orange, in collaboration with scientists from the University … Read More

Soilless Substrate Science Seeks Citrus Industry Input

Tacy CalliesResearch

Citrus growers are beginning to explore the potential of soilless culture. Ample opportunities exist for ever-evolving systems offering improved yield while overcoming a diminishing availability of soil fumigants and increased pest pressure. There is a need for flexibility in a constantly changing world of new production methods and regulations. Soilless culture provides an unprecedented opportunity to rethink how tree fruit … Read More

CRDF Defers Project Funding

Ernie NeffResearch

Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) directors on Sept. 22 had a lengthy discussion about a nutrition research proposal from Rhuanito (Johnny) Ferrarezi. Ferrarezi is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences assistant professor at the Indian River Research and Education Center. Because of budgetary concerns expressed by CRDF, Ferrarezi cut $158,000 from his original proposed project … Read More

CRAFT Cycle Two Deadline Is September 4

Tacy Calliesplanting, Research


Time is running out for commercial citrus growers in Florida to apply to participate in Cycle Two of the Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) program. The deadline to apply is Friday, Sept. 4. The application process is open to growers with a minimum of 20 acres of planned solid-set or reset plantings. Cycle Two of CRAFT covers up to … Read More

CRDF Addresses Leaf Sampling and Breeding Research

Ernie NeffResearch


The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) board recently chose leaf sampling timing and frequency as its top priority for a new nutrition research project. The board also agreed to create a Select Committee on Plant Improvement to help plant breeders decide which new cultivars should go into final field trials. CRDF Chief Operating Officer Rick Dantzler discusses the board’s … Read More

New Targets Found for HLB Treatments

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Research

Thanks to recent advances in metabolic modeling, scientists are closer to gaining the upper hand on citrus greening (also known as huanglongbing or HLB), a disease that has wiped out citrus orchards across the globe. New models of the bacterium linked to the disease reveal control methods that were previously unavailable. Metabolic models of organisms are like road maps of … Read More

OJ May Help Lower Blood Pressure

Ernie NeffOrange Juice, Research

A growing body of scientific research shows that 100 percent orange juice (OJ), and its vitamins and minerals, may play a beneficial role in helping to lower blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease. Recently, a randomized control study performed by researchers at Eurecat, Centre Tecnològic de Catalunya, in Reus, Spain concluded that 100 percent OJ and 100 percent OJ fortified … Read More